If you are one of the 47 million Americans that are uninsured, you probably rely on the Emergency Room of the local hospital when you need medical care. Even if you have healthcare insurance, the emergency room is the logical choice if you have a life-threatening emergency or need some medical attention that just can’t wait until Monday when the doctor’s office is open.
Emergency room medical staff are fast, efficient and at the top of their game. They are highly skilled professionals who are there to take care of whatever comes in the door--a group of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals and specialists to take on any medical challenge quickly. Just like any consumer service, the better educated the customer, the higher quality of service.
You can get more from a visit to the Emergency Room if you know some of the inside secrets to accessing healthcare in an emergency. The Reader’s Digest shared 15 secrets that Emergency Room staff know but haven’t shared with the general public. These “secrets” can make the next trip to the Emergency Room shorter and faster.
First of all, it may be your first trip to the Emergency Room, but it’s not their first shift on duty. People who try to push and intimidate staff to take them first, constantly demand attention and otherwise make themselves a nuisance in order to get faster service aren’t usually successful. There is a protocol and it isn’t always about who comes in first.
When you come into the Emergency Room, pay attention to signs or requests from the staff. Fill out the required forms and have your medical insurance and other documents available. Speak up and explain in detail what the problem is and answer any other questions as best you can. And, as the article states, stay off your cell phone. If you say you’re sick to your stomach, and then snack the entire time you’re in the ER, you probably won’t get called on first.
If you’re having a heart attack, don’t try to drive yourself to the hospital. No sense having a heart attack and an accident on the way to the hospital. Dial 911 and let the paramedics bring you in if necessary.
Follow directions. If you’re asked to take off some or all of your clothes, that’s what you should do. What’s the point of going to the emergency room and refuse to disrobe, stay in bed, or complete the tests that the doctor orders. The doctor’s orders may seem routine or unnecessary, but after all, you came to them. Give the doctor’s your attention and cooperation. They don’t want you to come back, so they’ll conduct tests and prescribe the best treatment and medications so they never have to see you again.
Emergency care facilities are fast-paced, high-tension healthcare facilities, and it takes a special kind of person to work there. You have to have compassion for people, a sense of urgency, attention to detail, and top organizational skills. Speed is another factor that can mean the difference between life and death. The biggest “emergency” is going to get the most attention, so you have to be able to assess situations quickly to determine who gets attention first.
The secrets are out, and with more informed patients, Emergency Care staff need to be more efficient than ever. Sharing secrets make patients and healthcare staff work together to make sure everyone gets the most out of a visit to the ER.
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