Most people go to a hospital emergency room when they have been in a serious accident. They also do so when they have broken bones or other body parts that are out of place. Regardless of their justification for visiting an emergency room, most patients require immediate attention in order to capitalize on the opportunity window that can save their lives.
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General processes in the emergency room are kept at a minimum in order to attend to patients as soon as possible. Usually, three processes are undertaken, and they include triage, treatment and transfer. An emergency room is not a place for chronic issues or follows ups.
It only handles those matters that are out of control. However, some patients may visit the emergency room more than once because of the nature of their condition or inability of previous procedures to deal with the ailment completely. The staff members in the emergency room have special training to deal with such a high-stakes environment. Their goal is to stabilize the patient, after which they send them to other hospital units. Sometimes these individuals may be admitted in the hospital or may be fortune enough to go home.
Patients in emergency rooms are likely to exhibit certain characteristics that justify the need for emergency treatment. Some of them could be unconscious while others may exhibit signs of a heart attack. Such instances include chest tightness, light headedness, pressure and severe chest pains.
Alternatively, people may visit the emergency room with cases of poison ingestion. Sometimes these individuals may be having a severe reaction to a previous intervention like medicine. In other scenarios, it may be brought on by a sting or bite. Patients in the emergency room are likely to have severe head injury and may even be physically or mentally disoriented. Some of the subjects may experience severe pain in a certain body part.
If the complication is lung-related, then they could have shortness of breath. Nonstop breathing as well as continuous bleeding may also be some of the symptoms that patients have in the emergency room. Others could lose sensory abilities like hearing, speech, vision and body movement. These patients may also exude body fluids from unusual places such as blood from the mouth or could have mucous-like discharge from injured parts of the body.
Inside the emergency room, patients may undergo treatment in various forms. For instance, if someone is suffering from a cardiac arrest, he or she will receive advanced life support. A person with a heart attack will enter the resuscitation room where they will receive oxygen and be subjected to an ECG test.
They will receive nitroglycerin as well as morphine for pain. A person with trauma must go through an x-ray within the shortest time possible. Once the nature of the broken bone is established, then reperfusion or surgery will take place. Such persons must receive treatment within an hour of the accident so as to increase chances of survival.
Emergency rooms come in different varieties and forms depending on the nature of the injury, trauma or condition. One such emergency room is the resuscitation room. Here, very ill patients are admitted. The facility only contains equipment that deals with emergency situations.
Even the number and type of staff members must reflect this goal. In the room, one will have an attending physician as well as two nurses. Sometimes these staff members may be permanently located in the room. Alternatively, they could be available on call whenever an ambulance service enters the hospital. In resuscitation, other medical experts like technicians, medical students and pharmacists can also handle their cases.
Pediatric and mental health emergency rooms also exist in hospitals. These locations are different from the conventional ones because the groups under consideration do not share the same characteristics with conventional patients. In pediatric emergency rooms, one may find an additional staff member whose role is to ensure that children are at ease.
In the psychiatric emergency room, one is likely to find specialists who can handle dire mental health conditions. Psychiatrists, social workers as well as nurses may be in these facilities. Their work is to ensure that their patients do not become a risk to themselves as well as to their environment.
Workers in the emergency room must think on their feet and do the right thing with limited resources. Life and death situations are quite common, so none of the employees take their work lightly. Sometimes, emergencies may occur in large proportions.
For instance, a terrorist attack may take place or a bombing may occur. In this regard, emergency rooms may need to operate beyond their capacity. When such events arise, it is sometimes necessary to divert more resources towards emergency care. Staff members, from other parts of the hospital, need to set aside their usual responsibilities and focus on urgent cases first.
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As mentioned earlier, most emergency rooms have a triage component that allows them to assess patients as soon as they come. Imaging technologies are one of several tests that can be administered in the medical settings. The right radiography equipment needs to be available in order to foster fast responses to an emergency situation.
Radiographers must also ensure that they use high-speed tests, which allow them to carry out an imaging procedure in the fastest way possible. Therefore, choice of equipment and tests has a profound effect on how effectively the radiography function contributes towards the goals in an emergency room. A case in point is a person who is experiencing severe chest pain. When the person enters the emergency room, he or she needs to undergo a chest x-ray so as to establish possible causes of the problem.
The radiographer on duty must examine this patient’s chest as fast as possible and convey the results to the radiologist in charge or the concerned medical specialist. Sometimes if a patient experiences a cardiac arrest, the radiographer will have to carry out a CT scan in order to determine what is wrong with the patient.
However, because this is an emergency situation, then the radiographer should use cutting edge technologies to save on time. Some new forms of the procedure like CT angiography would be required as a diagnostic tool. Therefore, radiographers in the emergency room must be well-versed with the latest developments in their fields in order to accelerate service provision.
Radiographers within the emergency room also tend to do fewer tests than the ones in other hospital units. In conventional hospital departments, physicians will focus on protecting themselves against liability. In order to achieve this, many of them request for several unnecessary diagnostic tests.
Radiographers have found that their work is overwhelming in these units because of such a different approach. However, the converse is true in the emergency unit. All the attention must be dedicated to the patient. Decisions on possible diagnostics need to be minimized as much as possible so as to avail more time for treatment. As a consequence, radiographers tend to do fewer tests, per patient, in this unit.
In certain circumstances, the emergency room physician may want to perform the radiographic tests himself. Here, the radiographer may need to communicate effectively with the concerned doctor to establish which task will be done and which one will not. Usually, many ER doctors will expect radiographers to perform MRI or CT scans.
However, in the event that a patient requires an ultrasound, then chances are that the physician will want to perform the test on his own. Because of the high-risk nature of the emergency room, most specialists prefer to receive training in a range of diagnostic procedures, including radiography. This may cause professionals in the latter community to be maligned during certain procedures.
Staff members in the emergency room usually work in a shift system. Emergencies may arise during off hours, so they need to be within reach. Radiographers frequently use shifts while other specialist medical professionals may need to be available on call. Their services are more difficult to substitute so they must carry on with routine work irrespective of how busy they happen to be.
New developments in radiography have enabled radiologists and radiographers to perform tests and transmit information using high band width to the medical practitioners who need them. Therefore, radiographers need to familiarize themselves with this approach if they work in emergency rooms.
Emergency rooms can make the difference between life and death. Therefore, staff members need to respond as swiftly and professionally as possible. Conservative use of tests and right decisions can increase a person’s chances of survival.