I always try to have one open monitor bed for a critical patient that comes thru triage. on a bad day, that means filling my all the beds, but knowing one will open up soon.
i dont care about ambulance patients. they are already being treated. they usually have iv's. are on a monitor o2 and may have had meds given.
i broke my rule last week, and had a chest pain pt in the waiting room for 30 minutes. i did make him my priority pt in getting back, but nothing was really moving. we had plenty of sick pts, including icu admits. he ended up in the cath lab less than an hour after getting back.
we have an infrared badge computer tracking system to know where all our pts are at