ER's Turn Non-Emergencies Away? - page 4

The below article appeared on the website of a local news station in Rock Hill SC. Some people in the community have varied opinions about this. For those of us "in the business", what do you... Read More

  1. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from mwboswell
    Besides, even G Bush doesn't know this, after all he said that we (Americans) had access to health care, jus to go the E.R.! So I think your statement is an over-generalization that people "don't know".
    G Bush is in no way an average American ... he never had to worry about keeping a roof over his head or food on the table, much less about access to healthcare. I'm not surprised he didn't know.

    I've found it's not that people don't know; they do know. But they also know that a doctor's office or urgent care wants money up front, and the ER doesn't. (Sure, our registration folks ask for it, but the patients know they don't have to pay it before being seen.) We're easy/convenient. We live in a fast-food society, and many people think their healthcare should be available on a drive-through basis.
  2. by   mwboswell
    Quote from LunahRN
    We're easy/convenient. We live in a fast-food society, and many people think their healthcare should be available on a drive-through basis.
    Right, as well, it's also a learned behavior thing too.

    Alot of our 20-somethings that come in now, were babies during the 80's when THEIR parents started taking them to the ED for inappropriate stuff, and NOW they've learned this as the thing to do and that it's socially acceptable.

    Kind of like that lady recently who made the news when she called 911 to report her being mis-treated at McDonald's. Some of today's society has learned (as much as we've become tolerant as well) that certain things (911, ED's, Ambulances etc, etc) are "allowed" to be used for other-than-what-they were meant for purposes - and they're not ASHAMED of it at all!
  3. by   roseglasses
    I can just see them turning away the wrong patient who really might need care and a law suit will follow!
  4. by   I_LOVE_TRAUMA
    To respond to you post, I am an active member of the ENA and attend all of the state as well as national meetings. I am also very involved in stregthening and empowering the role of the RN in policy change at my hospital. I am a charge nurse at a HUGE 100 bed level 1 trauma center, and I serve on many commitees there. I am also very involved in my role as a public health nurse. I have learned a lot in my many years doing this, and research and problem solve whenever I feel very strongly about something. The unfortunate thing is that I don't think anyone has any idea how to remedy this-I wish we did, very sad.

    And I don't feel that turning someone away who has a real emergency would be much of a problem. As it stands right now everyone is entitled to a SCREENING, not treatment. And I have found that we can usually tell pretty quickly if the person is sick or not.
  5. by   HippyGreenPeaceChick
    Quote from j621d
    If it's not an emergency, you shouldn't be at the ED, regardless of insurance.

    Theres a few times Ive needed to be seen for illness or injury, I have not gone to the ER yet. My copay in ER is 75 dollars, I go to either the doctors office or urgent care clinic and it is 20 to 30 dollars. Plus I can triage in on line and they call me when the doctor can see me. Sweet deal.
  6. by   HippyGreenPeaceChick
    [quote=mwboswell;3635930]So did you vote for Obama and universal health care? Of course I did.
  7. by   mwboswell
    [quote=I_LOVE_TRAUMA;3636579]To respond to you post, I am an active member of the ENA and attend all of the state as well as national meetings. I am also very involved in stregthening and empowering the role of the RN in policy change at my hospital. I am a charge nurse at a HUGE 100 bed level 1 trauma center, and I serve on many commitees there. I am also very involved in my role as a public health nurse. I have learned a lot in my many years doing this, and research and problem solve whenever I feel very strongly about something. The unfortunate thing is that I don't think anyone has any idea how to remedy this-I wish we did, very sad.

    [quote]

    You are awesome in my book! Keep up the good work! Get your colleagues to follow suit!
  8. by   LilgirlRN
    We do this in our ER too. We have quite a number of patients that come in at LEAST once a week. Most of them are either drug seekers or attention seekers. If you come to the ER and tell the triage nurse that you've had abdominal pain for three years every time you have your period, we're likely to consider you nonemergent. In the end it's up to the MD though. And yes, coming to the ER all the time is a learned behavior. We have a mom and a grown daughter that show up every few weeks like clockwork.
  9. by   2BSure
    Quote from mwboswell
    Your first point is taken.
    But your second point - I don't share.

    I don't mind people coming to the ER for non-emergencies...so long as they can pay for my service and time. I'm just guessing here, but I'm thinking "non-emegencies" pay our labor/operating costs a lot more than "emergencies" do....

    A LOT OF US would be out of jobs if only "emergencies" came in.....
    Go figure.
    Extremely good point.
  10. by   justamama
    My daughter who is 31 and has stage 4 cancer who goes to the ER for severe pain relief has been told by her oncologist to STOP going to the ER all of the time. She instructed the staff at all hospital ER's NOT to treat her when she comes in. She is told to go home and double up on her meds and go see her oncologist the next business day. The oncologoist tole my precious little daughter that all of the staff and doctor's at the local ER's around think she's crazy! Unbelievable and unacceptable! My daughter has sores in her mouth and in her navel and genitals and rectal area and when she has diarhea it sets her on fire. Yet she can't go to the ER because they will not treat her! Where are the ethics? Why does that oncologist have that right? Where are my daughters rights?
  11. by   canoehead
    Your daughter has the right to change to a different oncologist anytime if you think her needs are not being met.

    Re pain control, doubling up on the meds is a good idea to solve the immediate problem, but if she needs to do that more than once a day she may need to increase her long acting meds. Remind her when the pain gets worse not to wait until it is unbearable. She needs to stay on top of the pain or it can take hours and an ER visit to get back in control.
  12. by   bjaeram
    The ER is not the place to treat chronic conditions. If your daughters pain is frequently out of control she needs to get with her oncologist or a pain specialist to come up with a new plan. I'm not being harsh or uncaring. Your daughters illness is horrible and without a doubt painful but not an ER issue unless she is acutly ill or injured. The ER doctors don't know her. I'm sure she can tolerate more meds then the average person but most ER docs would not be comfortalbe ordering high enough doses to make her comfortable, that is a huge liability for them.
  13. by   caregiver1977
    I am all for frequent flyers being directed to the care they really need, but how is a person always supposed to know whether they are having an emergency or not? Some people who go to the ER with non emergencies did so thinking they (or the person they took) are having an emergency and were not trying to "milk the system."

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