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Organizing the maddness

Emergency   (1,277 Views | 5 Replies)

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I have found it difficult to treat just the emergent situation even though I know that this is what the ED is for. I know that even pursuing possibilities of underlying causes to comorbidities can be a use of a resource that only results in long waiting room lines. How can I tell patients that we are here to treat the emergency and may not be able to use the resources that we have available to get to the cause/s of their distress. It gets especially difficult when they bring up the amount of the expected charges.

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3 Articles; 2,815 Posts; 30,646 Profile Views

Hi, Safe student nurse, and welcome to AN!

I'm confused. Are you a student nurse, or are you working as a nurse in an ED? There is a forum for nursing student assistance, if this is a student question.

I'm not exactly sure what your question is. Can you clarify?

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LakeEmerald has 4 years experience and specializes in Emergency/ICU.

235 Posts; 8,031 Profile Views

I have found it difficult to treat just the emergent situation even though I know that this is what the ED is for. I know that even pursuing possibilities of underlying causes to comorbidities can be a use of a resource that only results in long waiting room lines. How can I tell patients that we are here to treat the emergency and may not be able to use the resources that we have available to get to the cause/s of their distress. It gets especially difficult when they bring up the amount of the expected charges.

Hi,

You can just explain to them that the purpose of the ER is to stabilize pts so they can either be admitted or be discharged home for follow up with a physician. We don't fix everybody's medical issues, that's what primary docs and specialists are for. We treat emergent or urgent symptoms. If you see enough ER patients you will see that many (if not most) have WAY too many co-morbities for any medical team to fix in 1 visit. They need ongoing care. We help them not to die or become disabled from their urgent condition. Stay safe! :)

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whichone'spink has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN.

1,473 Posts; 24,889 Profile Views

I know one doctor that would give that whole speech, that the emergency department is mainly for ruling out emergencies, and not so much for long-term issues. He would always use that as a disclaimer for all the patients he saw. As far as I know, he's not received a patient complaint from giving that speech. Honesty is usually the best policy. Most patients will understand that their long-term issues will not be addressed so much. That's what a primary care providers is for. I'm not sure I see this kind of problem alleviated with the affordable care act coming into play in two years.

Edited by whichone'spink
iPad dictation is not perfect

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3,408 Posts; 29,561 Profile Views

I've explained to patients the benefit of following up with a PCP rather than getting tx in the ER: better continuity, decision maker has a better understanding of the medical hx, leading to better management of care.

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321 Posts; 7,118 Profile Views

I've explained to patients the benefit of following up with a PCP rather than getting tx in the ER: better continuity, decision maker has a better understanding of the medical hx, leading to better management of care.

This.

A simple way to explain it to someone who's not having a life threatening emergency is that we are here to make them feel better and their PCP is there to cure them.

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