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View Diary: Medical Crisis: The Shape Of Things To Come (245 comments)

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    Standing orders like X-raying appropriately before the MD sees a patient and some other tests and drugs given as appropriate by medics and nurses can streamline the process.  At my ED you get pulled from the waiting room if your complaint warrants an X-Ray and your film goes to the Doctor before you ever come back.  Some departments don't do this because they don't trust their nurses and medics. (or the in house lawyers advise them so)

    It is grossly inappropriate to tell a waiting room the wait is too long or they should leave.  Every year many people leave hospital ED's and die at home from various problems.  A triage sheet needs to be filled out on arrival and an experienced nurse or medic need to put eyes on a patient.  "gut" feeling combined with a chief complaint can go a long way for sorting out who is an emergency.

    If you have a primary care doc, call him or her when you go to an ED.  Good ones may advise you to stay home depending on the complaint with a morning follow up and may even call in pain meds. Some will even meet you in the ED.  Know your doc and make sure they know you.  Long relationships make service better.

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