About Emergency Rooms...

So I was listening to the radio on my way home and I heard them talking about Arizona’s Emergency Rooms. The people said that their productivity and whatnot was down because people would come in for the simplest things as a cold or allergies. These people who worked in the ERs complained that people were coming in because of these illnesses. They were complaining.

I always thought it was better to call 911 and find out that it wasn’t an actual emergency rather than call 911 five minutes too late because you weren’t sure if it was life-threatening. I always thought that surgeons went into surgery because they wanted to save lives, not because they were irritated at people who didn’t know the difference between a cold and pneumonia. And I’m sure there are many respectable surgeons out there who adhere to this; I’m personally highly considering going into the medical career.

But the fact that people who go into the field are complaining about people not able to diagnose themselves makes me angry. I suppose it could be very frustrating because more important matters could be at hand, but isn’t it better to get ten not-true-emergency calls early than one emergency call that came too late?

Better to treat 1000 people for cold symptoms then to lose one to pneumonia or whatnot! im not a doctor or an accountant, but wouldnt they be happy to have customers at least? if you are a doctor, its easy to diagnose someone with a cold, right?

“Youve got a cold, that’ll be 15 bucks!”


I live in the UK, so it is different here.
But in some cities some use the casualty department as their GP and this is a misuse of resources. While these people are being looked at, someone else’s treatment is being delaid.

The problem is people will go in for the littlest thing. The doctors then have to spend time telling you that you have a cold ( Rather schedule a doctors appointment) This can keep them from patients who really need them.

A doctor won’t mind telling you that you have a cold but an ER doctor can mind. A cold is not an emergency, Neither are allergies. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule (Elderly, Frail ect.) But a lot of otherwise healthy people will go to the ER at the sign of a cough. Wasting time.

Slinking “Defending the docs” Ferret

mm allergies can be an emergency! in bad cases people can die from a bad reaction to nuts, bee stings etc

I am allergic! I never got sting by a bee, but I heard that people with allergy at hornet can die after one sting, if they have allergy on it :nuu: . Not optymistic :no: .

There’s a thing about it: Someone got sting by a hornet (or bee, can’t remember). That person had allergy on a lot of things, so got scared and phoned for ambulance. They taked this person to hospital, it fastly turned out that there was no danger, not counting a sting - that person hadn’t allergy on it. So, that person had to pay for it, equivalence of 55 euro.

What if that person had allergy on it but did’t knew it , and decide not to call ? It’s better to have a fake alarms than dead people.

I’m with Slinking_ferret on this one. Often, people go straight to the emergency room when they could have gone to their local Immediate Care, or other such facility. The hospital in my town is terrible. They have people with severe injuries lined up waiting to be treated, and it’s partially due to the number of others who come in seeking medical treatment they could have gotten elsewhere.

The emergency room is for emergencies. I think the program you heard was trying to stress this fact. A lot of the time, people can use something called “common sense” and discern whether or not they’re in such bad condition that they need to be taken to the ER. There are some cases where people don’t know what they’re experiencing. And yes, I agree it’s better to be safe instead of sorry. Having said that, though, people abuse the system. Whether they want to admit they do or not, it’s true.

It’s not as if everyone in the emergency room is admitted according to when they arrive. The emergency room (from what I’ve read) will treat patients with true emergencies before coming to those people without true emergencies. From what I read, Bellvue hospital will split up categories as emergent, urgent, or other. Well, I don’t remember what the last category was called, but I think it was something like that. Anyway, the emergent and urgent are obviously taken care of before the “other” people are.

I understand that the doctors would have far more important matters to attend to: “I suppose it could be very frustrating because more important matters could be at hand…” (first post), and maybe I didn’t come off as sympathizing for most doctors, because I do. I just don’t believe they should have gone on the air and complained that people were worried about themselves.

I recall another point being made that Emergency Rooms here were considering not giving just anyone who comes in aid, and by those people I mean illegal immigrants. This is why I was infuriated about how these doctors were discussing it on the radio.

And I understand people abuse the system. I know that people will come in, claim they have some kind of illness, and ask for x, y, and z to make it “better”. I know THAT is a problem. I just don’t agree with doctors complaining about people who misdiagnose themselves and how they want to refuse service to non-citizens.

I believe the situation as you heard it on the radio was vastly over simplified. I have worked in a couple of hospitals, one outpatients department, worked on Ward, and records department. I can tell you, the emergency departments are indeed busy with authentic problems (in Australia at least) and I don’t personally believe that the problem (here is Aus) is anything to do with people coming in for the wrong reasons. More to the point, the health system is underfunded, and we simply don’t have the resources we need to address “prevention” as opposed to “cure”. It would be great if we could, but it’s just not the case. Doctors, nurses and emergency staff are overworked, make mistakes, and who can blame them? It’s a fundamental problem with the way we deal with health care in our society.
And with that being said, I’m going to hide in the corner.

I hope you do go into medicine; you have good ethics ! :smile: Nice to see.

Don;t feel like quoting.

Yes allergies are serious. I was talking about the cold/sniffles sinus head ache allergies that can be helped with Over the counter medicine.

I don’t think doctors should care about whether someone is an illegal immigrant or not. They are sick, They should help them.

It’s not underfunded. Some of the doctors are overpaid (Some I think are underpaid) I went to a doctors house once. He seemed like he had enough money to pay for our bills for a year easily.

I’m done :smile:

Was he a private practitioner or did he work in the public health system? Did he work 15 hours a day? Did he have his own practice, or work in a public hospital? Was he a surgeon, an outpatients consultant, a gp or some other form of specialist?[/interrogation] :tongue:

I agree with you but I have to point out that if you treat 1000 people with colds quite a few people with real emergencies might have their treatment postponed for a lengthly period of time, with possibly terrible effects. That’s a problem you have to take into account.

In England it’s usually like the Accident and Emergency thats flooded with people who don’t really need to be there. lots of people just have colds and stuff, they should go to a GP not a hospital. I’ve b een to an A&E twice and both times there were lots of people sniffling and coughing and that slightly annoyed me when they were postponing my treatment (both times i had broken my wrist).

Ahh! Touche, at the time I made this post I did not think of that :wink: He probably was in private practice.

It’s a yer later now and I’m starting to agree with you Snape, now that my brother is training to be a nurse the stories he’s telling me seems to say the hospitals he has worked at are rather underfunded.

But I still believe that some people tend to go to the emergency room to much. My mother would say I’d only go on the throes of death, but I say she goes at the slightest sign of anything :wink:

(Whenever I have a cold longer then 4 days she insists I go to the doctors office and makes an appointment…I could tell you the story when I had pink eye and she refused to leave it alone until I went to the doctor’s office. x-x)

When the people with severe illnesses and injuries are waiting in line behind the cold and flu patients, that only points to a flaw in how that emergency room does triage. Triage is the prioritizing of what patients need to be looked at immediately, and any emergency room that is not doing it properly is hurting their patients. Also, people should not be berated for going to the emergency room for what turns out to be a simple ailment, especially if they have no medical background. How many heart attack patients have stayed at home and died because they thought the pain in their left arm was something that could be treated with Advil?

I’m glad that you have not strayed to the darkside, Padewan :tongue:
And for the rest, mothers instincts - she just wants you to be fit and health :content: