Life's like that!

January 01, 2012

Article: A Shadow in the ER

A shadow in the ER: Reporter gets behind-the-scenes look at system in action

By Ellwood Shreve
Spending the graveyard shift in the local emergency department wasn't like stepping inside an episode of ER - but that's why it's real life.
When Dr. Anthony Dixon, co-chief of the emergency department at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, invited me to spend a shift shadowing him at the Chatham campus ER, I jumped at the chance.

The department has taken some heat in the media over recent incidents with patients and Dixon wanted to give a reporter the chance to experience the whole story.

When I arrived at the ER at midnight last Saturday - carting a bit of 'TV show mentality - I figured it was going to be a real zoo.
It looked as like there could be drama right away. A couple of cops had a hurting handcuffed prisoner. However, he was treated quickly and walked out quietly with the officers.
Oh well, the night was young.
Looking around, I see the largest computer screen I've ever seen, filled with patients' names, along with a description of their medical problems.
When Dixon begins his shift, there are 15 patients in the unit, and a small number of people in the waiting room.
Not exactly a busy night by ER standards, but I soon learn you don't say the "Q-word" (quiet) around here.
Read the rest here.

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