Today we will talk about a topic that should be more the order of the day for how well it usually works in Spain, within the chaotic that is the service itself: ER. As I say, in our country works extremely well and effectively if compared to other countries even at European level, but it is clear that a large part of the population does not know how to use it, and probably healthcare professionals have not spent enough time explaining how it touches To avoid the abuse that is currently done.
I will speak concretely of my service of Urgencies of hospital center, located in Spain. It may be general, but I would say that I do not know how this service works in other countries or autonomous communities . I will only speak to you from my personal experience.
1. In the ER, the word “patient” makes all sense
We tend to believe, logically, that a ER service should work quickly. However, there are so many banalities that come to the service, due to misuse and lack of health education, that queues can become considerable .
Criticism about the “slowness” of doctors is the order of the day, but it is easy to criticize from the ignorance and nervousness of the waiting room (no one likes to be waiting, is completely understandable). Once inside, we can realize why it is so costly to call new patients, because between visits and measured tests, the accumulation of people can be considerable depending on the diseases consulted. Here the patience, and the denomination “patient”, takes its full meaning.
2. In the ER, the care shifts are not like a supermarket
Another of the false beliefs that I have seen in some individuals who come to the ER is that, erroneously, it is thought that the turn of attention in that service works like a supermarket: The first that arrives, enters.
Unfortunately, this does not work that way. At least in my service there is a “triage”, where priority is given to the care of the most serious patient . If 4 or 5 ailments of similar gravity enter, they will enter the order of arrival. But if later, even an hour later, an individual arrives that is in a worse state of gravity, it will enter first. It may seem “unfair” when you are waiting for hours, but from the medical point of view it is of total and absolute common sense .
3. No, Urgencies is not a Health Center consultation
Again, we have a serious misconception about what “ER” means. Many (and I do not generalize, because this luckily does not believe everyone) believe that going to an emergency service is like making an appointment in the doctor’s office, because of impatience. It is not the first or last time I see patients coming for a pain weeks or months ago, when an “emergency” is something that happened just a few hours or at most two days before .
Let’s see what each concept means in this area:
Emergency: Situation where life is in danger, that is, life situation.
Urgency: Situation that, if not solved in time, could imply that life is in danger.
Consultation: All other ailments where, with the necessary patience, we can wait and go to our trusted doctor.
4. No, any individual in white does not have to know who you are
“Hey, what have you forgotten about me?”
“Excuse me, madam, I do not know who you are …”
This conversation that you see is totally true, and it came when it was only a couple of days ago that I started working in the ER and a lady (dropper in hand) almost jumped on me because I had been waiting for the results of her tests.
In Urgencies we all go white: doctors, nurses, auxiliaries, guards … And we are not fortune tellers, nor do we treat all patients . Every doctor has his own and cares about them, but going blank does not involve carrying a crystal ball to know who is who, what happens to him, and since when he has been waiting.
I would love to give a couple of patches and solve all the ailments of the service, but this is clearly not possible.
5. No, urgency is not the place to require medical tests or advance appointments in specialists
Finally, we have some other hustler on duty who decides to go to the ER to advance paperwork . Luckily, again, these are not majority. These are individuals who decide to go to the service with their illness (own health center and weeks or months of evolution) for the purpose of having certain medical tests or the appointment to a specialized medical service, in the Which many times already has an appointment, but is “taking a lot”.
And things do not work that way. As will be the case in other professions, it is the physician who decides what medical tests to perform and what requirements must be met to carry them out , and it is not done because someone demands it. On the other hand, “urgent” appointments to medical specialties are not asked for anything , and they also require requirements. Each specialty has its waiting list, and some can be very long and make some patients wait excessively, but again it is not possible to perform miracles to speed things up (no traps, going to ER, as in this case)
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