Emergency room: Ready when you need it | TheUnion.com

Emergency room: Ready when you need it

You never know what’s around the corner. One slip of a chain saw, bad ankle turn on the ball field, or whip-lash from a fender bender could result in a visit to the hospital emergency department..

We never plan on getting injured, or sick, which is why it’s good to know that Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department is also right around the corner, ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week … just in case.

And while we never plan on visiting the emergency center, the folks who work there are always planning and preparing for our inevitable arrival.

Each and every registered nurse at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital maintains certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (children represent at least 15 percent of ER visits) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Each emergency physician is nationally Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, which requires ongoing education along with board exams every 10 years.

Many RNs have earned their national nursing board certification in emergency medicine specialty. Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital also provides and requires annual and biannual training to stay up to date on the latest trends of pain management, stroke care, wound care, and socioeconomic issues that affect our community.

That preparation and training has earned the hospital’s Emergency Department national recognition for quality care. Its rapid treatment – 10 minutes from the time a patient arrives to an EKG and 20 minutes from the door to life-saving medication for acute heart attacks ­- has saved at least 21 lives this year alone.

Successful implementation of a “stroke alert” policy that initiates rapid scanning and intervention for possible stroke patients and the technology in fluid resuscitation for pediatric patients suffering dehydration have also contributed to the Emergency Department’s success.

Pain management and patient comfort are high priorities at the Emergency Department. “They did everything they could do to make me comfortable,” said one-time patient Charles Wilson. “They tried ice, pillows and those wonderful warm blankets. But all the pain went away when they gave me that shot. It was great.”

The Emergency Department sees an average of 85 patients per day. It recently opened Treatment Area 2, which added eight beds, a doctor and two RNs, reducing the waiting time by a full nine minutes.

“We treat our neighbors, our friends and our own families here,” said Emergency Department nurse Irene Grace.

That personal care has Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department ranked high within the CHW system and within the State of California in terms of emergency care and patient satisfaction.

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