Navigating the E.R.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- If you have ever been in the E.R., did you learn the names of the nurse and doctor in charge of your case?

They are the best ones to ask for help and pain relief, and may be the only ones who know if it is safe for you to eat or drink.

Before you rush to the E.R., be aware that patients with serious conditions take precedence over issues like a broken bone or stomach pain.

Travis Gullet MD, from the Cleveland Clinic said, "So what we're trying to do is screen out those patients. So here, any patients that might be considered for having a heart attack, we get an EKG within ten minutes."

Most cities now have urgent care centers or drug store clinics that can help with infections, back pain, and stitches, without the wait. But if you must go to the E.R., bring a list of all the medications and supplements you take, any allergies or chronic health problems, and copies of recent laboratory or diagnostic test results. You can save time and eliminate unnecessary tests if you know your medical history. Gullett also had tips for emergency room doctors and nurses.

"Make sure all your physicians are talking. Two, take a step back and look at your process, just because it's the way you've always done it, doesn't mean that's the way that you should continue to do it."

Also, if your symptoms get worse or new ones develop while waiting, let the admitting desk know right away.

Usually when you think of emergency room stress, you think of the patient. But according to the national library of medicine, up to ten percent of physicians are disabled by depression, alcoholism, drug abuse or other similar factors. And emergency room doctors have a higher prevalence of substance abuse compared to other specialties.

Contributors to this news report include: Hayley Hudson, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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