Have No Fear: HMH’s ER is Always Prepared

No one looks forward to a trip to the emergency room, but from accidents to unexpected illnesses, sometimes there’s no getting around it.

If you have to go, there are two things you’ll always find at Howard Memorial Hospital’s ER: a short wait and physician care.

“On average, I’d say the wait is less than 10 minutes, from the time you enter the door and to a room,” says Steven May, RN and ER department manager. “We try to take you straight to a room.”

One reason that’s possible is that HMH’s ER serves a small community, but May adds that the extensive experience of the ER’s nursing staff – about 100 years altogether – is a key reason that everything moves smoothly in the ER.

“It’s a great staff – they’re the reason it works. They’re a compassionate group, and they’re people who alleviate the patients’ fears.”

Physicians First

When it come to alleviating fears, May explains that a lot of HMH’s ER patients are relieved to find out that they’ll be cared for by a physician rather than a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner, as is common in many larger communities. 

“Lots of patients, when they’re sick, they want to see someone who can correct their problem right away,” explains May, who suggests that knowing they’ll see a doctor right away can also work as an incentive for patients to seek out care sooner rather than later.

“When patients go to the ER, they expect a higher level of care – a physician’s assistant can’t put in a chest tube. It gives them a sense of confidence in the care they’re getting.”

COVID Concerns

Another fear that May wants to quiet for patients is concern about visiting the ER during the ongoing pandemic.

“We put a lot of money and time into making sure patients are protected from COVID-19 when they get here,” says May. “All of our rooms are negative pressure ones, so if someone has COVID-19, it’s not going to get out of their room and into someone else’s.”

Posted in:  Health