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Question: How does administrative staff interact with incoming patients in a hospital waiting room setting? The hospital name where research will be conducted Cape Fear Valley Hospital located in Fayetteville , NC.

The answer to the question above will give clarification to what really took place in a hospital emergency waiting room. This will either confirm or contradict the idea we have in mind with the actual setting.

Emergency room is a health care facility providing treatment to patients with sudden illness or trauma that requires immediate attention even without prior appointment. It is the busiest department in the hospital and operates 24 hours a day. There were nurses in duty that assisted doctors for a more organized working place.

Methodology: November 16, 2010 a prompt interview was conducted. The researcher did not send a formal letter to the subject regarding the interview. The challenge to this situation is to be able to ask questions from the staff regarding their procedure in verbal notice alone. So, the researcher waited for the staff to have a time so that the researcher will have the opportunity to verbally ask them for a few questions regarding the procedure of their department. Because of the time for waiting is long, the researcher maximize it by observing the staff performing their duties. Overseeing the whole operation, I believe that the question above will be answered in a clear view after the research is completed.

Discription and analysis: Cape Fear Valley Hospital is the 9th largest health system in the state, a general medical and surgical hospital located in Fayetteville, NC. Cape Fear Valley Hospital offers a quality care for its patient specially in open-heart surgery, home health and hospice, cancer treatment, maternity service, pediatric intensive care and more.

The hospital opens its service on 1956 which started from 200-beds and-building one hospital. Today the hospital has grown into 756 beds and had five hospitals. From the latest survey 32,169 patients are admitted and 108,307 patients visited the emergency room.

As to the mission of the Medical Center they aim to provide an exceptional healthcare for all their patients.

The institutions live with the values to committing with excellence through:

  • Patient-Centeredness: Putting our patients’ interests first, providing unsurpassed service, with an emphasis on safety and quality outcomes.
  • Integrity: All that we say and do is founded in honesty, openness and respect.
  • Cultural Diversity: Respecting our community’s multicultural diversity in our daily operations and practices.
  • Innovation: Encouraging creativity, embracing change, continual learning and personal empowerment.
  • Teamwork: Embracing a variety of opinions and being mutually supportive in achieving our vision.
  • Accountability: To our community, our organization and to each other for our individual and organizational performance and behaviors.

Representation: Once you get to the ER you want to be treated right away. But that may not happen, not because you are less prioritize but someone else may have more serious problem. When you arrive the first person you will have to see is the triage nurse. They are the one who will gather your personal information and your medical history. They are the person in-charge to take and record vital signs, identifies and report abnormalities, preparing treatment room for new patients, assists with the emergency treatments like CPR compression, starting IV, moving patients and splinting fractures. He also decide whether the case is emergency or simple cases. When they have determine your condition and how quickly you need to be treated. You will have to wait to see a physician and everything will depend on your individual situation. The average time to wait to see the doctor is 41 minutes this is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But then, expect to wait less or more depending on the urgency of your situation and how busy it is in the ER. If you have a relatively minor problem, such as a small cut or a minor orthopedic injury you may have to wait several hours to be seen.

Here are some other reasons why you may have to wait:

  • Overcrowding due to epidemics, such as flu season or serious accidents.
  • Waiting for tests or x-rays to be performed and then again for the results, you may need a specialist and they need to arrive.
  • If you need to be admitted to the hospital there may be a delay if there aren’t any beds available or just to get the paperwork done.

Once the doctor received the data gathered by the triage, he will make an analysis. Depending on the finding that he may request for some test like urinalysis, fecalysis , hematology or X-rays for confirmation and additional data reference before concluding the patients health condition. If the patient is needed to be admitted, the companion of the patient is requested to proceed at the admission office to fill in the necessary admission form. Then he will return to Emergency room to submit the front page of the admission slip before proceeding to the assigned room.

Above statements is the standard procedure that the administrative staff should perform. But in my observation there are times that the protocol is not followed specially during the “toxic” hours.

The experience make me realized that sometimes rules were just guidelines in the way we should perform. We have our own prerogative whether we will go for the best or the worst of what we have.

Conclusion: Base on my observation the guideline implemented by the hospital administration is sometimes disregarded by the employees especially in the ER setting because of some reasons which in my opinion is valid. In my conversation with one of the staff nurse she said that there are instances that they cannot follow protocol especially when they are dealing with cases that matter of life and death of the patient. All they can think of is the best way to save life. There are also time that the performance of the employee depends on their willingness to perform their duties. Other may take their staff who take the patients feeling for granted with the mind set that it is ok as long as they can perform what is expected of them.