Have You Ever Been in our Emergency Department?
I followed Ben Brekke in the ER-3. First, I learned that we have 4 Emergency Areas (rooms). Traumas, suspected heart attacks, obstructed breathing, etc. all go to the ER 1 & 2. The ER-3 is for broken bones, lacerations, fevers, pain, etc. Our ER-4 is for overflow and a holding area while waiting to be admitted.
OK, so what does a Scribe do? They are the eyes and ears of the entire area and the “writer” for the doctor or physician assistant (PA). While the patient is being examined, the scribe is writing down all the answers the patient gives the doctor or PA. The Scribe also then checks boxes on the chart as the doctor assesses the patient and orders tests. This enables the doctor to look, touch and interact with the patient without having to keep looking and writing in the chart – what a concept! Imagine the time it saves the doctor AND the person in the next room waiting to be seen!!! If the doctor/PA didn’t record on the chart as the examination was being done, they would have to go back to the charting area and write it all down before going to see the next patient.
Scribe’s also constantly check for lab results so the doctor/PA can follow-up, makes follow-up phone calls, and prints off discharge instructions from the computer so patients don’t have to wait so long to go home. All, in all they are a very valuable asset to the ER! “I can’t live without him – he is an integral part of this department,” said Dr. Hanne Rechtschaffen. Also part of the team that day was Jason Fraizer, and Erin Merchant both Physician Assistants and Carl Wendt an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and many nurses, who were so busy I didn’t get their names.
Dr. Brian Rhee is the head of the scribe program and he has mentored the program and the scribes. When the program started there were only 3 scribes, but last December 2 more were hired and Ben was appointed as the lead scribe after Dr. Kim (the ER medical director) decided to continue the program after the year long trial period.
Who are the Scribes that work in the ER 7 days a week for a 10 hour shift?
Ben goes to school at the Claremont Colleges and he loves the fact that he is learning so much about medicine before even starting medical school! What an opportunity for these future doctors! The PVHMC Scribe Team includes Ben and Adam who attends Occidental College, Nic attends USC, Laura attends Cal State Fullerton and Andy attends Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. What a great group!
Nobody wants to be in the Emergency Department, but if you need to be there, feel better knowing that the chaos you may be seeing is really very controlled and everything is being done to make your time there as short as possible with the aid of so many trained health professional’s and now Scribes!
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