In my drug-addled state, I completely forgot to point out the conversation in the comments of this post, including some very insightful, thoughtful comments by faithful reader Zoe. Please check them out. Excerpt:
One last thing (I’m coming off nights, and I’m tired…need sleep!)…one of the biggest struggles we had was not from within the ER itself. Imho, despite the question of “what’s wrong with emergency” being raised repeatedly over the years, I am of the opinion that there is NOTHING wrong with emergency. We actually function quite well, and quite efficiently. Think of a shift you worked when there happened to be ample beds available, and there were few admits in the dept. Think hard, I know it was probably a long time ago… What were wait times like? I’m guessing wait times were minimal. That’s because (and it bears repeating) THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT! We are accustomed to dealing with volume, and we know how to get things to flow smoothly. The problem is getting the rest of the hospital to play along. The struggle and fight is from imaging, x-ray, lab, cardiology, the wards, and physicians not from the ER. There, I said it.
Amen, and thank you.