While there are a LOT of people excited about Altru’s new hospital, there may not be a team more excited about it than the Emergency Department (ED). This team is looking forward to additional space, better flow, a more efficient way of operating, upgraded equipment, all leading to an enhanced experience for patients.
Three Emergency Department team members, all who were involved in the design of the new ED, look ahead to what we can expect in Altru’s future hospital. Leigh LaRoque, RN, trauma program manager; Kelsey Bruess, RN; and Kelly Maag, RN, share their insights.
Question: How will the Emergency Department in the new hospital transform care for patients and visitors?
Kelsey: The triage area will allow for more space and comfort for patients and visitors while waiting for an ER bed. We also will have more ER rooms, which will help patients be seen more quickly by providers. Finally, updated equipment and a new space with better flow will facilitate effective and efficient care for our patients.
Leigh: From a trauma perspective, the physical layout of the ED in the new hospital will enable staff to provide trauma care in an efficient manner. Emergency medical services (ambulance and life flight personnel) will have a private route to transport injured patients directly to trauma rooms, so they will not need to bring patients through the ED. The future trauma rooms are spacious, allowing staff plenty of room to work. The rooms are adjacent to radiology and the operating room, reducing transport times to key areas. The lab is also nearby, which will decrease the time it takes to obtain blood products in emergent situations.
Kelly: The new ER will be monumental for patient care in the ED. It will allow us to have more state-of-the-art equipment to help better serve our patients and will allow for better patient flow. I also envision our patients and visitors will appreciate a more comfortable and modern space.
Question: How will the new Emergency Department allow the Altru team to work more efficiently?
Kelsey: Just one way we will be able to work more efficiently is through the combining of nurses’ and doctors’ stations, allowing for better collaboration among the treatment team.
Leigh: In addition to what I shared about how care will be transformed for patients, which is in large part due to design efficiencies, each trauma room will have equipment and storage for supplies, enabling the team to provide life-saving care in a timely manner.
Kelly: The new ER and ambulance bays will allow for better flow, making our care much more efficient because access to scans and imaging will be close by.
Question: What are you most excited about (or most looking forward to) for the ED in the new hospital?
Leigh: I am excited for our team to have the opportunity to provide world-class trauma care in a state-of-the-art facility.
Kelsey: I cannot wait for a larger space to care for our patients and visitors, the observation unit being connected to the ED, and increased security measures.
Kelly: As a SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) nurse, I am looking forward to having a space dedicated for sexual assault patients. I am also excited to have rooms that will be more user friendly, allowing us to work more efficiently while caring for our patients.
Question: What makes your job worth it?
Leigh: It is a privilege to help people when they are experiencing a traumatic event. When a patient or family member takes the time to say thank you, it absolutely makes my job worth it.
Kelsey: Our team in the ER is incredible. We all work together so well, and we're a big family. We see patients during some of their worst moments but can help transform those moments into some of their best moments. We get to share these times with our coworkers.
Kelly: I love being a nurse. I believe this is the career path I am meant to be on, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I have seen a lot of transitions within this health system. The new hospital will be the most exciting one yet!