Er Technician: a Glimpse Into an Overlooked Profession

In: English and Literature

Submitted By amcook
Words 2239
Pages 9
Jay, an Emergency Room Technician, is walking into work. It is 6:40 am, his shift starts at 7 am but he is required to clock-in earlier and attend the “shift huddle” (the huddle is where the incoming staff gets any pertinent information about what happened during the previous shift). It is 7:05 am, the huddle is over and Jay is checking the assignment sheet to see where in the department he is going to be working. At this emergency department, the nurses and techs will work in one of the four sections: A-pod (for the medium acuity patients, and it also houses the psychiatric patients), B-pod (where high acuity patients such as respiratory or cardiac arrest patients go), C-pod (for low acuity patients…it is kind of like an urgent care), or Start.
Today, Jay is assigned to the start desk; this is the area that processes incoming patients after they have registered to be seen at the ER. Jay will work closely with a nurse to help triage people coming into the ER, and to watch over patients in the waiting room. Jay’s primary responsibility is to take an initial set of vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and oxygen saturation levels) on every person that comes in for treatment, and notify the nurse if any of those vital signs are abnormal. He will also help to take patients to their room once they are assigned one, help answer any questions, escort visitors, and to perform an electrocardiogram (EKG) on any patient that has a chief complaint warranting such a test. Being at the start desk is not an easy task. “It is a crucial job to be up front, you have to know when a patient’s vital signs are not normal and be able to look at a patient and immediately determine that they are sick or not (M., 2015).” During this shift, the ER is busy but things are going fairly well. There is a steady stream of patients coming in the door, and the waiting room…...

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