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And How To Prevent Having To Go!

by Fred Voon

Pub Date: June 17th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-77-760341-0
Publisher: FriesenPress

A debut manual offers a behind-the-scenes look at hospital emergency departments.

The emergency department of a hospital can be a covert, intimidating place. The aim of this guide written by Voon, a physician trained in emergency medicine, is to demystify the ED. While the author’s slant is specific to Canadian hospitals, this book is likely to be helpful to patients wondering about any ED’s inner workings. Voon very effectively parts the curtains, beginning with an overview of how the ED functions, from triage and registration through medical assessments and treatment. Some of the more informative details in Part 1 are found in the sidebars; they cover myths (for example, being brought to the ED by ambulance does not mean a patient is seen faster), what the numbers on a monitor mean, common medical tests, and more. Part 2 acknowledges arguably the biggest downside of EDs—the wait. Here, Voon empathetically explains some of the reasons there is typically such a long wait, the most critical being the “worst first” strategy: “The main goal of the ED staff is to check for, rule out, and treat potentially life and limb-threatening conditions first.” He also suggests three techniques to reduce anxiety while waiting. In Part 3, the author delivers insights into ED physicians by discussing why they enjoy their jobs. In addition, he provides descriptions of the roles of the staff as well as the basic layout of an ED. All of this detail serves to allay fears of the unknown. Part 4 may be of the most immediate value because Voon shares his assessment of certain serious symptoms and “what we worry about” in the ED. Included in this section is the author’s sensible advice on less acute symptoms and what they might mean, a fairly comprehensive list of over-the-counter medications everyone should have at home, and helpful tips for common conditions. Budding medical practitioners may be especially intrigued by the “maneuvers that are as easy as party tricks to try for problems that sometimes bring people to the ED.” The writing is down-to-earth and the content practical.

Authoritative, illuminating, and calming health care advice.