Welcome to the Emergency Department and Emergency Medicine – the speciality which covers ‘the most interesting 15minutes of all other specialities’.

Working as a junior doctor or medical student in the Emergency Department is very different to the ward. You will be expected to assess, diagnose and treat patients before ensuring they go to the right destination. You will caring for the sickest patients in the hospital and will have to make decisions rapidly and without the results of bloods and x-rays.

Sounds scary?

Don’t worry, you’ll have the support of a team of senior doctors, nurses and colleagues all working together!

As a medical student it is important you get a feel for how the Emergency Department works and links into the primary care, pre-hospital and hospital inpatient teams.

Sound interesting….?

Watch the video below about how to approach a patient in ED and try to observe these golden rules when you work in the Emergency Department.

Always Remember:

  1. Respect those around you and value their opinion
  2. The History is everything
  3. There are 4 key treatments we give in the ED – think whether every patient you see needs any of these and you will save lives and relieve pain
    • Oxygen
    • Fluids
    • Analgesia
    • Antibiotics
  4. Think ‘What difference have I made to this patient?’
  5. No patient (almost) wants to be in the ED.
  6. Spend twice as long with patients you don’t like or don’t get on with.
  7. Look the part.
  8. Be on time.
  9. Take your breaks – eat when you can and drink water when you can’t.
  10. Enjoy yourself…

Ian Beardsell, St Emlyns Blog 

Assessing the sick patient from SEMEP on Vimeo.