What To Expect When You Are Working In The ER

March 26, 2015

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Gap Medics students getting excited for their hospital placements! The ER is usually one of the busiest places in any hospital and medical staff working in this department often find themselves treating accident, shooting, stabbing and burn victims all in the course of one day.
If you are considering working in the ER, take a look at some of the more common injuries that you can expect to treat in a day:

In addition to these common scenarios, the extreme cold in winter and the high heat in summer result in different types of weather-related emergencies. 

Winter In The ER – Common Winter Injuries That Require Immediate Attention 

Cold Weather Injuries – The two biggest dangers in high winter stem from the buildup of snow and ice as well as the extremely low temperatures by itself. During winters, patients are often brought in suffering from numbness, discoloration and blistering of their extremities, all of which are signs of frostbite and can result in permanent damage if not tended to immediately. Hypothermia is another serious winter-related emergency that required immediate attention. When working in the ER, you should know how to quickly examine, assess, insulate and treat patients suffering from this life threatening condition.

Injuries From Road Accidents – Build up of snow and ice on the roads can make driving challenging in winter and motor vehicle accidents are a common sight in the ER during this season. While minor road accidents could cause serious but not life-threatening injuries such as bruises or broken bones, major accidents could result in life-threatening injuries including internal bleeding, head injuries and spinal cord injuries.

Injuries From Falling – Injuries from falling are among the top emergency situations brought about by icy winter conditions. ER personnel routinely treat minor injuries such as bruises and bumps as well as more serious injuries including broken bones and trauma to the head.

Summer in the ER – Common Summer Injuries That Require Immediate Attention 

Heatstroke – If extreme cold weather poses a host of problems, the high heat of summer brings along its own dangers. Heatstroke is one of the most common occurrences and ER staff commonly treat patients with mild heatstroke symptoms such as confusion and fainting or more serious symptoms such as seizures. The elderly are more susceptible to becoming victims of heat-related injuries and can suffer permanent damage to the brain and kidneys if they do not receive timely treatment.  

Heat Rash – Prolonged exposure to the intense summer sun can result in heat rash, which shows up as clusters of red raised areas commonly seen on the neck, arms, upper chest and other parts of the body that are left uncovered. While a mild case of heat rash may just cause some discomfort, severe heat rash can be severely painful and needs to be treated as quickly as possible.

Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training. 

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