Folks, ummm, it’s been nuts in the ED. Nuts.
As a bit of background, our ED is exceptionally well-ordered. We have a great director and are generously staffed with plenty of ancillary staff. Us residents do a few rotations at the other, traditionally lower-income ED in town (in truth, the town is painfully poor and both EDs have an unusually high number of uninsured patients, but our hospital provides more specialist services and is thus better funded), and the difference is night and day. Expected wait times at our ED, previous to this surge, were about 30 minutes, and as someone who has worked in more than a handful of hospitals at this time, that is miraculous.
Recently though, for unknown reasons, whoa! Everyone needs and wants care. It must be a statewide thing, because transfers have doubled. Those of you who have worked in food services doubtless know the term, “in the weeds,” and that is where we are consistently at. When I come on shift, we have 20-40 patients in the waiting room, which we patiently clear, but more keep coming. It feels like this when I walk through the waiting room: