Parade Magazine and ‘Surviving the ER’

In today’s Parade magazine (bundled with the 3 pounds of newspaper delivered each Sunday) the headline article is:

(as of right now their site is screwed up, so I’m going from memory)

I read it, mostly out of a sense of curiosity, and their highlighted items make sense to me.


  • have a medication list, up to date
  • know your allergies
  • know your doctor’s name
  • have a copy of your EKG (if you’re a heart patient)

And all that makes sense to me.  The other thing they recommend, and which I cautiously endorse, is ‘get staff attention when something changes or it’s been a long time since re-eval’.  Once a year this really pays off for the patient, and it’s appreciated, which is why I cautiously endorse getting attention.  What I would caution, however, is that after you’ve made your concern known, and the complaint has been addressed, most likely nothing is going to change.

It’s a long wait because the resources are limited, no there’s not a bed upstairs yet, and screaming for more attention (as I had to deal with recently) doesn’t make a bed magically appear, it just keeps us from doing anything but listen to your self-important carping.  So, make sure you’re not forgotten but don’t expect that to change anything most of the time.


  1. I like the med/allergy list and EKG ideas the best. Making a trip to Kinko’s and reducing your EKG to the size of a credit card and laminating it has saved many a hospital admission.

  2. What struck me the most in this piece was the admonition to “time” your visit to the ED. The last time I looked, these places were called “EMERGENCY” Departments, not places where you should time your visit to miss the crowd, like taking in a matinee showing of the newest Star Wars flick. That is one of the most basic problems we have in EDs across the country today — they are overcrowded with people who present with non-emergent issues.