3 Things You Didn’t Know About Being an Emergency Medicine Doctor

An emergency medicine physician, or EM doctor, is an individual that treats every patient who walks into the ER, no matter their situation. Treating everything from a heart attack or trauma from a car accident to a few stitches, these doctors are versatile, good under pressure and are vital to the flow of an emergency room. Here are some things you may not know about EM Doctors: 

They need to be able to treat every patient who comes into the ER. 

EM Doctors treat everything from life-threatening trauma to a few stitches and everything in between. Though EM Doctors are considered a specialty position, these doctors undergo years of additional medical education and residency programs to learn a wide array of medical skills. Of course, these doctors need to work well under pressure and be good multi-taskers, but they also need to be able to treat just about any situation. 

On any given day, an EM Doctor could treat issues ranging from a few stitches to severe abdominal pain, major trauma or a heart attack. Thus, EM doctors need to know how to treat all situations. They need to be skilled at stitches, know when to perform imaging and most importantly, they need to be able to stabilize the patient. 

Before other medical professionals are called in to do their part for the patient, EM doctors may need to perform life-saving measures in order to stabilize the patient. This could include intubation or stopping excessive bleeding and more. EM doctors are incredibly important to the health and well-being of every patient who comes into the ER, no matter how severe their condition is. 

[Here at NorthCrest, our main priority is YOU. Count on us when minutes matter. Learn more at our Emergency Department Website.]

They are different from trauma surgeons. 

Since EM Doctors are tasked to treat every patient who walks in through the ER doors and stabilize them, these doctors are often the first step in a person’s line of medical attention. It’s not until after an initial assessment by an EM doctor that a trauma surgeon may be called in. 

According to the UCLA Medical School Website, trauma surgeons may not even be regularly stationed in the ER. These doctors are primarily called into action when there is a patient suffering from a large trauma and is in need of emergency surgery. Once called in, these doctors will take over the primary care of the patient once they perform surgery. This means they will be involved in post-operation appointments, patient discharge, and rehabilitation. 

They work with a whole team of doctors, technicians, and nurses. 

EM Doctors work with an array of other medical professionals in and outside of the ER. Depending on the patient’s situation, they could meet all or very few of these professionals. Based on the Victoria State Government Healthcare Website, the process works like this:

If you need an ambulance, the first person you will meet is a paramedic. They perform advanced life support while transporting you to the hospital. Once you reach the ER, a triage nurse will assess your situation and send you to the appropriate doctor or nurse. These healthcare professionals include EM doctors (senior specialist doctors), registrars (senior doctors working towards becoming a specialized EM Doctor), interns, nurse practitioners (senior nurses who can treat specific situations) and more. 

If you need imaging done, a technician may perform x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans or ultrasounds, while a radiologist will interpret the imaging tests. While a hospital’s emergency department is a connected network of medical professionals, EM doctors bring many processes full circle in treating a variety of health situations. 

Rest assured that if the time comes when you or a loved one needs to go to the ER, NorthCrest has the very best healthcare professionals. To learn more about our specialties, click here to view our emergency services.