Boone Memorial Hospital opened its new facility on June 25th. One of the many new features in the 77,000 square foot facility is its new and improved Emergency Room. The ER now has 12 patient beds, all private, compared to 6 at the former Boone Memorial.
“We also have new technologically advanced equipment and the ER has more than doubled in size,” said Chief Nursing Officer, Terri Castle, RN, BSN. “In addition, our Emergency Room has received permanent designation as a Trauma Level IV facility.”
There are basically 5 designation levels for hospital emergency rooms. A Level IV means a surgeon isn’t on duty but the hospital can transfer a patient immediately, if needed. The Health Net or Air Evac teams can get to BMH within minutes. This allows for a smoother and quicker transfer.
“We have training that allows us to intervene and do life-saving interventions to stabilize a patient and get them to a bigger facility,” explained Castle.
“When other hospitals know you are a Trauma Level IV they know what we can and can’t offer,” she added. “We have higher expectations put forth by the State that we have to accomplish. In addition, we have certifications along with a higher level of training and skills that we have to maintain. These higher expectations and standards for our nurses and the doctors in turn result in a higher level of care for our patients.”
Boone Memorial Hospital staff education has also been enhanced. Every physician in the Emergency Room is ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) certified. Nurses have attended TNCC (Trauma Nurse Core Course) and those on staff are ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) certified. Several nurses have also extended their training in CCT (Critical Care Transport) and CEN (Certified Emergency Nurse).
“They are better prepared to assess, manage and treat trauma quickly and get them to a facility to the extended care they need for on-going treatment,” said Castle.
The hospital is required to complete surveys every 3 years.
“We have policies, protocols and guidelines we have to adhere to,” said Castle. “Everything has been stepped up to a higher level of care and expectations. It’s a challenge but one our staff is well equipped and prepared to handle. Our nurses challenge each other and I’m confident they could function in any emergency room setting.”
Beth Blosser, RN and Quality Control and Trauma Coordinator at Boone Memorial said the trauma designation and training took everyone working together.
“It was truly a team effort. From the Administration to members of the Trauma Committee to additional staff who are always willing to help, we succeeded,” said Blosser. “We have an excellent ER Staff at BMH.”
Virgil Underwood, Chief Executive Officer at Boone Memorial Hospital concluded,
“Our trauma designation is of the utmost importance to us, not only from a liability standpoint but also from patient care and public relations. Our goal is to provide the highest level of emergency care allowed by our level of designation. I commend and thank our staff for doing such an outstanding job.”