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Overcrowding in Emergency Room

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THE EFFECTS OF OVERCROWDING IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM MICHELLE POWELL MSN –BL 510: NURSING PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS DEVELOPMENT MAY 20, 2012 PROFESSOR NKECHI ILEKA

The Emergency department provides an extraordinary important public service mission by providing emergency care 24 hours a day, 365 days per year without discrimination by social or economic status (Derlet, Richards & Kravitz, 2001). One of the key foundations of EDs is to provide immediate access and stabilization for those patients with medical emergencies (Derlet et al, 2001). The Emergency Department has always been there available to help, unfortunately the basic tenet is now being challenged, and the general public may no longer be able to rely on EDs for quality and timely emergency care, placing the people at risk (Favotich & Hirsch, 2003). According to the Emergency Nurses Association all people are entitled to timely and appropriate access to safe and effective health care. This paper will discuss the problem of overcrowding in the Emergency Room and strategies that the Nurse leader may do to help control overcrowding. Overcrowding in the emergency department (ED) is the most serious issue confronting EDs in the developed world (Favotich & Hirsch, 2003). Overcrowding is a situation “in which the demand for emergency services exceeds the ability of department to provide quality care with acceptable time frames (Joint Commission Resources). According to the Emergency Nurses Association, emergency department crowding is a hospital-wide dilemma caused by factors that extent far beyond the hospital itself (Emergency nurses association, 1989). When emergency department crowding occurs, the number of patients in need of care outweighs the availability of resources, potentially...

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