Scott Memorial ER and radiology teams make the difference for patients

October 15, 2020

Emil Trial (80), a resident of Scottsburg, Indiana, would have preferred not to have needed emergency room care in early August 2020. But he says what he experienced at Scott Memorial Health helped make a painful experience as pleasant as it could possibly be. “Nobody could ask for better treatment than I received,” he says.

Dr. Ray Carter
Dr. Ray Carter

Emil began having severe back pain and went to the Scott Memorial emergency room with his wife. The emergency room physician, Dr. Ray Carter, wanted to get a CT scan of Emil’s back so that he would have a clear idea of what was going on, but Emil says, “The pain was so great, it was impossible for me to lie down flat.”

Dr. Carter coordinated with other Scott Memorial staff members to figure out a way to get a CT scan done to provide both answers to the pain problem and an idea of how to provide Emil some relief. Emil says it took three individuals to hold his body into the correct position for his scan. “They were so conscientious,” he says. While every patient would love for their health care professionals to go the extra mile, Emil says the staff at Scott Memorial Health went an extra 10 miles that day.

Amanda Huffman, director of emergency services at Scott Memorial, says staff understand the fear that patients have coming to the emergency room in general, but especially during a pandemic. “Patients are at their most vulnerable,” she says. “They are scared and [due to COVID] have to come in by themselves.” She says nurses, doctors, and everyone who tends to patients while they are in the emergency room try to make extra connections with patients and keep families up-to-date by texting and calling.

The Scott Memorial emergency room staff pays close attention to its through-put rates, including the time between when a patient arrives and is registered, as well as the time it takes between registration, triage, and seeing a physician. Even before COVID, Scott Memorial implemented a direct bedding policy, which always applies to patients with chest pain or stroke symptoms and is intended to keep as few patients as possible in the waiting room.

Some patients may want to avoid emergency room care even when they need it out of fear of COVID. But the Scott Memorial staff urges people not to delay life-saving care and wants to reassure the community that the team carefully cleans and disinfects all rooms and furnishings between patients. Nurses and physicians utilize appropriate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) and do not wear exposed scrubs or re-wear PPE between patients.

Amanda says the Scott Memorial staff doesn’t just work there; they live in the community, which is why they make a point to always try to go above and beyond. “This is their home,” she says. “Most of my full-time staff live, were raised, or have family in Scott County.”