Responsibilities of an Emergency Room (ER) Doctor

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Doctors who treat patients in emergency rooms are often known as emergency physicians. Their job involves treating patients who are in critical condition, often in a highly stressful environment. Their primary concern is to stabilize the patient once he/ she is bought into the hospital. Once the patient is stable, they can go on to refer the patient to other relevant departments. For instance, if a patient comes in with a severely bleeding head injury, it is the responsibility of the ER doctor to stop the bleeding first. Once they are able to stop the bleeding, they can go on to refer the patient to other relevant departments such as neurology for further investigations.

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While the specific rules and regulations regarding the responsibilities of ER doctors can vary from country to country, state to state or hospital to hospital, the basic parameters set for these doctors are more or less universal. One of the most fundamental responsibilities of an ER doctor is to make quick and accurate judgments once a patient comes into an ER. As emergency rooms are usually high-stress environments, doctors need the ability to keep calm and make swift, precise decisions. Long standing experience and thorough medical knowledge will help doctors to be efficient in such tense situations. They need to decide whether to discharge the patient or admit them and the course of treatment the medical staff will follow. For instance, if a patient comes in with multiple medical issues, it is the responsibility of the ER doctor to prioritize and decide which issue should be treated first in order to save the patient’s life.

Moreover, treating a patient in an Emergency Room is a team effort. An ER doctor will often work as a member of a team of consultants, nurses and aides. So. it is the responsibility of the ER doctor to keep everyone informed about what’s going on in the Emergency Room and get everyone to work together.

An ER doctor should have the ability to perform a wide range of medical procedures. This is especially important because the medical issues of patients that comes into an ER can vary and most often be unexpected. It can be a simple knife wound on a finger to an arm severed by a chainsaw. So, it is the responsibility of ER doctors to be equipped to handle any sort of situation.

Some other general responsibilities of ER doctors are specified by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). According to them, it is the responsibility of ER doctors to practice medicine in an ethical method using contemporary medical principles. ER doctors must also engage in continuous learning and stay up to date on the latest medical practices, skills and knowledge. It states that it is the responsibility of the ER doctors to maintain professionalism within the Emergency Room and reflect it through their attire, work ethic, behavior and reliability. ER doctors must also have a general understanding about administrative workings such as coding and reimbursement, recruiting costs, training costs, billing and coding costs and so on. Another fundamental responsibility of ER doctors is to abide by federal and state legislature relating to the practice of emergency medicine such as the EMTALA in the United States.