Emergency Department patient monitors provide comfort and care

Beth Campbell, from Quispamsis, was in Miramichi visiting an elderly relative, and ended up at the Emergency Department (ED) at Horizon’s Miramichi Regional Hospital.

She follows the news, is aware of the delays in EDs across the country, and expected a long wait, but what she didn’t expect, was the extra care and attention she and her family member received while waiting.

“We knew the wait would be long, but this was the best option at the time because my relative’s family doctor was away on vacation and we didn’t want to wait for them to return,” Beth said.

After registering, Beth’s family member was triaged at a non-urgent level – as expected – which is when they first met the ED patient monitor.

“The monitor was absolutely sweet, she was a UNB Nursing student. We first saw her when we went in to see the triage nurse, who was also lovely.”

After triage, Beth and her relative took a seat in the waiting room, and the patient monitor came over to see them

“She asked if either of us wanted water, and my relative was cold, so she brought her a warm blanket, and wrapped it all around her.”

Beth said there weren’t many people waiting but knew that was no indication of what was going on in the ED.

“The nurses and doctors are run off their feet, they don’t have time to come check on us. She took initiative, above and beyond,” said Beth. “Just water and warm blankets – but it helped so much to have someone come and check on us.”

After about four hours of waiting, Beth asked the patient monitor if she knew how much longer it would be.

“I told her ‘I totally understand it’s busy,’ and she told me ‘I’ll go find out’.”

She promptly returned and brought them back to see the triage nurse again, who checked Beth’s relative’s vitals again. The triage nurse and patient monitor moved Beth and her loved one to a private room in the ED. Then the patient monitor grabbed a couple fresh warming blankets and a pillow.

“She wrapped my family member right up, it was so sweet,” Beth said. “Being with an elderly person who doesn’t quite understand, it helped.”

The ED patient monitors are currently being piloted at Horizon’s Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton, The Moncton Hospital, Miramichi Regional Hospital, Saint John Regional Hospital and Upper River Valley Hospital in Waterville.

Patients and families can identify the ED patient monitors by their dark blue vests. This new 24-7 program is just one initiative that aligns with the Provincial Health Plan to take immediate action to stabilize our health care system.

“When you’re waiting and waiting and have no idea how long you’re going to wait, you feel like you’re just a number,” Beth said. “But to have her come and check in on us, offer us water and get warm blankets and a pillow – it really did help.”