Emergency Department Saw Over 111,000 Patients

Adam Vinet, Manager, Emergency/Trauma Services. Part of patient care includes keeping the waiting area clean and comfortable. A Family CARE Grant helped replace worn and cracking chairs.
Adam Vinet, Manager, Emergency/Trauma Services. Part of patient care includes keeping the waiting area clean and comfortable. A Family CARE Grant helped replace worn and cracking chairs.

Adam Vinet, Manager, Emergency/Trauma Services. Part of patient care includes keeping the waiting area clean and comfortable. A Family CARE Grant helped replace worn and cracking chairs.
Adam Vinet, Manager, Emergency/Trauma Services. Part of patient care includes keeping the waiting area clean and comfortable. A Family CARE Grant helped replace worn and cracking chairs.

New Chairs in Waiting Area in Emergency Department

THUNDER BAY – Healthbeat – The Emergency Department at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre saw over 111,000 patients in 2012, making it one of the busiest in the province and perhaps the country. Patients are seen based on their immediate medical need, so people with life-threatening injuries are obviously seen first. That means someone else with a less severe injury – a sprained ankle, for example – might be waiting for several hours. 

Not only does the Emergency Department want to provide the absolute best medical care, said Adam Vinet, Manager, Emergency/Trauma Services, it’s important to keep the area welcoming, comfortable, and clean for those waiting. That can be a tall order when you see over 300 patients per day on average, along with their family members and loved ones.

Some of the most visible signs of wear and tear are the places patients sit. Over time, chairs in the waiting room become cracked and worn, or in some cases vandalized. Holes develop, making them unattractive and uncomfortable. 

“That’s not nice for people to sit on,” Vinet said. “We want people to be as comfortable as possible when they are waiting.”

There are 60 chairs in the main waiting area, plus several more throughout the patient care areas inside the Emergency Department. Thanks to a Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation / Volunteer Association Family CARE Grant, 10 of the worst chairs will be replaced with brand new ones. 

It’s interesting to note that old chairs aren’t thrown out. Instead, they are returned to the manufacturer, who can reuse parts of the chair including the frame. The Emergency Department is given credit for these chairs, which allows them to purchase future ones at a discount. It is much cheaper and easier than re-upholstering the chairs in-house.

“Part of patient care is making the experience as easy as possible for them. Patients, not to mention their family members, are often in distress. As surprising as it may sound, creating a more pleasant environment for waiting patients can help relieve some of that stress,” Vinet said. 

Family CARE Grants like this one are designed to help improve patient care – and patient comfort – at the Health Sciences Centre. These grants are 100% supported by donations to the Health Sciences Foundation and Volunteer Association, providing up to $60,000 in available funding every year.

You can help fund future projects like this one with your own donation today! For more information, please visit us online at www.HealthSciencesFoundation.ca/FamilyCARE or call us at (807) 345-4673. Thank you! 

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