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Exceptional Emergency Care with a Personal Touch

A patient shares how he received timely and compassionate care from the Barnes-Jewish West County

May, 2015—When Ric Weinstein was involved in a traffic accident the day before Thanksgiving last year, his first thought was that he was fine, and he refused treatment at the scene. But a few hours later, when his adrenaline started slowing, he had second thoughts about going to the hospital.

“After I started calming down, I started to feel pain in my right wrist and left elbow,” he recalls. “I thought I should probably go to the ER to make sure I was OK before the holiday.”

Weinstein chose Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital’s emergency department knowing that he would receive excellent care in a timely, efficient manner. And he was right.

Within five minutes of his arrival, Weinstein says a technician was asking him questions and getting him ready to be seen by the nurse and doctor. “My nurse, Pat, was one of the sweetest employees you will ever meet,” he says. “She made sure I was comfortable with a pillow and ice for my elbow. She asked several times what could she do to help me.”

Pat Hill, RN, has been a nurse for 21 years, with the last seven spent in the Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital emergency department. She remembers Weinstein’s visit last November. “Sometimes, following an accident, it is not always a simple decision to go to the emergency room,” she says. “But he did the right thing to make sure he hadn’t sustained any serious injuries.”

After an exam by an emergency room physician, Weinstein had X-rays taken, and it was determined nothing was broken. “My X-ray technician really listened and was very calming,” he says.

Weinstein was told by the physician to be prepared for pain that might come later and advised him to see his primary care physician, and to return to the emergency department if he had additional problems. He can’t say enough about his experience, which took less than three hours from his arrival.

“The emergency department is a warm, clean environment,” he says. “The staff really cares about
their patients, everyone listens to your concerns and I never doubted I would have the best possible care.”

It’s this professionalism and compassion that has made the emergency department one of Hill’s favorite places to work during her career. “We’re a small community that makes it possible to know the physicians and staff,” she says. “We have a lot of autonomy to get to know our patients and make the best decisions for them. Patients often come to the emergency department frightened and stressed. It’s gratifying to know that we are here to treat the whole patient and not just the illness.”

When you or a loved one needs emergency medical care, the Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital emergency department provides expert care in a convenient, accessible setting close to home.

Here you will find excellent, compassionate care from Washington University physicians specially trained in emergency medicine, working side-by-side with highly trained nurses and staff. “Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is a small but mighty hospital, which provides each patient and their family with the special care they deserve,” says Kathy Waeckerle, RN, BSN, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital clinical nurse manager for the emergency department. “The emergency department staff works well together and makes the patients feel as if they were home.”

Patients can be seen 24 hours a day, seven days a week for all types of minor illnesses, injuries or follow-ups from physicians’ offices when they are unable to be seen, explains Randall Howell, DO, FAAEM, FACOEP, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital emergency department medical director. “As an emergency medicine physician, we have a very small, limited amount of time to gain both a clinical and personal feeling for a patient. We are all committed to giving the best care with compassion,” Dr. Howell says. “Our empathy and ability to communicate with our patients and their family in a rapid manner and comforting fashion is very important.”

The emergency department welcomes patients of all ages. Although there are no pediatricians or OB/GYN physicians on staff or in the emergency department, there are board-certified family practitioners on staff at the hospital.

If the emergency department is unable to care for patients due to the severity of their illness or injury, the patient is immediately referred or transferred to one of the best hospitals in the country, Barnes-Jewish Hospital or St. Louis Children’s Hospital for pediatric patients, Dr. Howell adds.

“Our patients will find the best care and best compassion of any smaller emergency department in the St. Louis area here at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.”

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