EMU is ED’s short stay ward. This 8 bed area is utilised for patients that need more than 4 hours in ED and up to 24 hours. It is not a space to be used for patients awaiting specialist review, unless they are likely to go home after this review. Examples of suitable patients are cellulitis, renal colic, minor head injuries and gastroenteritis. Unsuitable patients include elderly patient with many co-morbidities or patients with significant dementia or behavioural concerns.
EMU is run as a closed unit, and therefore all admissions to EMU must be approved by the Resource Consultant for the shift. Once in EMU patient care is continued by the Resource Consultant and the allocated JMO.
Each day an intern or resident will be assigned to the EMU for the 8am and 3pm shifts. The role of this doctor is to support the Resource Consultant. There should be a morning ward round review of the cases with the consultant to ensure there is a management plan for the duration of the patient’s stay on EMU. A second round will occur during the evening shift to monitor progress and update plans.
Additionally, during the day the EMU JMO will be responsible for working up any new patients that are directly placed into EMU. They are to liaise with allied health and nursing staff. They are also responsible for safe discharge planning and creating of discharge summaries in HCS.
Once the EMU patients are organised the intern can assist in Fast Track or in the main department as time allows. They should discuss with the Resource Consultant as to their next job.