Well, lots has happened since I was last here. My hospital up and moved (all of a couple hundred meters away, but moved nonetheless) to a bigger facility in Jun…and the saying “If you build it, they will come” has been shown to be true in spades. Patient visits to our ER have been increasing by roughly 25% per month, each month, since moving.
I’ve just returned from #CAPA2017, our National Physician Assistant Conference, held over the weekend passed in Ottawa. Had a great time, met some new folks in the profession, some old buddies/budyettes, and I presented a lecture as part of the conference. We had people visiting from far and wide, not just within Canada – colleagues from Ireland, the US, The Netherlands, and New Zealand were in attendance as well.
I will be off yet again this coming weekend on an advocacy “mission” to discuss PA deployment to British Columbia (my home province) with MLA’s from the BC Legislature. There was supposed to be a pilot project initiated in 2010/11, but for one reason or other, fell by the wayside – time to get that up and running yet again.
So, our new hospital…the place is much bigger than the previous model – size wise. Our ED has in fact tripled in bed numbers – we have 14 exam beds, 2 resuscitation rooms and 4 special care beds (which we can’t open due to staffing). There are 4 minor treatment area beds as well. One of our exam rooms is also our psychiatric seclusion room for severely agitated patients. There are two internal waiting rooms within the dept – a double edged sword really, as people can actually see how busy we really are (even if we don’t look it when all the beds are full); however, it puts people in a position to cause more problems if they feel they’re being ignored or having had to wait what they feel is too long compared to others.
One of the problems with the new hospital is that we don’t have a lot of new ward beds compared to the previous facility…which usually results in us in the ED becoming an extension of the wards, slowing ED through put. What’s old is new again when it comes to bed blocking – I’ve gone on three days off to find people still there when I start my next rotation…that shouldn’t be. The powers that be felt that nice, single occupancy rooms were better than actually increasing bed numbers. This could be offset by taking away acute care capability in some of the peripheral facilities and making them transitional care or outright PCH beds, but there needs to be a political will to do this unfortunately…and directive leadership. More to follow.
Our national conference grows annually – each year more people come out, we get more and better presentations and most importantly, we get to network with our colleagues elsewhere in the country and abroad. The networking helps us bring things to negotiating tables about opening up PA positions in other provinces or even Health Regions by showing data of what others are doing elsewhere and how they’re helping patients in their jurisdictions. Us older folks also get to meet the people that are following in our footsteps, set up some mentoring if need be if they’re nearby. It also gives people a chance to check out different career avenues within the profession by specialty – pros/cons of each, working environments, etc.
My presentation seemed to go over well – there were more people signed up for it than were seats available in the lecture venue I was given. I learned a lot doing the work for it – in fact learned a few new things and evidence reinforced what I know works from an anecdotal side of things. There was a lot of positive feedback from audience members later on in the day – made me feel good about it all.
Well, that’s it for now – promise to come back sooner next time, lol.