Emergency Department Q & A
Dr. Chadwick Miller, Emergency Medicine Expert
Q: What are the top 10 conditions seen in the Emergency Department at Wake Forest Baptist Health?
A: Chest pain, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, headache, vomiting, fractures/sprains, syncope or fainting, motor vehicle accidents, fevers/cough and infections such as cold/flu.
Q: What are your wait times?
A: We have an excellent triage group that accesses each patient as they walk in the door, so wait times are 0 minutes for several potentially life-threatening conditions such as chest pain, stroke, etc. For example, if you come into the Emergency Department with chest pain, you are going to be assessed promptly by our staff and undergo EKG testing within minutes of your arrival. We will do some blood work to determine whether you've had a heart attack and begin the appropriate treatment. Patients coming to our emergency department with important but less serious illnesses may be triaged to our Fast Track area.
Q: What is a Level I Trauma center? What does that mean?
A: There is a strict certification process that hospitals must go through to achieve a Level I status - the bar is set very high. That's why there are only a few Level I trauma centers in the state. It means that we offer the highest level of expertise and care to treat the most serious injuries and illnesses. It also means that we have trauma surgeons who specialize in treating traumatic injuries and experts in fields such as orthopaedics, hand surgery and neurosurgery to care for these patients. In many of these areas, Wake Forest Baptist Health houses national leaders with expertise in patient care, research and education.
It also means we offer the latest diagnostic capabilities, including both CT and MRI suites, which enables us to quickly assess and treat a patient.
Q: Why should I choose Wake Forest Baptist Health in an emergency situation?
A: You should choose Wake Forest Baptist Health in any situation because you want the very best care. In an emergency situation, when you or a loved one is in trouble, it's best to seek care at a place that can handle the worst case scenario. Hopefully, you or your family member won't need it, but it's nice to know you are covered if you do. Our Emergency Department works closely with the experts in our state-of-the-art heart center, our nationally-recognized stroke center and many other areas. Over 100 of our physicians were named as Best Doctors in the nation last year. As a Level I trauma center, we will provide the highest level of care available in the nation.
Q: Wake Forest Baptist uses team-based care in their Emergency Department. What does team-based care mean?
A: It means that at all times an attending physician (board-certified in Emergency Medicine), leads a team consisting of residents (doctor who is doing additional training in Emergency Medicine), a PA (physician's assistant) or NP (Nurse Practitioner), and a nurse to help ease each patient's discomfort and pull them through the acute situation that landed them in the Emergency Department. This team is very cohesive and is trained to communicate well. Having several people attend to each patient helps the patient receive timely, appropriate care and get back to the comfort of their home.
Q: How many doctors do you have working in the Emergency Department?
A: We have over 30 physicians in Emergency Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center with experience in different areas such as cardiology, neurology, orthopaedics, trauma, pediatrics, etc. A complete list of doctors, who staff the Emergency Department, can be found here.
Q: How many Emergency Medicine physicians conduct research or teach students?
A: A number of faculty members are nationally recognized for their research in Emergency Medicine. And more work to teach and train the next generation of Emergency Room physicians each year. Our physicians currently staff a number of EDs in the western half of the state including those at Cone Health, Wilkes Regional Medical Center, Alamance Medical Center, and Lexington Medical Center.
Dr. Chadwick Miller is an emergency department physician and the interim chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.