If you, or someone you know, is ever sick or injured and needs emergency help, remember—there are lots of people who are specially trained to help you get better! Meet some of them here.
Emergency physicians are doctors who are specially trained to take care of a certain type of patient, emergency patients. Doctors who are specially trained are often called "specialists." Emergency physicians specialize in helping people who are injured in accidents or who become sick very suddenly, such as someone who is having a heart attack or has a very high fever.
Often referred to as PAs, physician assistants are licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. Formally trained to provide diagonostic, theraputic, and preventative health care services, physician assistants take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and X-rays, and make diagnoses.
If you were a patient in the emergency room, an emergency nurse would probably the first person you'd see. One of the nurse's jobs is to ask you questions about your problem, and help decide when you can see the doctor. Emergency nurses are specially trained to help treat emergency patients.
Paramedics are EMTs with the highest level of training. They are able to perform many medical procedures at the scene of the emergency, or in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Using a radio to communicate, paramedics often get instructions from a doctor at the emergency room or at the base station (the paramedic's headquarters.)
Emergency Medical Technicians
Emergency medical technicians, sometimes called " EMTs," have different amounts of training, depending on their job. Sometimes EMTs are dispatchers, who answer calls for help and send ambulances and rescue vehicles to the scene of the emergency. Other EMTs drive the ambulance, assist with rescues, and perform basic emergency medical care.
Police officers and fire fighters are some of the other people that might help you, especially if you had to be rescued.
In Case of Emergency: DIAL 9-1-1
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- DIAL 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. If you don't know the emergency number, dial O for the operator.
- TELL the dispatcher about what happened. Be calm and speak slowly.
- Explain the type of emergency.
- Give your name and the phone number of the telephone you are using.
- Give the exact address of the emergency.
- You'll have to ANSWER questions like:
- Is anyone hurt? How many victims? Is the injured person conscious? Are they breathing? Can the injured people talk?
- Can they move? Is there a fire? Is anyone trapped?
- LISTEN to the instructions the dispatcher gives you.
- Don't hang up until the dispatcher tells you to. Don't leave the scene of the emergency until help arrives.
The American College of Emergency Physicians is a national medical society representing more than 19,000 physicians who specialize in emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to improving the quality of emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education.