My first week in the Emergency Room

YNHH EntranceThis week, I started research in the Yale Pediatric Emergency Department. Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), the only level 1 Trauma center in southern Connecticut. YNHH has more beds than any other hospital in New England. The Pediatric ED sees a large variety of cases, including patients sent from other hospitals.

This summer, I am part of a new Undergraduate Research Associate Program (URAP). The program is being run by Dr. Marc Auerbach and Dr. Gunjan Tiyyagura, and includes 6 other students. My job includes front-line work for various studies that are happening within the Pediatric ED, and a few projects happening off the hospital campus as well. URAP received about thirty project applications for us to work on from faculty across the Department of Pediatrics. Our work includes subject enrollment, interviews, and observation.

Being from New Haven, I have grown up with YNHH as a major part of my life. YNHH is one of the largest employers in New Haven. It is also where I was born. I learned about this internship from a family friend who is an attending at the Pediatric Primary Care Clinic. Through her connections in the pediatrics department, she heard about the new research program. Knowing my goal of becoming a doctor, she suggested I apply. I was very lucky that she informed me of this program, as my strong background as an EMT and Research Methods (PSYC 52) made me an ideal candidate for this program.

My first full week in the ER has been a blast, and a huge learning experience. One of the benefits of the program is that I am allowed to observe doctors and nurses as they do their jobs. I have already seen a number of really interesting cases, including some traumas, a couple of seizures, and a handful of children who were ill. I have already learned a lot, and am looking forward to even more time in the ER.

So far, I have only been oriented to a few studies. I spend quite a bit of time watching the patient tracking board, looking for subjects to enroll. As the summer starts to ramp up, I will be oriented to more studies, increasing the amount I am able to do. One study I started this week is an IV placement quality improvement audit. This study includes observing nurses placing IVs and recording a lot of variables including number of attempts and needle size. Among other things, the study is looking to find whether there is a difference between patients with and without sickle cell anemia.

Example patient tracking board. Picture from www.ed-infomatic.org. All names are examples and not actual patients
Example patient tracking board.
Picture from www.ed-infomatic.org. All names are examples and not actual patients

My experience in the YNHH Pediatric ER is just starting, and I am just starting to feel comfortable in the ER. As I become more used to work in the ER, I will also become more introduced to more research projects. I am very excited for what the summer has in store and to continue the work I started this week.

– Yedidya Ben-Avie, ’15