A pediatric emergency room is an urgent medical care center geared specifically to the needs of children. Children can always be treated in standard emergency rooms, but the advantage to a pediatric emergency room is that the doctors and medical staff are specially trained in emergency medicine for young people, usually anyone from newborns to teenagers. Much of the medical equipment and medication available in pediatric emergency rooms is specifically designed for smaller patients, as well.
Emergency rooms, or ERs, are a part of almost every hospital. They provide after-hours and emergency care in case of accident or sudden illness. When ambulances pick up patients, those patients are usually taken directly to the ER of the nearest hospital. Many of the largest hospitals have dedicated pediatric emergency rooms that act as divisions of the primary ER. In a children’s hospital, the primary ER is a pediatric ER.
The most common place to find a pediatric emergency room is in a children’s hospital. Children’s hospitals operate just like ordinary hospitals, except that most of the patients are children. The doctors and nurses on staff are all trained in pediatric medicine, and understand many of the nuances of how children’s bodies work, how children react to specific medical treatments, and how to explain illnesses and procedures to children and parents. When children are in medical crisis or have sustained an injury, they are commonly brought to the pediatric emergency room at a children’s hospital.
Some general hospitals also have pediatric emergency rooms. Once a child arrives in a general emergency room and passes through triage, he or she may be directed to a pediatric emergency room, provided there is such a facility available. If the child’s ailments are minor, the child might also be treated by a general emergency room physician. All doctors have at least some training in pediatric medicine. The advantage to pediatric emergency room services is that pediatric emergency medicine is all that the doctors based there handle.
A pediatric emergency room visit is usually a bit different than a regular emergency room visit for other reasons, too. Most importantly, the tools, instruments, and medical machines in a pediatric emergency room are typically more child-sized than those in ERs geared primarily towards adults. Many of the treatments and procedures offered are also designed to be child-friendly. Waiting rooms and in-patient rooms are often decorated in ways that are appealing to children, and staff usually take strides to make health care fun — particularly when it may be painful.
Having to take a child to an emergency and urgent care center is often an emotional and sometimes frightening experience. The primary goal of a pediatric emergency room is to provide children with the best medical and diagnostic care available. Pediatric care centers cannot promise cures or treatments, but they more often than not impart peace of mind and confidence, in parents and the wider health care community alike.