Emergency Department Boarding Stories

Table of Contents

No limits


"We are holding so many admitted patients that we are currently the largest inpatient service in the hospital, which is half empty because there are not enough nurses to staff all beds. We've had days when more than one-third of patients leave without being seen. Wait times in the lobby are unprecedented, as are those for imaging studies and for beds. Psychiatric patients are spending WEEKS in our EDs. We've had many serious safety events, including numerous deaths, due to critical understaffing.

Morale is an at all-time low among nursing and medical staff.

Hospital administration seems to believe these are the fault of the ED and its staff, and not the conditions we are forced to work in.  We keep hearing that our situation is not unique, yet we are in the bottom 1 percentile for patient satisfaction in the country, and hospitals within our system that are located in suburban areas seem to be functioning close to normal. Morale is an at all-time low among nursing and medical staff. As always, the ED is the system's safety net and at the bottom of the totem pole. There appears to be no limits in the eyes of administrators on how many patients we can hold or how hard our staff can work."

Severe overcrowding

Severe overcrowding in ED (HOLDS) and waiting room (WR) (2nd to no ED beds).

Wait list

In a state known for education and health care, MA, we are a small hospital without many resources.

Killing the morale

We have approximately 45 beds but some are dedicated to inpatient holds, and we had 29 boarders the ...

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