"I work at multiple hospitals, most of which are pediatric emergency departments. One is a tertiary center that is supposed to accept most of the sick pediatric patients in the city that need to be admitted. Most of my shifts lately, we’ve been on divert, meaning our hospital is too full to accept pediatric patients from outlying non-pediatric hospitals. This means, sick children are stuck waiting in emergency departments that aren’t equipped to take care of sick kids. This pediatric emergency department has 15 beds, and most days we have multiple (6-10) patients boarding in the emergency department because the hospital is full. This means we only have a handful of beds to see new patients waiting. Our waiting room is often at least 20 children or more, waiting upwards of 8 hours to be seen. This is not safe.
This means, sick children are stuck waiting in emergency departments that aren’t equipped to take care of sick kids.
To give another view, I also work at a suburban pediatric emergency department at a hospital that only has five inpatient pediatric beds, which means we have to transfer to other hospitals frequently. Given most of our pediatric hospitals are full, we often cannot find another hospital to accept our sick pediatric patients, and they stay in the room longer and longer. Or we have to call hospitals outside our city to see if they have openings, forcing families to travel hours to be with their sick child, often leaving parents frustrated and separating parents from their other children who stay at home. We have eight PED beds, so when we have two or three patients waiting for admission and boarding in the EC, we only have five other beds to use. We often have to see children in the hallway, triage area or waiting room."