Saturday, July 26, 2008 | At Scripps Mercy Hospital’s emergency room in Hillcrest, doctors see an average of 2.2 patients an hour with everything from gunshot wounds and drug overdoses to urinary tract infections and sore throats.
Dr. Valerie Norton knows that life well. She served as medical director of emergency services at Scripps Mercy for three years until this month, when another doctor rotated into the position. A 17-year veteran of emergency medicine, she remains on duty and spoke with voiceofsandiego.org about the changing world of the E.R., the effects of the health-care crisis and the waiting room.
How is the crisis in the health-care system being reflected in the E.R?
We have fewer hospitals, fewer hospital beds, fewer emergency departments and a severe nursing shortage.