Former hospital employee opens up about ER wait times

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. – After seeing recent WINK News stories involving patients frustrated with long wait times at the Cape Coral Hospital emergency room, former Lee Memorial Health System employee Kelly Lynn wanted to set the record straight about the people who work in the chaotic environment.

“I want people to understand what we think behind the scenes, what’s going on behind those walls where you can’t see us. It’s a totally different view than you might have sitting in that ER for several hours,” Lynn told WINK News Tuesday.

Lynn worked as an emergency room technician at Cape Coral Hospital from 2001-2010. He says while many people may complain about ER staff members, they’re working harder than you may think.

“It looks like there’s a bunch of people just wandering around doing nothing, but in reality they’re all going from one point to anther to try to accomplish what they need so we can get this patient out or so we can get this patient upstairs,” said Lynn.

Lynn says it’s important people remember the most critical patients are treated first. He says he often saw people come to the ER when they didn’t need to; for example, someone with long term back pain.

“It happens all the time. I’m sorry, but your back pain for six months isn’t a critical incident at that point. It’s frustrating because we can’t really just walk up to a patient and tell them ‘Look, you don’t really need to be here’,” he said.

Lynn says those patients often end up taking up valuable space, using beds that could be used for patients with more severe injuries or illnesses.

“We’re trying to do the best we can… but sometimes we’re just hamstrung by the fact that we don’t have the room. We don’t have a place to put them.”

Lee Memorial says staffing in their emergency departments is higher than the national average, and they’re on track to add 63 more beds system-wide by the end of the year.

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