Caring for Patients in CUH ED

Siobhan Scanlon, Assistant Director of Nursing, explains the priorities for staff engaging with patients arriving into the ED at CUH

The Emergency Department exists to support the vital, lifesaving work that happens at Cork University Hospital every minute of every day. It is there for all people and all conditions.

Often patients sent into hospital for emergency admission usually have little time for choice, nor the control and self-determination that go with it.

What is done in those first few minutes and hours determines not only whether the patient will survive; but how quickly and completely health and independence might be restored.

Patients and the public expect to receive high quality, safe care where and when they need it. Our goal of patient-centred care is about treating patients with dignity, respect and compassion. Being kind is fundamental to providing care; we stress the importance of being kind to our patients and kind to each other every day.


Team spirit is defined by feelings of camaraderie among members of the group, enabling them to cooperate and work well together; this is crucial to our work environment.

We feel blessed by the generations of staff who work so hard for our patients and for each member on the team. Some are starting out on their career; others have learnt through life and professional experience and give back to others.

Staff who manage the Department 24/7, promote the virtues of kindness, empathy and compassion when carrying out their duties within the Emergency Care Setting.

Each element in the sequence of patient care delivery by staff in the Emergency Department is vital to safe care.

Teamwork at the heart of patient care

There is an overwhelming sense of teamwork across all disciplines, and an appreciation that by working together, we achieve our goal of delivering the best care and outcomes for our patients.

This starts with the accurate inputting of information and reassuring smile from reception staff, and the sense of feeling safe thanks to the reassuring presence of our security staff. It also includes the cleanliness of the department or that cup of tea in the middle of the night provided by housekeeping, and the prompt transport of patients to theatre or the cardiac lab by our portering team.

This is our primary moral value held by the Emergency Department. We sense check each other, informally and through interdisciplinary meetings. Our staff are supported by various professional bodies and we invest in education, audit and research work.

While we work to do the most for the most in an increasingly technologically advanced and complex care environment, we strive to deliver individualised care, with the patient at the heart of all we do.

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