Leading an Emergency Department

August is changeover time for junior doctors in the United Kingdom and hospitals of all sizes are welcoming new staff into their departments. In Emergency Medicine it is especially important that new staff are given support and supervision as the hectic nature of our specialty can be challenging. One of the most daunting aspects for junior doctors who have progressed through training far enough to start adopting more senior roles is the task of leading the Emergency Department.

Challenges Ahead

Being doctor-in-charge requires a skill set far greater than clinical knowledge. You must be also be a good communicator, negotiator, and arbitrator. There is a neat little summary of the managerial skills required here by Rick Body from St.Emyln’s. In order to help some of our new registrars Prof. Tim Coats has discussed some of the things he does while doctor-in-charge which we thought we would share:

There is also a podcast 

Please do feedback any additions or suggestions!

3 thoughts on “Leading an Emergency Department”

  1. Really like your “rambles” Damian 🙂 I am finding them particularly helpful now that I have returned to clinical Childrnen’s ED Practice in coventry. I listen to all of them as even the ones specifically aimed at doctors have something for me to take away. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge/skills/experience.

  2. Stimulated by an idea from a colleague we decided to do a sim session on ‘running the floor’ overnight. It was to teach them the value of prioritisation, clear communication and managing a small team.

    This involved simultaneously played out scenarios ranging from dealing with the impending arrival of a sick patient, juggling resus beds with a nurse, addressing a potentially deteriorating, agitated patient, managing an unhelpful subordinate and negotiating with radiology and ICU for scans and consults. Only your imagination is the limit.

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