Posted: April 29, 2016
A photo of Dr. Irene Mitrana
Dr. Irene Mitrana, emergency physician

More than 65,000 patients are treated at GRH’s emergency department (ED) each year.  And this is exactly why Dr. Irene Mitrana chose a career in emergency medicine, to help those in our community in their time of need. Dr. Mitrana is just one of the many staff you may meet in our emergency department that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

1. What can someone expect when they visit the ED for a medical concern?

Patients can always expect courteous, compassionate and professional care from all members of our health care team. Patients' specific experiences will really depend on what is wrong with them and how sick they are. 

2. The ED is a very busy place. Can you explain why some people may have to wait to be seen by a doctor?

Patients are prioritized according to a standard national system so that the sickest patients are seen first. Although we make every effort to see all patients quickly, less sick patients may experience longer waits. Over the past several years, our patient volumes have steadily increased and this spring we are seeing a record number of patients on a regular basis.

3. Why is your work as a physician in the ED so important to our community?

Emergency physicians, along with the rest of our ED staff, provide medical care to our community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are highly trained specialists in medical emergencies providing initial care to patients with serious illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes, trauma, serious infections, breathing problems and many other medical concerns. We are the front line medical care providers in our community.

4. What do you love about your career in the ED?

I am very fortunate to work with an amazing team of physicians, nurse practitioners, various allied health providers, nurses, clerks, porters and other support staff. They make my work so much more enjoyable and fun. I love what I do as a clinician and the opportunities I have on the administrative side to improve our department work flow and patient experience. There is never a dull moment in my career.

5. Why did you choose your career in medicine?

Medicine – always challenging, always intellectually stimulating, close interactions with people in their time of need, the chance to help people and relieve pain/suffering. Emergency medicine is extremely diverse, fast paced, exciting and challenging – all of these things attracted me to this medical specialty.

6. What’s one thing you wish people knew about the ED?

Every year we are treating more patients, with more complicated health problems and we’re doing this on tighter budgets. The diverse team of allied health professionals that take care of patients in ED work very hard together with the common goal of improved patient care and safety. One thing that can help to relieve some of our ED congestion and long wait times is for patients to consider seeing other health care providers, such as their family doctor or an urgent care clinic, for things that they are less worried about. We all need to be mindful of using our medical resources appropriately and not overwhelming our emergency services.

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