Josee Romann, FNP
Hospital medicine is a relatively new field in healthcare. First defined in the mid-1990s, hospital medicine is becoming an increasingly popular approach to care for patients in the hospital. Physicians who specialize in this field are called hospitalists; the majority of hospitalists are trained in internal medicine. Often, hospitalists first see patients in the Emergency Department when it has been determined that the patient needs to be admitted to the hospital. The hospitalists will follow the patient’s general medical care until they are discharged. They are responsible for ordering tests, interpreting test results, prescribing medications, and organizing therapy or specialized medical care.
Emergency medicine physicians work in the hospital emergency department and care for patients who are unexpectedly ill or injured. They are specially trained to diagnose, treat, and manage a wide variety of conditions from minor cuts to life-threatening traumas. Emergency medicine physicians treat and discharge patients if they do not need hospitalization or stabilize them if additional care is needed by a medical specialist. Hospital emergency departments are also often staffed with physician assistants. These medical professionals care for patients in the emergency department who may not have emergent or life-threatening conditions, such as colds, earaches, sprains, and minor cuts. Because patients are seen in the emergency department in order of the severity of their illness or injury, the physician assistant helps reduce the wait time for patients with non-life threatening conditions.