We have all had the misfortune of sitting in an emergency room waiting for care, either for ourselves or for a significant person in our lives. We see or feel the actual pain of what that person is going through during that wait.

Every minute waiting seems like an hour.

Well, how about longer than an hour, in fact, how about longer than 190 minutes? That is right, the average wait in a New Jersey emergency room is a staggering 194 minutes before departure.

Photo via saravuth-photohut
Photo via saravuth-photohut

That statistic comes from new data collected and presented by High Rise Financial who analyzed data from Centers from Medicare and Medicaid to determine the average median time a patient spends in the emergency room before departure. After the data was collected each state was ranked in order.

New Jersey came in sixth worst in the country at 194 minutes. Our friends in New York averaged 202 minutes and be glad you were not in an emergency room in Maryland, you would be waiting over an astounding four hours!

The incredibly old but true argument plays out that here in New Jersey that we are the most densely popular state, and unfortunately some people use the emergency room like a walk-in clinic with minimum symptoms and need for emergency level care.

Man Coughing into Arm/Elbow
Photo via Sharon Barnes

This truly jams up overworked emergency room personnel and the ability to provide beds to more patients in need.

In a recent trip to the emergency room, I saw gurneys lined up with patients in the emergency room hallways, jammed up and packed next to each other. Those accompanying the patients really had no place or chair to sit, it was very rough to see and experience.

You cannot blame the emergency room staff. They were working at a feverish pace to take care of the overwhelming number of patients, and it seems for everyone they sent on their way or admitted up to a room there were two more patients behind them admitted to the emergency room.

Photo by SJ Objio on Unsplash
Photo by SJ Objio on Unsplash

More funding for more personnel, larger emergency rooms and better solutions for quick assessments and treatments for those that do not require major treatment that the actual emergency room provides. Be patient and try to understand and mostly I hope you never have to go.

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Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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