Logistics of an ER

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I would assume that the County General ER should be one of Chicago's largest. There are a couple of things I don't understand. One is the traffic flow. Heve I missed the entrances? I assume there should be one for ambulances and one for walk-ins. Otherwise, the ambulances would block the general public. Could someone try to explain the layout of the CGH ER unit?

Have the writers left out an insurance clerk? Even public hospitals must check that. Shouldn't a large trauma center have visible security? These are the two things that a patients may see first upon entering the unit. Was this just a dramatic choice made by the writers and producers, fewer characters and a less medical role?

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-- Zorbo (RDomino1@aol.com), February 26, 2001


The lack of security at County is constantly a topic of discussion. I'm sure most large emergency rooms have strict security. As for the outdoors, I believe there are two entrances. If you remember in "Homecoming", Peter leaves through an exit that has a few steps which I think was the walk in entrance. There is also the ambulance entrance, which is not used for walk in traffic, like in "The Visit" when Maggie arrives and Chuny directs her toward another entrance. We mainly see the ambulance entrance because we mainly see traumas coming off the rigs, or already in progress.

-- Joanne (bucklind@hotmail.com), February 26, 2001.

I also remember another walk-in entrance from 'The Storm, Part Two' (or was it one?) when Carol is following Doug outside because she's really mad at him. I remember how I was thinking that I had never seen those swing doors before.

-- Anne (annebercher@gmx.de), February 27, 2001.

Speaking of ER security...the one time that I've been inside an ER, I had to walk through a metal detector, with two armed guards on either side as I emerged. And this was in Iowa City, Iowa! Sure seems to me that a lot of the gunplay we've seen on "ER" could have been prevented by this relatively simple measure...

-- Laura Lindstrom (llindstr@law.harvard.edu), February 27, 2001.

On the piolet episode, Mark goes to a different waiting room for the ED than what we normally see. There is a desk and metal detectors to the entrance to the ED.

-- Mollie (mollie@adelphia.net), February 27, 2001.

You think something would have been done about better security by now. Especially after the stabbings. And in the episode "Witch Hunt" something bad happens and if that doesn't get them to get better security, then I don't know what will.

-- Cammie (rmaelhorn@home.com), February 27, 2001.

Mollie, wasn't the pilot filmed in a real hospital in L.A.? That would certainly explain the difference...

-- Anne (annebercher@gmx.de), February 28, 2001.

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