Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Level of care: You will be admitted to a certain level of care in the hospital. You may be upgraded or downgraded from a unit or a floor at any time. That is, you may be transferred to a higher or lower level of care, depending on your
Intensive care unit (ICU): Generally reserved for the sickest people, those who require close
nursing supervision, or those who require a
ventilator to help them breathe.
Cardiac care unit (CCU): Like the ICU, but reserved for people with heart problems
Surgical intensive care unit: For people who have had surgery
Pediatric intensive care unit (PICU): For children
Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU): For newborns
Telemetry or step-down unit: For people who need close nursing support or cardiac monitoring but not intensive care
Surgery floor: A general floor for people who need surgery
Medical floor: A general floor for medical care
Other specialized units or floors, including the following:
People who have suffered a stroke
(Neurological or Neurosurgical unit)
People who require
dialysis or have other
Emergency department holding unit: You are admitted to a floor or unit, but that area is full. You will wait until a bed
You are then boarded in the emergency department until a bed becomes available.
Generally, emergency department nurses continue to care for you.
Your personal doctor or the service (hospitalist) doctor is responsible for your care while you are boarded once he or she accepts and admits the patient. In some busy hospitals, this transfer of care may take some time to occur; meanwhile, the emergency doctor manages your care.
The emergency doctor will provide care in the case of a life-threatening event but does not provide ongoing care.
Factors determining who is admitted to the hospital are used continually to assess who should be upgraded or downgraded to another level of care.
In the majority of cases, your private doctor or a hospitalist will write orders for your care.
The doctor may dictate them to the emergency department or unit
The doctor may come in personally to write them.
Rarely, an emergency department physician will write your admitting orders.
Although you should not delay care and should go to the closest
appropriate emergency department, you should notify your insurance
company or health maintenance organization (HMO) of your admission as
soon as safely possible. You also should be aware of any of the
following issues. Failure to address issues in nonemergency cases may mean you will pay for your care yourself.
The issues are as follows:
Restrictions your insurance company or HMO has regarding emergency or urgent care
What constitutes emergency or urgent care
When you are required to contact the company or your personal doctor
Which hospitals your insurance covers
If you are ill and you already have gone to a hospital, contact your insurance company or HMO as soon as possible.
Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), also known ashealth-care–associated infections, encompass almost all clinically evident infections that do not originate from a patient's original admitting diagnosis.