Hospital Admission

You will have probably received the worst telephone call of your life, or the worst visitor to your door, informing you that your loved one has been involved in a serious collision and is receiving what will hopefully be life-saving treatment in hospital.

Within moments of receiving this information, we imagine your thoughts turned to getting to the hospital as quickly as possible. It may be at this point, whilst sitting in hospital, that you are reading this website and it is hoped that it will help you to understand the hospital environment which you have found yourself in.

Immediately following a collision, a loved one will enter the hospital through the accident and emergency department, and usually through the resuscitation area (commonly abbreviated to ‘Resus’ or sometimes called ‘Trauma’).This is where a team of medical staff will provide the immediate medical assistance to stabilise the injuries of your loved ones.

Once injuries are sufficiently stabilised, and if the injuries remain significant, the patient will be transferred to the High Dependency Unit (abbreviated to ‘HDU’) or the Intensive Care Unit (abbreviated to ‘ICU’).These are areas where there is a high proportion of staff, and patients have more extensive care needs.

The hospital environment is unique and you will find a new vocabulary is used. To help you the below is a list of some of the key terms and personnel:

Named Nurse: Upon being admitted to hospital your loved one will be allocated to a Named Nurse or nursing team; sometimes this will change each shift, especially if your loved one has 1:1 care. The Named Nurse will liaise with everyone that is caring for your loved one. If you have any concerns you will be able to discuss them with the Named Nurse.

Consultant General Physician: A Consultant General Physician is a Doctor who deals with a wide range of medical conditions; they can have an area of special interest and will work together with other members of the medical team.

Registrar: A Registrar is a senior qualified Doctor who is responsible to a Consultant.

Neurologist: A neurologist is a Doctor who specialises in damage to the brain and nervous system and who is trained to investigate and treat such injuries. A neurologist will be involved if there has been any injury to the brain or spinal cord.

Neurosurgeon: A neurosurgeon is a Doctor who is a medical specialist concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any part of the brain or spinal cord. A Neurosurgeon is the doctor who will undertake the surgery in relation to head and
spinal injuries.

Anaesthetist: An anaesthetist is a Doctor who is trained in administering anaesthetic prior to and during any surgical procedure.

Glasgow Coma Scale: The Glasgow Coma Scale is often abbreviated to ‘GCS’ and is neurological scale that records the conscious state of a person. The scale gives a patient a score from between 3 and 15 and assesses eye response, verbal response and motor response.

Maxio-Facial Surgeon: A maxio-facial surgeon will be involved if a patient has any injuries requiring treatment to the face and jaw area. Hopefully the treating medical team will be able to provide life-saving treatment. If they are successful then the focus will be upon rehabilitation, and the below professionals may become involved.

Occupational Therapist: An occupational therapist is qualified in assessing and treating conditions, using specific activity to maximise independence.

Physiotherapist: A physiotherapist is qualified in providing often manual therapy and exercise to assess and treat conditions caused by a collision.

Speech and Language Therapist: Speech and language therapists are qualified in assessing and treating communication problems, and are particularly important following brain injuries. They also provide treatment in relation to swallowing problems that can occur.

All members of the nursing and medical team will work together to give your loved one the best care possible. Your loved one’s care maybe discussed at the bedside or at a Ward Team Meeting. Any decisions should always be discussed with the immediate family but please remember that if you are unsure about anything you should ask someone; the nursing and medical team are there to help you and you should not be afraid to ask them any questions at all.