'I like . . . helping the community in times of crisis' Nurse to manage emergency room

January 01, 1995|By a Sun Staff Writer

Equipment and extra beds aren't the only additions to the new emergency room at Carroll County General Hospital.

Susan R. Vittek joined the hospital staff in November as the clinical manager of the emergency department.

Mrs. Vittek will play a major role in managing the daily operations of the department, as well as handling budget and staffing issues.

For the past eight years, Mrs. Vittek has worked in the emergency department at Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown.

For the past 2 1/2 years, she was nurse manager of the department, which handles 35,000 patients annually.

Mrs. Vittek also helped plan the renovation of Northwest's emergency department.

A $1.8 million renovation of the Carroll County General's emergency department is nearly complete.

Mrs. Vittek said she enjoys emergency room work for the variety of medical challenges it offers.

"I like the diversity of it," she said. "When people come into the emergency room, they're in crisis, and I like being there and helping the community in times of crisis."

The 32-year-old Eldersburg resident says she is looking forward to serving the community she lives in.

In its search for a clinical nurse manager of the emergency department, Carroll County General officials looked for someone with solid experience in emergency medicine.

"Based on the growth in the county and the fact that we had an emergency room renovation in progress, it was very important we bring in someone with an idea of not only how an emergency room should be today but, how it should be in the future," said Becky Vasse, director of cardiopulmonary, critical care and emergency services at Carroll County General.

"We needed someone with a history of a good relationship with doctors as well as the nursing staff and the hospital staff on the inpatient side," Ms. Vasse said.

Although Mrs. Vittek is accustomed to a larger volume of emergency room patients at Northwest Hospital Center, she said Carroll County General's emergency department is busy.

The hospital handles about 25,000 patients annually, and has seen a growth rate between 750 and 1,200 patients per year for the past few years.

After only two weeks on the job, Mrs. Vittek was called in to help recently when several area firefighters were injured fighting a four-alarm barn fire in Manchester.

During that incident, emergency room staff had a chance to use the new hazardous materials decontamination room.

Mrs. Vittek was impressed with her new colleagues.

"They responded very quickly to the firefighters' needs," she said. "The staff here is very experienced in emergency room care."

Although Mrs. Vittek holds a managerial nursing position, she says she believes it's important to keep her nursing skills up-to-date through patient care and professional courses.

She said she still is settling into her new job and hasn't given much thought to possible changes in the emergency department. But she said she'd like to see the emergency room staff get involved in more community outreach events.

"It would be nice to go to some fairs and other events to let the community know we're there for them in times of crisis," she said.

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