Department Spotlight: Emergency

By: Alana Ridge

August 29, 2022

Group of emergency room nurses and technicians posing for a photo

The emergency department is a central part of Renown Health’s hospitals. Serving patients in need of emergent attention, this team has an incredible level of dedication to not only tending to emergencies big and small, but also saving lives 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This critical work happens daily at Renown Regional, Renown South Meadows and Renown Children’s Hospital. Patients in Renown’s emergency rooms (ER) are in the best hands, and it is all thanks to the devoted, hard-working teams who run the show.

Saving Lives Around the Clock 

As the only Level 2 trauma center between Sacramento and Salt Lake City, taking care of a constant stream of patients in the Renown Regional, Renown South Meadows and Renown Children’s ERs come naturally for these teams. Whether it be 3 a.m. or the lunch hour, this team is always ready to spring into action to attend to virtually any health emergency under the sun. According to Gabby, an RN in the Renown Regional ER, everyone in the ER must be ready for anything. “We are the first line of care that the patient receives before they are admitted or discharged,” which means the team sees a wide variety of emergency situations each day. 

Patients rely on the ER to protect them and help them heal from severe conditions. From head injuries and broken bones to heart attacks and strokes, this team has seen it all at every time of the day and night. “The ER is an uncontrolled, unpredictable environment,” said Miriam, an RN in the Renown Regional ER. “It’s essential that we all are ready to jump in and help at any time.” 

Beyond the general ER at Renown Regional, Renown Children’s Hospital is the only accredited Children’s Hospital Emergency Room in all northern Nevada. The first and only facility of its kind in the Reno-Tahoe region, this robust emergency department is equipped with pediatric specialists and child-sized equipment to give children the highest level of support. “We are proud to keep a fun atmosphere with vibrant colors to help our young patients ease their anxieties, making them as comfortable as possible while providing excellent care,” said Ginger, Manager of Nursing for Renown Children’s ER. 

While the majority of patients are treated onsite and discharged that same day, several ER patients get admitted to the hospital, when that happens, the emergency department works quickly with the Renown Transfer and Operations Center (RTOC) to get patients in a bed as soon as possible.  

All day and all night, ambulances and helicopters deliver members of our community in need of care. But never fear – our incredibly capable emergency department is here. Kicking off into immediate action is a core requirement for the emergency department, and it is a task the entire team has nailed down to a science.  

Team Tenacious 

When asked about their team, members of the emergency department echoed the same notion: “I am not alone.” The emergency department never leaves their colleagues out to dry, and in an emergency environment, always being able to lend a hand whenever needed is vital. For Ashley, an RN at Renown Regional, one of the main reasons why she continues to work at Renown is because of her colleagues, along with a myriad of resources and state-of-the-art technology that are at their disposal. She adds, “It is such a joy to come in to work alongside my team.” 

Amy, Supervisor of Nursing for the Renown South Meadows ER, feels the exact same way. “Being an emergency department, we sometimes see things you don’t always see every day,” said Amy. “It’s a relief for our patients to know that they are in the best place in the region for their care. I credit all of that to my team.” 

As our emergency room capabilities continue to grow, this also includes our Children’s Hospital ER. Last year, the William N. Pennington Foundation provided a $7.5 million gift to the Renown Health Foundation to keep pediatric care – including pediatric emergency care – closer to home and expand our availability to our youngest patients. As reported last year, Dr. Joseph Gassen, a pediatric emergency doctor with Children’s Hospital, was the only pediatric emergency physician in the region as of 2021. Thanks to this gift, he was able to move to Reno to provide care in the Children’s Hospital ER. 

“The hospital is dedicated to improving the care of children in northern Nevada, and I wanted to be a part of this amazing vision," said Dr. Gassen. “I would not have been able to relocate to Reno without the support from the hospital and the William N. Pennington gift.” 

Besides achieving optimal outcomes for their patients, their efforts also paid off in the form of awards and recognition. Internally, the emergency department recognizes Employees of the Month for their outstanding work. Recently, Renown Regional Emergency Physician Dr. Patrick Russell and Claire, an RN, were recognized with this honor. Outside organizations have also noticed these exceptional team members. The Reno Gazette Journal’s recognized the Renown Regional ER as the Best Emergency Room in the 2022 Best of Reno Awards, complimenting Renown Regional’s wins as the Best Hospital and Best Place to Have a Baby.  

The tenacity of the emergency department continues to surpass expectations, and their published achievements only scratch the surface of what is sure to come. 

A Growing Team of Heroes 

To continue meeting the growing need for emergency care regionally, especially when it comes to trauma and children’s services, the emergency department is looking forward to welcoming new team members. For those looking for a fast-paced, team-oriented atmosphere and the opportunity to be on the healthcare frontlines, the emergency department is a perfect fit.  

As teamwork is clearly essential, the emergency department is an ideal environment for someone who is “not afraid to ask questions and always eager to learn new things,” according to Miriam. While one staff member’s patients may be settled, staff one assignment over could be overwhelmed with patient volume, so it is an imperative skill for a colleague to be a self-starter and take the initiative to help wherever needed. 

Bryan, an emergency trauma technician at Renown Regional, emphasizes this point, adding, “A good colleague is one that knows you well and can infer your body language. They know how to read a situation and pre-plan for the next step. Being attentive, a valuable resource and knowledgeable about patient populations – that's the works!” 

Career growth and lifelong learning are important to this group, so career-minded individuals will be in good company in the emergency department. “I choose Renown so I can jumpstart my career as a nurse in the top ER in the region,” said Gabby. This team is always learning and always on top of the latest research – which only further solidifies Renown’s place as the preeminent ER in northern Nevada and northeastern California. 

If you take one thing from this article, let it be these parting words from Amy: “These are some of the smartest, most devoted individuals you will ever meet, and we are so lucky to have them serving our emergency department. You will only regret not working with this team.” 

Come Work With Us

Four Renown employees

Come Work With Us

Renown Health strives for excellence in all we do and want you to be a part of that. We offer careers in allied health, information technology, management, nursing, and professional and support services.
    • Previous Article

    Department Spotlight: Food and Nutrition Services

    Nutrition is a vital aspect of patient care. At Renown Health, the Food & Nutrition Services (FNS) teams take their mission of delivering patients high-quality, cost-effective, nutritious and attractive foods to the next level. From a...
    Read More
    • Next Article

    Attending Burning Man? Health Tips From Renown

    Renown Health welcomes you back from Burning Man. To make sure you have the support you need, here are some tips on where to get healthcare after your return from the playa. Our urgent cares see patients 365 days a year for medical...
    Read More