Intensivists Bucking the Trend
As the country is feeling a shortage of physicians, El Paso is bucking the trend. With the opening of El Paso Children’s Hospital, the influx of pediatric physicians is increasing. This is good news for physicians like Dr. Jorge Sainz. Dr. Sainz was the only pediatric intensivist at University Medical Center for the first six months of his tenure and was on call seven days a week.
Dr. Clinton Woosley came on board in December of 2008, and Dr. Sainz says little by little, the number of pediatric intensivists grew from there. Soon, UMC went from one to five pediatric intensivists. Dr. Angela Chavez, Dr. Michael Romano and Dr. Bert Johansson soon brought their specialized talents to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. A pediatric intensivist is a doctor who specializes in caring for adolescents, children, and infants who have serious illnesses or injuries. The need for intensivist grew as the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit went from four beds to eight. The number of patients increased from 187 patients to 600 patients per year.
The infrastructure for the El Paso Children’s Hospital has been put in place with the establishment of the PICU, which will soon increase from eight to twenty-two beds, along with the implementation of the Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team. “The first line of defense to patient care is stabilization until the patient can receive the specialized care they need. It’s not a one person commitment, it’s a team effort,” said Sainz.
The level of care and expertise will continue to rise when the Children’s Hospital opens, as the PICU will offer state of the art equipment and will combine research to the clinical care of patients. Dr. Sainz says the opening of the Children’s Hospital means an increase in talented physicians, nurses and clinical staff that will be able to care for ill children here at home instead of having to go out of town for care.
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