Westside Regional Medical Center
954.473.6600
Founded in 1974, our facility provides comprehensive healthcare to the residents of Broward County.

What to Expect When You Check In to the ER

A visit to the ER is usually an unexpected event. However, there are a few steps you can take to prepare for an unanticipated visit to the ER at Westside Regional Medical Center. Keep your family’s medical information organized and up-to-date. The ER medical providers will need to know about underlying health conditions, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and previous history of major illnesses, surgeries, or hospitalizations. Keeping this information close at hand can help make your visit to the emergency care department proceed smoothly.

Going Through Triage

Triage plays an important role in the emergency room. Since ER patients are not seen on a “first come, first served” basis, triage allows ER physicians to quickly identify which patients are in need of rapid medical care. For example, a patient who is brought to the ER with signs of stroke will need to be evaluated and treated sooner than a patient who likely has an ankle sprain. During triage, the nurse will evaluate your vital signs, assess your overall condition, and ask you some questions about your symptoms.

Answering Basic Questions

In addition to meeting with the triage nurse, you’ll talk to a registration clerk. The registration clerk will ask you for basic information such as your current contact information, emergency contact, and health insurance carrier. If you have a non-emergent condition, you’ll likely be registered before you see a doctor. However, the registration process does not delay your evaluation or treatment.

Receiving Medical Treatment

When you are escorted into the treatment area, a healthcare provider will ask you more detailed questions about your health complaint, such as when your symptoms first developed and how severe your discomfort is. You can expect to undergo a physical exam and perhaps some diagnostic tests such as imaging scans or laboratory tests. Then, your doctor will explain your diagnosis, recommend an appropriate treatment plan, and either discharge you or admit you to the hospital for further monitoring, testing, and treatment.

The Emergency Department at Westside Regional Medical Center is committed to seeing emergent patients as quickly as possible. Our modern ER serving Plantation, FL, features a private emergency room for children to help them feel at ease with the diagnostic and treatment process. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately; otherwise, you can call a registered nurse at our hospital at (954) 722-9933.


Taking a Look at Some of the Lesser Known Symptoms of Heart Attack

In many cases, your body is able to tell you that something is wrong. A respiratory infection can cause congestion and dehydration can cause dizziness, for instance. But quite often, patients report symptoms of serious medical problems that they had mistaken for being symptoms of a far less severe condition. This may be the case for some heart attack patients, especially when those patients are women. At Westside Regional Medical Center, our cardiac care team encourages our neighbors to become aware of the signs and symptoms of heart attack. Early intervention is crucial for saving lives and reducing permanent damage to the heart muscle.

Unusual Pain or Discomfort

The classic sign of a heart attack is chest pain, pressure, or the sensation of heaviness. But many heart attack patients never experience chest pain or they may suffer from pain that extends from the chest to other areas. A heart attack can cause pain or discomfort of the upper back and shoulders, jaw, arms, and upper abdomen. Some heart attack survivors mistake the upper abdominal pain for being a sign of heartburn or indigestion.

Shortness of Breath

A heart attack occurs when a coronary artery is blocked, which cuts off the blood supply to the heart. This places the heart under considerable stress. As a result, heart attack patients may develop unusual shortness of breath, such as respiration difficulties that occur despite the absence of physical activity. Some individuals may report fatigue and shortness of breath in the days or weeks leading up to a heart attack.

Flu-Like Symptoms

It’s possible for a patient to mistake the signs of a heart attack as indicating a flu or similar ailment. Bouts of recurrent nausea and perhaps vomiting may be indicative of heart trouble, particularly when accompanied by lightheadedness, cold sweats, chest pain, and other symptoms of a heart attack.

Westside Regional Medical Center is pleased to provide a comprehensive Cardiovascular Program for residents of Plantation, FL, and the surrounding areas. From emergency care to cardiac rehabilitation, our cardiac care providers are committed to saving lives through rapid, protocols-driven interventions. For medical emergencies, please call 911 immediately. Call (954) 473-6600 to speak with a registered nurse about general healthcare information.


What Is Involved in the Treatment Process for Sports Injuries?

You can reduce the risk of sustaining sports injuries by maintaining a reasonable training schedule, using the appropriate gear for your sport, and taking care to stretch well before working out. Unfortunately, even with these precautionary measures, sports injuries can still occur from time to time. If you’re in need of a specialist in orthopedics, you can turn to Westside Regional Medical Center.

When to Seek Medical Care

Minor muscle strain may not necessarily require a trip to the hospital. However, it’s a good idea to seek medical care promptly if you experience severe or persistent pain, disfigurement, significant swelling, or an inability to place weight on the affected body part. At the hospital, the physician may request imaging scans to check whether you have any broken bones, dislocations, or similar injuries. Your treatment plan depends on your diagnosis and may include immobilization, pain medications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

How to Care for an Injury at Home

It’s generally best to avoid returning to exercise until your symptoms have fully resolved or your physician clears you for exercise. Trying to return to your favorite sport too quickly may worsen your injury and prolong your recovery. Your doctor may ask that you keep weight off the body part and get plenty of rest. You can reduce swelling by elevating the body part above your heart, wearing a compression wrap, and applying ice packs for 20 minutes at a time during the first 48 to 72 hours.

How to Rehabilitate an Injury

After the initial period of rest, you may begin rehabilitating the injured body part. Consider working with a physical therapist. A physical therapist can show you the right stretches and exercises to strengthen the area. Physical therapy may help prevent recurrent injuries.

When to Consider Surgical Intervention

Occasionally, athletes may need surgery to repair a sports injury. Orthopedic doctors consider each injury on a case-by-case basis. Your physician may recommend surgery if you have a torn ligament, compound fracture, or other serious acute injury. Some people with chronic injuries might also consider surgery if conservative therapies are insufficient.

Choose Westside Regional Medical Center for orthopedic care if you’ve been injured in Plantation, FL. At the Orthopedic & Spine Institute, you’ll find a full range of nonsurgical and surgical treatment options available to you. For a referral to a specialist in orthopedics, contact our Consult-A-Nurse line at (954) 473-6600.


Learning to Live with Arthritis

Although there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, most people with this chronic inflammatory disease have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout are other common forms of arthritis. The symptoms of arthritis can be debilitating and may reduce your quality of life, but it is possible to live life well despite your diagnosis. The orthopedics team at Westside Regional Medical Center can help.

Discussing Your Medication Options

Your orthopedic care specialist may recommend medications, such as over-the-counter or prescription analgesics, biologics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or corticosteroids. Before taking any medications, it’s advisable for patients to be fully informed of the potential risks. Some medications, such as corticosteroids, are usually intended for short-term treatment because of the risks associated with long-term use. Your doctor may need to change your medication regimen a few times before finding the right type and dosage of drugs that work for you.

Managing Your Pain

Medications aren’t the only way to manage your arthritis symptoms. Your doctor may recommend applying ice or heat therapy to the painful joints. Some patients may be good candidates for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which feels similar to a massage delivered via electric current. Other arthritis patients find relief with trigger point injections or hyaluronic acid injections.

Enjoying a Healthy, Active Lifestyle

Many people with arthritis experience fatigue and it can be difficult to move around with painful joints. However, enjoying gentle exercise on a regular basis may improve your arthritis symptoms. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist. Physical therapists often work with patients with arthritis who need guidance in regaining mobility and exercising safely. It’s also advisable to follow a well-balanced diet. While certain foods cannot “cure” arthritis, eating a healthy meal plan can help you maintain a normal weight, which will reduce stress on your weight-bearing joints.

The Orthopedic & Spine Institute at Westside Regional Medical Center offers world-class care for patients with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Our orthopedics team provides a continuum of care, including non-surgical treatment options, joint replacement surgery and rehabilitation therapy. Call (954) 473-6600 to request a referral to our Orthopedic & Spine Institute in Plantation, FL.


Helpful Strategies for Bringing Your Child to the ER

Although the ER may not be the destination of choice for families, you may find peace of mind knowing that the kid-friendly Emergency Room at Westside Regional Medical Center offers top-notch care in a soothing environment. If your child does suffer a medical emergency, you may find the following tips to be helpful.

Get Organized

Since emergencies are unpredictable by nature, it’s best to be prepared for them to occur at any time. Keep your family’s medical records organized and easily accessible. Ideally, you should keep updated lists of your child’s medications and dosages, medical conditions, allergies, previous hospitalizations, and major illnesses. Keep the family pediatrician’s name and contact information readily available, along with the contact information of any specialists from whom your child may be receiving care.

Be Prepared

Not all medical emergencies occur in the home or in the presence of parents. Be prepared for your child to need medical care while with a babysitter or other caregiver. You can fill out consent-to-treat forms in advance. Along with your child’s important medical information, you can provide these forms to trusted individuals who watch over your child.

Know When to Call 911

In many cases, it’s fine to drive your child to the ER yourself. However, if you suspect that your child has a life-threatening medical emergency, you should call 911 right away. Some potentially life-threatening emergencies include severe allergic reactions, respiratory distress, seizures, and loss of consciousness.

Know What Not to Do

When you do take your child to the ER, refrain from giving him or her snacks or beverages, including water. This is because your child may require sedatives. Ask the ER physician if it’s okay to give your child something to drink or eat.

If your child requires emergency care in the Plantation, FL, area, you can turn to the pediatric ER staff at Westside Regional Medical Center. Our emergency care department includes a private ER room just for kids to help them feel more comfortable in a hospital setting. You can direct non-emergent questions to our Consult-A-Nurse line at (954) 722-9933.


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