St. Anthony Healthplex North is a smart choice during a life threating situation, says Virginia Collins, RN.

Emergency Care: St. Anthony Healthplex is ready when you are

by James Coburn
Staff Writer


Virginia (Ginger) Collins is an RN at St. Anthony Healthplex North in Oklahoma City, where she has worked since January. St. Anthony Healthplex North opened in February to serve the community.
“It’s been a positive change. I really like working for Saints,” Collins said of the full-service ER. “I was ready to pursue a Christian-oriented facility and I was really impressed by the way they handled patient care, by the way they facilitated and processed patient care, the follow-up they have with their patients and the physicians that they have here.”
Another attraction that lured Collins to St. Anthony Healthplex North is the phenomenal equipment. Saints spared no expense in bringing the latest modern technology to serve patients’ needs, she said. Everything is new and integrated with the software that the nurses use.
So it really allows us to provide really good patient care,” McCoy said. “It gives us more time to focus on the patient and less time to focus on the charts.”
Healthplex North is Saint’s fourth free-standing emergency care center in the Oklahoma City area. There is also Healthplex East, Healthplex Mustang and Healthplex South. The spacious facility is located south of the Kilpatrick Turnpike at 13401 N. Western Avenue.
“I think it is an excellent location for the community,” Collins said. “We’re really centrally located. Actually we’re right in the center of the hub here. So we’re easy to access right off the turnpike. People are usually able to get right in.”
Healthplex North treats patients of all ages from pediatrics to patients older than 100.
“If you’re having a stroke, a heart attack, or if you cut your leg open, we can take care of you no matter what the situation is,” Collins said. “If you need a higher level of care, we stabilize and then we transfer either to our main campus downtown, and we provide the transportation EMSA if need be, depending on the acuity of the patient. If they need to go to a different level of care that we don’t have, we can send them to an appropriate facility.”
Healthplex North has the capability of stabilizing an infant, she said. Patients in cardiac arrest living in the vicinity of the ER don’t need to drive farther, wasting precious time before treatment is available, Collins said.
“That’s your smartest choice in a life threatening situation,” Collins said. “We want to get you stabilized and get you to where you need to go.”
There are about 30 nurses working all shifts at St. Anthony Healthplex North. All of the nurses excel in ER, Collins said. Nearly all of them are certified in trauma. Collins said she admires the skill set of the nurses at Healthplex North. Every RN at the ER is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association. Fifty to 75 percent of the nurses have their emergency nurse certification, Collins added. They are required to be certified in Advanced Pediatric Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. They are trauma nurses.
“Say if someone had a car wreck down here on the turnpike, we can take care of them and our physicians are just as capable of taking care of them as any big hospital around,” Collins said.
Collins also enjoys the team spirit she has found with Saints. There is a sense of collaboration as everybody works well together, she said. This may be true with most facilities, Collins said.
“But here we really pride ourselves with getting things done quickly, getting the patient assessed quickly and getting the labs drawn. We have a lab on site, she said. “We can have our lab work ready quicker than a hospital does. We can have them in five minutes. Some of them takes a little bit longer to run.”
Respiratory therapy is available 24 hours a day, something that is not available in some of the smaller rural hospitals, she said. The ER is staffed with a physician at all times.
“We really work to coordinate that care together,” Collins said. “The system that we have enables us to do that.”
There is a quick response time to patient care, but those patients seriously injured or having an acute life threatening event have first priority. The ER has 12 beds.
“Our motto is ‘We pull til full,’” Collins said.
A triage room is available as the patient population increases, she said.
“We really do try to facilitate the flow of patients quickly while still providing good care,” Collins said. “Our physicians ensure as well as our nurses that patients have good follow-up care.”