The Emergency Department is a full and independent clinical department within the hospital. It operates its own budget and has parity with other hospital departments. The Emergency Department treats approximately 50,000 patients each year. Residents gain a rich experience in managing high acuity patients with challenging and diverse disease processes, including blunt and penetrating trauma. The patient population is primarily indigent, but the ED also receives referrals from clinics and hospitals all over the county. In addition, the department holds the contracts for medical evaluations of inmates from the nearby juvenile hall and state and local prisons.
In 1995, construction was completed on a new state-of-the-art Emergency Department, providing capacity for up to 80,000 patient visits, with special areas for patients needing psychiatric evaluation, decontamination from hazardous substances, and examination and counseling resulting from sexual assault.
The ED contains 33 beds consisting of 6 trauma and medical resuscitation bays, 11 monitored beds, 4 respiratory isolation and gynecologic rooms, 1 padded psychiatric observation room, 1 sexual assault evaluation room, 1 eye room, and an adjacent 9-bed urgent care center. Two spiral CT scanners, and a dedicated X-ray suite are all physically located within the department. CT scan, X-ray and ultrasound services are available 24-hours a day.
The department operates as a paramedic base station and receives traffic from all over Kern County, by ground transport, Medi-Vac air ambulance, and of-course, the infamous "homie-drop off" system.