St. David's HealthCare

St. David's HealthCare is one of the largest health systems in Texas and Austin's third-
largest private employer, with more than 60 sites throughout Central Texas, including
seven hospitals, four urgent care centers, four ambulatory surgery centers, and two
freestanding emergency departments, with a third set to open in Bastrop this summer.

St. David's HealthCare has a long history of serving the residents of Central Texas
with exceptional medical care. Our 7,500 employees touch over 858,000 lives each
year with a spirit of warmth, friendliness and personal pride.

Emergency & Urgent Care Blog

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  • AUG
    19

    St. David's Emergency Center: Bee Cave


    The signs are up, the lights are on, and the doors are open! We here at St. David’s Emergency Center couldn’t be happier with the response to our open house events earlier this month, and are so enjoying being a part of this wonderful community!

    We wanted to give you a look at what it would be like to come into St. David’s Emergency Center at any given time. From the moment you walk in the door to our beautiful new facility, you will be cared for by staff committed to providing exceptional care. We work to immediately bed all patients, which means after you’re greeted and checked in by our friendly reception staff, you won’t be sitting in a waiting room for hours on end. Instead, you’ll be escorted back to an examination room where our board-certified emergency physicians and trauma-certified nurses can treat life’s emergencies, big and small—twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

    We hope it brings peace of mind to you and your loved ones, when an unexpected emergency arises; the trusted name of St. David’s Healthcare is now a little closer to home.

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  • AUG
    08

    Young Athlete Heart Screenings


    Check out physician Vivek Goswami, MD from Heart Hospital of Austin talking about the Young Athlete heart screening event that took place last week. Great tips and points to think about for all young athletes and anyone that is a parent.

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  • JUN
    08

    St. David's Emergency Center: Pflugerville, Texas


    St. David’s HealthCare and St. David’s North Austin Medical Center broke ground on the St. David’s Emergency Center in Pflugerville— the first full-service 24/7 emergency care facility in the city. Pflugerville city leaders and St. David’sHealthCare leadership turned dirt to mark the official start of construction.

    Upon completion, the facility will feature 12 treatment beds, advanced testing capabilities including radiological testing and a medical lab, and will be staffed by board-certified emergency medicine physicians affiliated with St. David’s HealthCare.

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  • JUN
    03

    Yogi Wins "Dog of Valor" Award


    Yogi, a golden retriever from Austin, was recognized during The Humane Society of the United States’ “Dog of Valor” award ceremony at St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital. Yogi is credited with saving his then 57-year-old owner, Paul Horton, after he fell off his bike late last year and suffered a spinal cord injury, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

    Horton was taken to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, where Mark Burnett, M.D., a neurosurgeon and executive medical director of NeuroTexas Institute at St. David’s HealthCare, performed surgery to stabilize his spine and release the pressure. Horton was then transported to St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital, where he worked to rehabilitate from his spinal cord injuries.

    “I truly believe Yogi saved my life,” Horton said. “He’s my hero.”

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  • JUN
    01

    Heat Related Injuries: Prevention


    The past few weeks we focused on heat-related injuries which consist of a continuum of syndromes, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. As this series comes to a close, we need focus on the prevention of heat-related injuries.

    Prevention of Heat Related Injuries:
    • Pay attention to environmental conditions, dress accordingly, and avoid prolonged heat exposure.
    • Adequately hydrate before, during, and after physical activity.
    • Avoid prolonged heat exposure and prolonged physical exertion during adverse conditions.
    • Ensure proper intake of dietary salt and fluids rich in electrolytes.
    • Pace work schedules for those who need to work under adverse conditions.
    • Monitor yourself and others for signs and symptoms of heat related injuries.
    • Community outreach to individuals at risk.
    Jim Cretella, M.D.
    St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center
    St. David’s Urgent Care - Round Rock

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  • MAY
    26

    St. David's HealthCare Emergency Center


    If you’re anything like me, you’re probably pretty familiar with Murphy’s Law, which states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Also, if you’re anything like me, you find Murphy’s Law more often reads a little like this: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong…in the middle of the night on a weekend or holiday when my doctor’s office is closed. My husband never splits his chin open playing basketball on a Wednesday morning, and I’ve never wondered at one in the afternoon on a Monday if perhaps those leftovers I ate for dinner did taste a little funny now that I remember it. So what do you do when Murphy’s Law catches you off-guard? That’s where we come in.

    My name is Katie Lyke, and I’m the Manager of St. David’s Emergency Center—Austin’s first free-standing Emergency Department, opening in August of 2011. If you’ve been anywhere near the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave in the last few months, you’ve probably seen the construction just in front of City Hall and wondered what exactly was going up. We’re a brand spankin’ new concept in the city: a full-service, 12-bed ER with our own lab and radiology departments, ready and willing to handle anything life can throw at you—twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Holidays included.

    The purpose of this blog is to give you an inside look at what we can do for you. Over the next few months, I’ll be updating you on construction progress, upcoming events, and health information relevant to your community. For example, let’s look at how far we’ve come over the past few months!

    In February, we were just a frame of steel…

    …and by April, we had rooms!

    Life may not always be predictable, and even though anything that can go wrong will mostly likely go wrong when it’s least convenient, fast and friendly, 24/7 emergency care will be here soon, closer than you think.

    -Katie

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  • MAY
    26

    Employee Appreciation Week


    Last week, St. David’s HealthCare employees gathered for food and fun during their annual Employee Appreciation Celebrations. We are so fortunate to have the most amazing group of people caring for our patients and families and, although we appreciate them every day, we were delighted to be able to share in this celebration. When you combine this much fun with excellent care, you get great hospitals!

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  • MAY
    25

    Heat Related Injuries: Heat Stroke


    As we approach the summer months, we need to focus on the prevention and recognition of heat-related injuries. Heat-related injuries consist of a continuum of syndromes, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

    Heat Exhaustion:
    • True medical emergency related to severe heat injury that carries a high mortality rate.
    • Characterized by a core body temperature >104.9 degrees, the loss of the ability to sweat, and neurologic impairment, ranging from confusion to being obtunded.
    • Types of heat strokes include non-exterional and exertional heat stroke.
    Non-exertional Heat Stroke:
    • Those who are at greatest risk include the elderly, infants, the chronically ill, and individuals living in poverty.
    • Symptoms develop gradually and usually occur during summer heat waves.
    • Stressors may include lack of air conditioning, presence of cardiovascular disease, and lack of access to water and food.
    Exertional Heat Stroke:
    • Usually affects younger individuals as a consequence of vigorous physical activity.
    • Treatment of heat stroke is beyond the scope of this blog, but involves aggressive cooling measures, fluid and electrolyte administration, and treating end organ dysfunction and complications. In general, patients require ICU admission.
    Jim Cretella, M.D.
    St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center
    St. David’s Urgent Care - Round Rock

    Image found here.

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  • MAY
    18

    Heat Related Injuries: Heat Exhaustion


    As we approach the summer months, we need to focus on the prevention and recognition of heat-related injuries. Heat-related injuries consist of a continuum of syndromes, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

    Heat Exhaustion:
    • Symptoms include: dizziness, weakness, malaise, light-headedness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headache, and muscle aches, associated with heat exposure.
    • Patients may have rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, fever, and may even faint.
    •  Diagnostic tests generally include complete blood counts, electrolytes panels, and checking for muscle injury.
    • Treatment involves removing the individual from the heat, utilizing cooling measures, and instigating IV fluid and electrolyte replacement.
    • In general, most patients can be safely discharged home from the emergency room after they have responded to therapy. 
    Jim Cretella, M.D.
    St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center
    St. David’s Urgent Care - Round Rock

    Image found here.

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  • MAY
    11

    NURSING: Centuries of a Proud Profession


    Each year, during the week of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, a very exceptional and extraordinary group of men and women are recognized for their tremendous work and compassion. Their work exemplifies critical thinking skills, assessment and application of care models that provide quality clinical care to patients with complex mental and physical diseases. The art and science of nursing has been one of the oldest professions noted today. Florence Nightingale was not the first nurse ever to exist in the world. She was, however, the first person to actually advocate it as a profession. Nursing has a long centuries-old rich history. It has evolved out of a serious need to provide a blanket of responsibility and safety for directing and coordinating the care of a patient, often in the worst of times.

    The world of professional nursing has evolved over the hundreds of years from which it came. The history books are filled with various types of nurses around the world. As you might imagine, this is a very proud and prestigious group of professionals who cherish their heritage. Few things last hundreds of years without seeing tremendous change. Nursing is no exception. As medicine changed, as the patient changed, so did the profession of nursing. Most of the change has been very good for the profession.

    There are over 3.1 million registered nurses who maintain a license in the United States today. Approximately 2.4 million of them are actively employed. Within those numbers are 300,000 advanced practice nurses, many of whom have prescriptive authority in 49 states. Nurses are leaders in the healthcare of our patients. They are the glue that binds the numerous multidisciplinary teams together. They reduce the fragmentation between providers and are the professional who is in charge of the prioritization of the patient’s plan of care under the direct orders of a licensed independent practitioner (usually a MD).

    This could be, and often is, a daunting task. Nurses have lived and worked through famines, plagues, wars and the depressions. While much change has been necessary, change comes easily to nurses who believe their patients will have better care. This is a profession that is well compensated, but that is not nearly the sole reason a nurse becomes attracted to it. The “ calling” is much more complicated. It comes deep from within to completely care for another individual in need.

    Nurses must disregard any biases they may personally have whether that is with race, ethnicity, religion, wealth, poverty and the like. They must care for everyone equally. This simplifies their mission. It is everyone, everyday, every hour, anywhere.

    The noble profession that often remains more comfortable helping others receiving that priceless gift as their true reward, does have a week that recognizes each and every one of the nurses in the nation. In 1954, through work with legislators and the American Nurses Association, President Richard Nixon began the task of honoring this most worthy group of professionals, and then in 1974, President Ronald Reagan officially named May 6 as National Nurses Day.

    Celebrations occur all over the nation in various formats. At St. David’s HealthCare, we honor each and every nurse, highlighting those who represent our mission and vision to be the finest healthcare provider in the world and to provide exceptional care to every patient every day, with a spirit of warmth, friendliness and personal pride.

    As a fifth generation nurse, I feel I speak for many nurses who are both here and present as well as those who have passed before us. We are in a unique group of men and women who have chosen one of the hardest professions mentally and physically that exists. While I have touched on several topics reflecting this fascinating career, something everyone can do during Nurses Weekis to find a nurse and tell them how much you personally appreciate them for what they do. If it were not for them, the quality healthcare we know today would not exist.

    On behalf of St. David’s HealthCare, it is an absolute honor and privilege to stand beside you as a colleague and professional nurse. It is our responsibility and obligation to continue what has been our calling for centuries, and that is to never forget our place in history and present day as the advocate for our most important charge—our patient.

    Happy Nurses Week 2011!

    Sally Gillam, RN, BSN, MAHS
    Chief Nursing Officer
    SDSAMC

    Click here to view all the Nurses Week 2011 photos.

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