What to Expect

No one plans on needing emergency care, but at our Level 1 trauma center, it’s our job to be prepared for the unpredictable. From the moment a patient’s journey begins with us, our teams are standing by and ready to assist, from initial assessment and treatment, until follow-up care is complete.

Care Journey

Our Level 1 trauma center is supported by a network of pre-hospital providers with expert training in first response treatment and transport of trauma patients. Initial assessment is completed by EMS, fire and/or Aero Med teams on the scene. Method of transport to the hospital (air or road) is also determined on scene, based on the patient’s condition, needs and sometimes weather. In transit, interventions are initiated and communication with hospital teams begins so that the trauma service can be prepared and awaiting patient arrival. On arrival, a hand-off between pre-hospital and trauma teams immediately takes place.

Our trauma team specializes in treating any injury, at any time. Upon patient arrival, the focus of the team is to address life threatening injuries, such as brain injury or bleeding. The team will then work to identify all injuries sustained and initiate treatment with a multidisciplinary team. Patients will be placed in the surgical intensive care unit or trauma floor during this time. Surgery may be required, in which case the appropriate surgeon and anesthesia team is engaged. During hospitalization, nurses and therapists work with patients at the bedside to ensure preparation for the next step, which is usually home or rehabilitation.

Our goal is to restore patients to their previous quality of life whenever possible. This can only be accomplished with a multidisciplinary team of experts. In partnership with physical and occupational therapists and rehabilitation facilities across West Michigan, we identify a team best suited to the patient’s needs. Some patients need in-home physical therapy, while others may require longer treatment in an inpatient setting to regain enough strength to go home. Together we are committed to patient success and will work to achieve an excellent post-injury rehabilitation plan to get patients back to the activities they enjoy.

The post-traumatic needs of patients can be complex and range from concussion follow-up to wound checks or cast removals. As a patient leaves the hospital, we develop a follow-up plan to meet their needs. Much of the follow-up will be in our multidisciplinary trauma clinic, where many of our trauma specialists are housed. Whether follow-up is short or long term, we walk alongside patients every step of the way until they are feeling well.

Meet The Trauma Care Team


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