Making a Difference: What it’s like to serve at River Region ER

Published 4:00 am Friday, March 31, 2023

In a crisis situation, the bold letters designating a hospital’s emergency room entrance can be consoling.

Inside, one knows there will be doctors and nurses standing by to deal with any trauma, accident or illness. At Merit Health River Region Medical Center, Dr. Markus B. Stanley serves as the ER Medical Director and has since 2017.

“I love working in emergency medicine because it’s always new and different, every day,” Stanley said. “There may be anything from psychiatric patients hallucinating, to women with pregnancy complications or miscarrying.”

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There are also those who come in, he said, with “broken bones; lacerations; gunshot wounds; drug overdoses; motor vehicle crashes; industrial accidents; assaults of all kinds and strokes and heart attacks. We pretty much see it all.”

And when seconds count, it takes everyone doing their job, Stanley said.

“It’s really a team effort,” he said, from the physicians and nurses to ambulance crews. Those working as emergency room technicians are also essential, he said, as well as x-ray and CT technicians and respiratory therapists.

“Everyone has a role and knows it and we roll because our goal is to be fast, efficient and save that patient’s life, or their physical or mental functions,” Stanley said. “When someone is having the worst day of their life or their loved one, our job is to try and make it not be the last day of their life.”

And in doing so, “We leave everything on the trauma or cardiac room floors, giving literally everything we have,” he said.

But sometimes it’s still not enough.

“Those are the bad days,” he said, but then there are the good days when a life is saved.

“Some days, you go home floating on air because we did something that really made a difference,” Stanley said. And making a difference is what is most rewarding about his job.

“We make a difference to someone pretty much every day. Making a little kid who has to have stitches laugh, reassuring a parent that their baby is going to be OK, keeping someone alive, catching a diagnosis that makes a difference between someone losing the use of a limb, things like that,” Stanley said. “That makes you feel great.”

Working in the ER is unlike working in other departments of the hospital, Stanley said, and “Even after all these years, there are surprises. Some funny, some sad, some strange, but it’s never very boring.”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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