Guest Column: Emergency department always here when you need it

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Guest Column by Patti Paris, Joy Shaft and Brad Niebuhr

Patti Paris


It’s the middle of the night, and your toddler has a high fever. Suddenly, your partner has intense chest pains, and you think something might be wrong. Your teenager has a deep gash from a sharp piece of equipment, and the bleeding won’t stop. Your asthma is acting up, you are fine during the day, but now you can’t catch your breath. There are lots of reasons people need emergency care at any time of the day or night. Our team of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, lab technicians and other members of our care team are at the Mayo Clinic Health System Emergency Department in Albert Lea 24 hours a day, every day of the year. We are always there when you need us.

Joy Shaft

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There are many ways Mayo Clinic patients can get care in Albert Lea, even when it is needed at an unexpected time. Fortunately, most people don’t have emergency needs and can call the nurse line, make an appointment at the Same Day Clinic or be seen at Express Care at Hy-Vee. Some issues can even get medical attention through Express Care Online or through Patient Online Services. There are also numerous routine and specialty care services available at the medical center. But when you are in an emergency situation, we want to assure you that the emergency department in Albert Lea is open and prepared to care for you.

The emergency department in Albert Lea is staffed by board-certified emergency medicine physicians and supported by physician assistants and nurse practitioners, as well as nurses and other staff who have specialized training unique to the emergency department. Their work is dedicated solely to emergency care. Because of our connection to Mayo Clinic, our emergency department also has the latest telemedicine technology to connect our team to several teams of specialists in Rochester. Programs such as tele-emergency medicine and telestroke bring the world-class expertise of Mayo Clinic specialists to the bedside of our patients in Albert Lea without the need to travel. But if a patient’s condition needs more specialized or complex care, we can transfer patients to Rochester or other appropriate facilities, as has been the practice for many years. 

Brad Niebuhr

We know that seeking health care is a deeply personal issue, and we take our responsibility as the community’s emergency care provider seriously. Many of us live in Albert Lea and the surrounding communities. It is an honor to be able to care for our friends and neighbors in our emergency department in Albert Lea, often in their most difficult moments. We are proud to be here and to be a part of Mayo Clinic’s commitment to high-quality care, from your local primary care provider continuing through specialty and emergency care at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

Patti Paris, emergency medicine doctor,  Joy Shaft, registered nurse, and Brad Niebuhr, emergency department operations manager, are all residents of Albert Lea and work for Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.