Dr. Howard Rubinstein at the nursing station of the new ground-floor facility, which opens its doors March 17.
Howard Rubinstein remembers a childhood trip to a hospital emergency room in Rahway in the 1960s. He’d broken his arm and sat in pain while waiting for long delayed attention. But layered on top of the physical trauma was confusion at what was going on around him in that urban crucible of illness and injury.
“It really scared me,” he says.
A Tinton Falls resident and physician, Rubinstein now heads up emergency care at Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center, where next week he’ll help unveil the latest in care for kids: a dedicated emergency room, complete with Gameboy setups near every gurney.
The new pediatric care center is, to be sure, the product of many forces, including a precipitous drop in childhood hospital admissions in recent decades and the need for hospitals to compete as never before. But it’s also about a desire to make emergency care as pleasant an experience as possible for kids, Rubinstein says.
“We don’t want them in the ER with a code going on in one room and a drunk screaming in the next room,” he says.