The Emergency Department is a specialized area of the hospital designed for the care of patients suffering from acute medical or surgical problems needing immediate attention. Specially trained physicians, nurses and hospital staff are available to provide quality care.
What to expect upon arrival
The Emergency Department staff sees patients in an order determined by the severity of illness. The staff meets the most critical medical needs first. You will need to register with one of the admitting representatives. We will need to know:
- Basic information — your name, telephone number, address, etc.
- The name of your primary care provider.
- The information on your health care plan or insurance carrier. (Some health maintenance plans will not pay for Emergency Department visits unless prior authorization is given. Others may require that treatment be given only at specified hospitals.)
- Your current medications and dosage. This is our Medication Information Form. Fill it out and bring a copy with you when visiting any health care provider. It is a good idea to make copies of the completed form and carry one with you at all times.
While you are waiting, please keep in mind…
Occasionally there are unavoidable delays, and you may not be seen immediately. It’s even possible that a patient who arrived in the Emergency Department after you will receive care before you do. We hope that if you understand what’s happening, your wait might be more tolerable. Please be aware that:
- Patients with especially serious conditions are always given top priority. Emergency Department staff see patients in an order determined by the severity of illness.
- Patients who arrive by ambulance generally are in more serious condition than patients waiting in the lobby, so patients brought by ambulance may be seen before others.
- Depending on the nature of your problem, it may be necessary to wait for the availability of a special room.
Quality care takes time
There are many reasons a trip to the Emergency Department can take longer than a visit to the doctor’s office. Unlike a doctor’s office, where appointments are spread out, many Emergency Department patients may arrive at once. Your emergency provider may request tests, medications or visits with other providers.
Once you are placed in a treatment room, an Emergency Department doctor will examine you. The doctor may order tests (e.g., x-ray, blood, electrocardiogram). Your vital signs will be monitored. Nurses and other staff will assist you during your visit. Once you have been seen by the Emergency Department physician, you may have to wait for test results to be processed and returned, you may be held for observation, you might need to wait for your primary care provider to arrive or, if we decide to admit you to the hospital, you might have to wait for a room to be prepared.
All patients treated in the Emergency Department will be given written or verbal follow-up instructions specific to their conditions. We’ll go over these instructions with you, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them. We’ll also indicate when you should see your primary care physician for a follow-up visit. If you do not have a physician, we will give you the name of a physician you may contact for follow-up care. Please call the physician as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
You may receive information about medications, restrictions or symptoms that could result in a return visit.
The Emergency Department is located at the Main Campus—North, at the Emergency Entrance. The Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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