- What to Expect in the ED
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What to Expect in the ED
What to Expect in the ED
Urgency in an emergency!
We hope you’ll never need emergency care, but if you do, we’re ready and waiting to provide expert care for conditions ranging from minor treatment to major trauma. Our physicians and staff are specially trained to treat a wide range of conditions.
Who will evaluate my condition?
Upon arrival a triage nurse will see you. An experienced Emergency Department (ED) physician will evaluate you. If the physician feels your condition requires an on-call specialist, one will be contacted. Once your evaluation is complete, your primary care physician may be contacted if the ED physician feels it is appropriate. Notify our staff immediately if your condition changes.
How long will I have to wait?
There are several factors that can affect your wait in the Emergency Department. We understand your frustration over waiting for care and are making every effort to provide prompt care.
The average wait time in our Emergency Department is less than 30 minutes. ER wait times represent a four-hour rolling average updated every 30 minutes, and is defined as the time of patient arrival until the time the patient is greeted by a qualified medical professional. Read more about our ER Wait Times.
We treat an average of 70 or more patients a day. The busiest times in our department are between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m., plus weekends and holidays. If you arrive during a busy time, you may experience a longer wait time.
Specialized physicians may need to be called in to further evaluate your condition, and/or specialty tests may be ordered. Some tests are more involved and take longer to complete than other tests and may take two or more hours to complete and receive results. Not every illness or injury requires testing.
The Emergency Department is designed to evaluate and treat those with serious conditions and those most in need of immediate intervention. We will stabilize patients and refer to specialists but we are limited in our testing capabilities due to the complexity of a chronic disease process and the demands of more critical patients.
Your chronic illness or ongoing care is best followed by a primary physician or specialist.
The Emergency Department physicians and nursing staff cannot evaluate, medicate, discuss your care or discharge you without your full attention and cooperation
Why are other patients going ahead of me?
The ED does not provide treatment on a first-come, first-served basis. Patients are seen according to the seriousness of their complaint and/or their rapidly changing condition. An experienced triage nurse will evaluate this.
What can I do to shorten my stay?
Patients should not eat or drink anything, or use the restroom without checking with the ED staff. This prevents any interference with medical tests or procedures that may need to be done. If you do not understand any information reviewed by your caregiver, please tell them.
Will my insurance company cover my visit?
Insurance verification and authorization for coverage is the responsibility of the individual receiving service. If you have questions about your insurance coverage, please contact your insurer. Phone numbers are generally listed on the back of your insurance card.
In addition to the ED hospital bill, you will also receive a separate bill from physicians involved in your care (Emergency Department physician, radiologist, etc). If you have concerns about paying for your hospital visit, please ask to speak with a financial assistance counselor.
You are responsible for your belongings
- The hospital is not responsible for lost personal articles.
- Please leave all valuables with family members or at home.
May I have visitors while being treated in the Emergency Department?
Each patient is allowed one to two visitors at a time, depending upon the condition of the patient, complexity of the care required and the status of the department. The primary nurse may make exceptions on a case-by case basis.
The Emergency Department physician will require privacy for the initial evaluation and visitors may be asked to leave the room during this time.
I came to get treatment, why didn’t I get a prescription?
Not every illness requires a prescription. If your treatment requires it, you will be given a prescription. If you do leave with a prescription it is important that you take the medications as directed, and for antibiotics, until they are gone. Ask your pharmacist any questions you may have about the prescribed drug. The Emergency Department does not provide refills on prescriptions received during your visit.
What happens after my visit?
The Emergency Department will help you on the road to recovery, but additional care is often necessary. Before you are discharged, you will receive information about your diagnosis, treatment plan, and follow-up care. You will be given written instructions about medications, activity, and symptoms to watch for that would require a return visit.
Speak up and ask questions if you do not understand your discharge instructions. Patients are responsible to comply with the discharge/follow-up care instructions given.