What to expect during an Emergency department visit
Whether you or a loved one are ill or have an injury that needs immediate attention, it is helpful to understand the process that takes place when visiting the Emergency department.
- Step 1: Quick Registration
- Step 2: Quick Look
- Step 3: Intake
- Step 4: Treatment
- Step 5: Complete Registration
- Step 6: Re-Evaluation
- Step 7: Discharge or Admission
Step 1: Quick Registration
Upon arrival in the Emergency department lobby, patients are greeted by a registration professional to obtain basic information. Each patient receives an identification bracelet that will be checked multiple times by the Emergency staff to verify their identity.
Step 2: Quick Look
The greet nurse may ask a few screening questions while obtaining the patient’s blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, oxygenation, temperature, and allergies to help determine the severity of your illness or injury.
Your severity level will determine whether you will be guided to our acute care area for more immediate care or our intake area for further evaluation. These two treatment areas are specially designed to better serve patients with severe illnesses and those with less acute emergencies. Our goal is for patients to move directly to an intake room after this step but there may be delays due to a large number of patients at any particular time.
Step 3: Intake
The next step involves a more detailed examination by a medical provider and a registered nurse.
In the Emergency department, physicians direct patient care at all times with a physician assistant. Other team members may include a registered nurse, respiratory therapist, medical or radiology technician, physical therapist or a social worker.
Step 4: Treatment
Often, a variety of tests are performed to accurately diagnose and treat a patient’s condition and can include blood tests and/or X-rays. While the diagnostic testing is under way, you may be asked to wait in our continuing-care area so another patient can start their testing.
Step 5: Complete Registration
A registration clerk will visit the patient in the treatment area to complete demographic information, such as address and phone number, and obtain insurance information.
Step 6: Re-Evaluation
After treatment, the Emergency physician or physician assistant, under the direct supervision of the physician, re-evaluates the patient.
Based on test results, patients may have more tests ordered, be discharged or admitted to the hospital for further medical care. Any hospital admission and ongoing care will be directed by the patient’s private physician or one assigned from the Emergency department’s roster of on-call specialists.
Step 7: Discharge or Admission
Patients who are treated and discharged are provided with complete after-care instructions. Patients must follow up with their private physician. If they do not have a personal doctor, we can recommend one .
If the patient is admitted, they will be transferred to the appropriate inpatient unit.