Banner Health Services  

What to Expect at the Emergency Room


It’s helpful to understand what takes place when visiting the Emergency room.

Step 1:  Quick Look/Triage Nurse
Upon arrival, patients check in at the Quick Look/Quick Registration desk and receive an identification number and bracelet. The Quick Look/Triage nurse interviews each patient for the reason for their visit and may do a brief exam which may include vital signs, pulse, respiration, temperature and oxygen level.

The Quick Look/Triage process helps determine the severity of the patient’s condition so that the most urgent patients are seen by the provider first.

Step 2:  Registration
Registration is completed sometime during the patient's stay and before leaving the Emergency department. Be assured that your care will not be delayed to collect registration information.

Step 3:  Treatment
Patients who are believed to having a medical emergency will be seen as soon as possible in private exam room. Treatments and procedures will be done in that room.

Some of our facilities have Intake or Fast Track Areas that treat minor illnesses or injuries. Once seen by the Quick Look/Triage Nurse, these patients may be asked to wait in the waiting areas until a bed becomes available. It is important that patients or family members notify the nurse immediately if symptoms change or worsen.

Often, there are a variety of tests that need to be done to correctly diagnose and treat a patient's concern. The testing process continues once the patient enters the treatment area. 

The emergency department has a specialized team that works under the guidance of a physician to provide treatment. Team members may include a registered nurse, physician assistant, registered nurse practitioner, medical or radiology technician, physical therapist, ED technicians, respiratory therapist or social worker. In pediatric situations, a Child Life Specialist may also be involved.

We understand that you want your stay in the Emergency department to be as short as possible. If you have a minor illness or injury, you may be moved from the exam area to other areas for treatment, procedures or wait until test results have been received to expedite your care.

Step 4:  Re-Evaluation
When all necessary treatments and procedures are complete and test results are reviewed, your provider will decide if you will discharged or admitted to the hospital. Any hospital admission and ongoing care will be directed by your physician or one assigned from the Emergency department on-call physician list.

Step 5:  Going Home/Discharge
Patients who are treated and discharged home are provided with complete after-care instructions to follow.  It is very important that patients follow up with their private physician.

Additional tips: 
It’s helpful to bring a list of current medications, list of allergies and insurance verification. You may also want to bring any activities or materials that might help you pass the time you may spend waiting.

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