Upon arrival, you will be called by the Triage Nurse. Triage is a French word that means, "to sort." Triage helps ensure patients with the most serious needs are treated first.
You will have an assessment made by the Triage Nurse that will include your vital signs (temperature, blood pressure and pulse). You will be asked questions about allergies, past medical problems or surgeries you may have had, as well as what medications you take at home, including any over-the-counter medications and herbal remedies.
From the information obtained during this process, the Triage Nurse will determine your "priority of care." This means that some patients will be transported immediately to the treatment area, while others will be asked to wait in the lobby. It is important to note that the severity of other patients' conditions may not always be obvious.
As soon as a room becomes available, you will be placed in a treatment room. If you are asked to wait in the reception area for a treatment room to become available, please remember to:
- Let the Triage Nurse know if there are any new symptoms or changes in your condition.
- Do not eat or drink anything before checking with the Triage Nurse.
- Check with the Triage Nurse before using the restroom in case a specimen is needed.
After seeing the Triage Nurse, you will be asked by the registration clerk to provide some basic demographic information (name, date of birth, etc.). You may also be asked to provide some form of identification (driver's license or photo ID). This will allow us to begin the process for you to be seen in the ED.
Plan of Care
Once you have arrived in the treatment area and are seen by the ED physician, you can expect to wait for test results and for the ED physician to review them and to make a decision regarding treatment, admission or discharge. This is a general time schedule of test results you may need in the ED:
- Blood Tests: 1 hour
- Urine Tests: 30 minutes
- X-Rays: 60-90 minutes
- Ultrasound: 90-120 minutes
- CT Scans: 90-120 minutes
These times are not exact and may vary depending on the particular type and number of tests ordered.
If the ED physician determines that you need to be admitted to the hospital, we will contact your private physician or an on-call physician, if you do not have a physician of your own. This physician will then be responsible for your care once you are transferred out of the ED to an inpatient bed.
When You Are Discharged
When you leave, you will receive instructions to continue your care. It is very important that you understand and follow these instructions. If you do not understand, please ask. If you have a family member or a friend with you, it is a good idea to have them listen to the instructions as well.
If medication has been prescribed, a nurse or physician will explain what it is, what it will do and when and how much of it to take. Also, possible side effects, such as nausea, will be explained and you'll be told what to do if you experience them.
You will also receive instructions on follow-up care if it is needed, such as if you should return to the ED, if you should see your regular physician or if you should visit a specialist. If you do not have a physician, you will be referred to one.
Emergency Department Survey
You might receive a follow up call about your visit to the ED. Your thoughts are important to us. We appreciate you taking the time and effort to help us improve our services.
We have provided this information to you with the intent of making you feel more comfortable and informed while you are a patient or visitor in our Emergency Department.