ER Frequently Asked Questions

How Soon Will I Be Treated?

We understand that it is inconvenient and uncomfortable to be sick or injured. Our goal is to see everyone as quickly as possible but the Emergency Department may have several serious cases at any given time. Many cases are treated that are not obvious to those in the waiting room, some of which are critical - a few minutes can make the difference between life and death.

The Emergency Department sees patients based upon the severity of their illness or injury. A specially trained nurse who sees all patients who walk into the ED determines the order of treatment.  We are proud to boast some of the fastest ER wait times in the area!

When Will I See a Doctor?

Treatment begins upon arrival in the Emergency Department. After seeing the triage nurse, the most serious cases are immediately assigned to an examination room. Less threatening injuries and illnesses are taken to a minor treatment area for care.

The Emergency physicians are notified immediately in certain situations to attend to life-threatening events. The physicians see the more "routine" (not life-threatening) cases as soon as practical, given the crisis situations that are occurring.

Who Are the People Treating Me?

The Emergency Department is staffed with physicians who specialize in emergency medicine and specially trained registered nurses and technicians - all of whom have education and experience in emergency medicine. Professionals from other areas such as laboratory, radiology, and respiratory therapy assist with your care as needed.

How Long Must I Wait?

Routine care is often administered in the Emergency Department area within minutes although we cannot guarantee the length of the wait. The staff is always available to keep you informed in a general way about the waiting time but no one can predict when an ambulance will arrive or how serious the next case might be.

No one wants you to wait and we minimize wait times significantly. If your situation changes or deteriorates before your care begins, you should immediately inform the triage nurse. In the meantime, with great respect, we ask that you realize the department staff is committed to treating every patient with the utmost dignity while rendering care to those who need aid most urgently.

What if I need to be admitted?

The physician in charge of your case will determine if you need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment or additional tests. If admission is indicated, the staff will assist you in making necessary arrangements while the paperwork is being completed and a hospital room is made ready for you.

Why must I do paperwork if I have been here before?

We are committed to treat the patient first, then to complete the paperwork. Sometimes when there will be a wait, the staff may ask you to begin providing information needed for our records if your condition is stable.

You may feel you are repeating information. The care team communicates about your care as needed but some information is repeated in order to assure that it is accurate for your safety.

Visitors and Family Are Important.

In order to provide the best environment for care, as well as respecting everyone’s right to privacy, we will ask that you limit visitors who accompany adult patients to the exam rooms. Pediatric patients, of course, should have at least one parent in the exam room at all times. We will keep your door closed for your privacy.

Don’t eat or Drink until you see the physician!

Patients should refrain from eating or drinking until seen by a physician. Family and friends will find it helps pass the time to visit the vending area outside the Emergency Department or by visiting our cafeteria. The nurse will arrange for food and drink when the physician approves it.

Discharge

Once a patient has been released by a physician to return home, the staff will generate a customized set of discharge instructions. This does take a few minutes once the doctor finishes his portion of the chart. The RN will come to your room to discuss this information and answer any questions you may have concerning your treatment or medication.

For all questions related to billing and finances, contact the Business Office and ask for a Patient Representative.

Your opinion is important to us!

One of the ways you can help us keep our service prompt and effective is to complete our Satisfaction Survey. Your suggestions are welcome and your observations are carefully considered. There is a survey provided in each treatment room. You may leave this with your nurse or mail it back to the hospital.

The Emergency Department is ranked in the top 5% of all hospitals in our parent company, HCA, for patient satisfaction because of the staff’s commitment to quality patient care. If you have questions or concerns, the nurse manager’s name and number is posted in all of the rooms.