Upon arrival, patients meet with our emergency triage nurse, who will assess their symptoms and decide how the illness or injury can best be addressed. Our triage nurse will check vital signs and determine the severity of the condition and the order in which the patient will be seen. While our No Wait ER initiative means we strive to see all of our patients as quickly as possible, patients who are seriously ill or injured or who have life-threatening conditions will be treated first, and patients are not always seen on the basis of first come first served.
After this assessment, patients are brought back to either our Rapid Medical Examination area or an acute care bed, where they are examined by an emergency physician, physician assistant or certified nurse practitioner. Depending on the situation, the physician may order tests (such as x-rays, blood work or an electrocardiogram), and the patient’s vital signs will be monitored. After testing or treatment has been performed, patients may be directed to our Results Waiting Room to await test results. This helps us to better serve all of our patients by opening our examination areas to those who need to lie down for their testing or treatment.
While we make every effort to provide prompt care, patients may have to wait before a medical professional can see them. Most often, this is because other patients who have a more serious injury or illness need to be treated first; in other cases, procedures such as x-rays and laboratory tests may be needed to be obtained and reviewed by a healthcare team before commencing treatment.
If the physician feels the patient will benefit from additional testing and/or care, he or she will be admitted into the hospital. Otherwise, the diagnosis and treatment plan is discussed prior to discharge. This plan may include medications, medical restrictions and possible follow-up care. After all questions are answered and discharge paperwork is completed, the patient will be released from the Emergency Department.