Emergency Room Process

A medical emergency can be confusing. Here's what to expect.

Step1: Triage

This is where patients are prioritized according to the severity of their illness or injury. As soon as you arrive, you'll want to go to the registration desk, where we'll ask some basic questions. You'll then be classified into one of the three categories:

All patients are important to us, but priority must be given to Emergent or Urgent patients. However, at times when we have few patients, you may be taken to an exam room immediately. If you feel that your condition has changed while you are waiting, please notify the triage nurse so that you may be reassessed.

When the triage nurse examines you, he or she may initiate treatment based upon established medical protocols related to your illness or injury, such as X-rays, collecting blood or urine samples, and application of ice packs or wound dressing. The triage nurse cannot treat pain without a physicians' order.

Step 2: Medical Exam

Once you've been placed in an exam room, a nurse, physician, or physician's assistant will be assigned to care for you. Additional diagnostic lab work or testing also may be performed during this time.

Step 3: Disposition

Once your testing is complete, a decision will be made to either admit you to the hospital or discharge you (skip to Step 5).

Step 4: Admission

If you're admitted to the hospital, a physician will be contacted to complete the admission process. Family and loved ones of patients will be given information about the condition of the patient and location of a nearby waiting area.

Step 5: Discharge

When you're discharged, instructions for your care and follow-up with a physician will be provided.