Emergency rooms (ER) provide medical care for life-threatening emergencies. ERs are mainly open 24/7, whether inside hospitals or as stand-alone establishments. While ER visits are usually unplanned, there are ways to alleviate the stress and anxiety that accompanies an emergency. Here are some essentials to keep in mind and what to expect during a visit to the ER.
What Do I Need to Bring When Visiting the Emergency Room?
If you arrive at the ER by ambulance, the paramedic and team will gather your essential documents before leaving. These may include driver’s license, identification card, and insurance card. However, if you are driving to the emergency room or someone is bringing you, you may have a moment to gather important information. This includes:
- Your name and date of birth (driver’s license or state-issued identification card)
- Your social security number (the actual card or the number itself)
- The name of your primary care provider and contact information
- Why you are visiting the ER (symptoms, pain levels, etc.)
- Your actual medications or a list of medicines you are taking.
What Happens When I Arrive at the ER?
All patients who arrive at emergency rooms are important and will be seen for treatment. However, patients with more severe conditions or injuries are seen first. Some medical issues may be life-threatening and require immediate emergency medical care.
A highly-trained medical professional will assess your symptoms or injuries to ensure you receive the best care possible. This information will be passed to the ER doctor and nurses on staff for review, who will set up an examination room for you. One of the team members will also have you or a loved one check-in at the registration desk with additional information. This will help the medical team serve your needs promptly.
Will I See a Doctor at the ER?
You will be taken to an exam room once everything is ready. Depending on your injury or illness, you may be asked to remove clothing and wear a hospital gown. The nurses will also start monitoring your vital signs – heart rate and blood pressure. Finally, the nurses will discuss the injury or illness with the symptoms and levels of pain you are experiencing.
The information and notes will be presented to the ER physician for analysis. Once the doctor is available, they will speak with you directly. This is when you can discuss how you feel and ask questions or voice concerns. Then, the physician will review the notes, ask you brief questions about your medical history (surgeries, previous illnesses, etc.), and make an informed decision on treatment.
To be seen quickly, consider visiting a freestanding ER. Freestanding ERs tend to have shorter waiting times than hospital-based ER rooms. Family First ER in Baytown provides the shortest wait possible for every patient. You will be seen promptly by one of your dedicated healthcare providers, usually within minutes of your arrival.
Will I Need Medical Tests?
This will depend on your physical examination and what the doctor finds. For example, a broken bone or internal problem will require special imaging; X-rays, CT scans, Doppler scans, etc. In addition, the physician may order blood and urine work to rule out or diagnose specific medical conditions. As a patient, it is crucial to ask questions – if you are able – to understand what tests are being performed and what exactly the results will determine.
What Treatments Will I Receive?
Treatments vary from patient to patient and can change to meet individual needs. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Some treatments are simple and take place right in the emergency room.
- More complex medical conditions require more in-depth treatments. Patients may be admitted to the hospital for further testing, observation, or planned surgical procedures.
- Life-threatening emergencies will receive immediate medical emergency care. First, the ER doctor consults with surgical teams, nurses, and other medical teams to determine the best action course. Then, patients are rushed to operating rooms and sedated for surgeries. Post-op follow-ups and explanations are given when you awake and stable.
- If your condition is not immediately life-threatening, you may be released from the ER room with instructions to follow up with a doctor. This may be your PCP or specialist in a specific field.
- All information about treatments will be discussed with you in great detail. The doctor will explain what they found in the lab tests, especially anything of immediate concern. This, too, is a great time to ask the ER doctor any questions or voice concerns.
Family First ER offers the same emergency services as hospital-based emergency rooms. In addition, our expert team of doctors and nurses provides professional medical care for patients of all ages.
What Happens When I am Discharged?
The doctor will determine if you’re healthy enough to be discharged. If so, the nurse will explain the discharge instructions in detail. This may include post-treatment medications and follow-up schedules with primary care physicians, surgeons (if you were admitted and surgery was performed), etc. Then, you will be allowed to leave, most likely with a family member, caretaker, or friend.
However, you may be asked to provide your medical insurance information again before leaving the hospital. This allows the medical facility to bill your insurance or have you pay any amounts due (patient responsibility) before exiting. Also, for patients that were not admitted but received treatments in the ER and are now being discharged, it is essential to let the doctor and nurse know how you feel. Finally, do not hesitate to the return to the ER if your condition worsens or you do not feel well.
Family First ER Can Handle Your Medical Emergencies
Family First ER is a patient-centered environment committed to meeting all your health and wellness needs. With a Board-Certified physician onsite 24/7, we provide a level of VIP service that all patients deserve. In addition, our facility features the latest in medical equipment, diagnostics, and everything you will find at a traditional, hospital-based emergency room.
As your premier partner in health, Family First ER remains committed to providing all patients fast, effective, and cost-affordable immediate care for most ailments. In fact, most patients are seen, treated, and released within 60 minutes. To learn more, contact us today.