Triage is the first service you will receive as an emergency patient. A nurse will do an initial exam that includes taking your blood pressure, temperature and pulse. These simple steps tell us a lot about your medical condition. More important, they help us identify patients who need to see a doctor right away and those whose condition is not as urgent. We realize that your time is important and that waiting can be frustrating when you are uncomfortable or frightened. But patients with more serious problems must be seen first.
Who Will See You
The Emergency Department has physicians, physician assistants (PAs), and family nurse practitioners (FNPs) on staff. Often, patients with less severe problems are seen by a PA or FNP. If you would rather be seen by a physician, let your nurse know and we will accommodate you, although this may increase your waiting time.
What Special Resources Are Available?
The Emergency Department has 21 patient exam rooms that have immediate access to operating rooms, the medical laboratory, and the Imaging Department. We have cardiac monitoring equipment that is capable of monitoring as many as 14 cardiac patients simultaneously. There is a four-bed "fast track," where a physician assistant or family nurse practitioner treats less serious medical problems.
When you are a patient or are accompanying a patient, we encourage you to leave children with a responsible adult rather than bring them to the Emergency Department. Waiting in a small, busy area can be a challenge, even for the best-behaved children. Both parents may accompany their child 12 or under into the treatment area, but older patients can only be accompanied by one family member. A patient representative is on duty daily during peak hours to keep families and patients informed of the status of treatment.