What to Expect During an Emergency Department Visit
We do everything we can to provide the treatment a patient needs as quickly as possible. We hope this information will help explain how BVRMC makes decisions about the treatment and comfort of our patients.
Who Receives Treatment First?
Patients come to the Emergency Department for a wide range of conditions. “Triage” is the universal medical system of classifying patients according to their condition. This ensures that patients with life-threatening emergencies are always treated first.
In such emergencies, intensive medical and nursing care may take several hours, resulting in longer wait times for patients whose conditions are not as serious.
In addition, the most critical patients usually arrive by ambulance, bypassing the registration desk for immediate, life-saving treatment. Please note that an empty waiting room usually does not mean an empty Emergency Department.
Other factors which may extend your wait while in a treatment room:
- Specialist consultation.
- Lab or X-ray.
- Observing progress in condition or after certain medications are given.
While a Patient Waits
- We ask that patients do not eat or drink anything until they have been evaluated by a physician. Food or drink could delay or interfere with care.
- When a patient arrives, needs will be assessed by registered nurses and/or ambulance personnel. Following the assessment, the patient will be seen by a physician. Our entire staff is available to provide quality care in meeting the patient’s needs and those of the patient’s family.
- If patients feel their conditions have changed, they may be reassessed by alerting the nurse or ambulance staff.
Keeping the Patient Informed
Several departments may participate in the care of a patient, including Laboratory, Medical Imaging (x-ray), Cardiology and Respiratory. Their important roles in the diagnosis and treatment also take time to ensure that the care is appropriate.
We make every effort to keep the patient and those accompanying the patient regularly informed about treatment process, including:
- Tests that may be needed, if any.
- When to expect test results.
- What the results mean.
- The treatment.
- What the patient needs to do when they go home.
The patient is a key member of the treatment team. The patient can help by giving complete information, asking questions, and keeping us informed about how they feel.
Visitors in the Treatment Room
We want the patient to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible. The patient may bring a family member or friend to the treatment room. Due to limited space and privacy considerations, only one visitor per patient may be permitted. For their safety, children are not permitted in the treatment area unless the child is a patient or accompanied by an adult.
The patient’s visitor may be asked to leave the treatment area when:
- The patient’s privacy or that of other patients needs to be protected.
- The patient or the physician requests limited visiting.
- The patient is undergoing a procedure.
When a Child is the Patient
Children may be accompanied by both parents or a support person, unless other children need to be supervised in the waiting room. It is asked that children do not eat or drink anything until evaluated by a physician.
When the Patient is Discharged
The patient will be given a list of clearly explained instructions. After a visit to the Emergency Department, patients will receive a follow-up phone call.
If the patient has had x-rays taken, the Emergency Room physician will read the x-rays at the time of the visit. The official interpretation of the x-rays will be completed by a board-certified radiologist the next business day.
The transfer of a patient to another facility.
Click here to learn more about ER transfers.
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