What to Expect In the Emergency Room

A trip to the emergency room can sometimes be a frightening and unsettling experience. We hope that by knowing what to expect we can provide reassurance to you and your family that while your situation is anything but routine to you, we practice emergency medicine every day and treat over 67,000+ patients each year.

Our emergency staff is committed to providing the best possible emergency care possible. As part of one of the most progressive medical care facilities in the region, we have access to technology that allows us to administer and practice cutting edge emergency medicine across nearly every specialty. We conduct procedures not available elsewhere on the Peninsula and work hard to provide personalized attention that not just meets, but exceeds your care expectations. When minutes count, you can count on us.

A Message from Dr. Kavit, Chairman, Emergency and Trauma Services

Circumstances may vary depending on your condition, but generally, here is a list of what to bring and what to expect during an emergency room visit:

 What to Bring to the Emergency Room - Click to download printable pdf version
  • List of all current medications including "over the counter" drugs, herbal remedies and supplements
  • List of dosages, when they are taken and the last dose taken
  • Primary care physician’s name
  • List of known allergies and medication reactions
  • List of surgeries
  • List of medical conditions
  • Telephone numbers of family, friends or next of kin
  • Pharmacy name, telephone number and location
  • Social security card
  • Insurance card


Arrival and Triage
When arriving at the emergency room, we will assess or "triage" the severity of your condition. Triage is simply the process of evaluating your condition.

When you arrive, you will usually be seen by a triage nurse who will assess your medical condition by evaluating your vital signs, medical complaints and information you provide about past medical problems and allergies. The triage nurse’s task is to ensure that patients with urgent medical conditions are promptly seen.

Registration
After triage, you will be taken to a private treatment room where a registration staff member will complete the registration process. They will ask you for medical information and to provide consent for medical treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment
An emergency medicine doctor, a registered nurse with specialized emergency training and one or more lab or other technicians make up the emergency medical team that will care for you. Your doctor will review your medical history and perform an exam or evaluation. The doctor may order tests, make a diagnosis, begin treatment, or consult with other specialists or your family doctor (if you have one). The nurses and technicians will help execute the doctor’s orders. Once you are stabilized and emergency treatment is rendered, a decision is made to admit you to the hospital or send you home with instructions for follow up care.

Patient Discharge
When you are discharged from the Emergency Room, your doctor or nurse will give you any prescriptions the doctor has ordered and review with you a set of written "discharge instructions." They will answer your questions and describe any recommended follow-up care. It is very important that you understand and follow these instructions. If you do not understand them, please let the doctor or nurse know. If you get home and have any questions or concerns, please call the Emergency Room at (757) 594-2050.

If You Are Admitted to the Hospital
If you need specialized care and are admitted to the hospital, our goal is to move you to a hospital room as quickly as possible so that you are more comfortable and treatment or additional testing can begin.

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