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What to Expect in the Emergency Department
Upon arrival at the Hillcrest Emergency Department (ED), you will be greeted by a member of our staff who will ask for basic information in order for you or your loved one to be quick-admitted, or admitted on a preliminary basis. You will need to sign a consent form for treatment, and for children under 18, consent of a parent or legal guardian is required.
Once you are quick-admitted, a triage (TREE azh) nurse will assess your condition and determine in what order you will be treated and in what area of the hospital: either the emergency room or the Minor Care unit. Triage is the process of sorting patients based on the severity of their illness or injury. It is imperative that we first treat patients who are critically ill or seriously injured regardless of the time they arrive at the ED. Furthermore, in some cases, some patients may bypass the triage process. We appreciate your cooperation and patience when this occurs.
If your child is the patient, you are encouraged to accompany him or her to the examination room. All Hillcrest Medical Center ED staff members have photo IDs. Please, DO NOT hand your child over to anyone without proper identification, or to anyone who asks you to wait in the lobby when your child is taken for testing.
Food and Beverages
Patients who are waiting in the ED are asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything (except water) before examination by a physician. No food or beverages will be allowed in the examination room.
Tests and X-rays
To expedite your care, laboratory testing and X-rays may be ordered by the triage nurse and completed while you are in the waiting area. If you feel the need to use the restroom, please wait until you have talked to the triage nurse (we may need a urine sample for testing). If at any time during your wait in the lobby you feel your condition worsening, please ask the front desk for a triage nurse.
From the waiting area, patients are taken to the main ED treatment area. Once in a treatment room, a nurse will conduct a more extensive evaluation. A registration team member will complete the registration process. It is here that you will be interviewed and examined by an Emergency Physician or a Physician’s Assistant.
We do our best to keep you updated on wait times. Please keep in mind that we are continuously receiving patients via ambulance through a separate entrance. Wait times may change based on the number of patients we receive. Proper medical care takes time. After you have been seen by a physician, it may take some time before a decision can be made about your status. Your physician may be waiting for one or more of the following:
- Results of lab tests
- X-ray interpretation
- Observation of any changes in your condition
- Reassessment of your condition
- Observation of the effects of any treatment, e.g., medications
- A bed assignment (if you are admitted).