The Emergency Department is often called the front door to the health system, because it's the No. 1 way patients enter the hospital. In most cases, our doctors and nurses are the first step in a larger continuum of care.
When to Go to the Emergency Department
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms, call 911 right away:
- Chest pain or pressure
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Upper abdominal pain or pressure
- Coughing or vomiting blood
- Heavy or uncontrollable bleeding
- Sudden or excessive pain
- Changes in vision
- Suicidal thoughts
If you’re unsure whether your situation is an emergency, call your primary care doctor before going to the Emergency Department.
If you are more than 16 weeks pregnant and are experiencing a medical emergency, you’ll want to go to AnMed Health Women’s and Children’s Hospital instead of the Emergency Department.
If your child's situation is not life-threatening but he or she still needs to see a doctor right away, consider visiting AnMed Health Kids' Care.
What to Bring When You Come
Unlike your primary care doctor, the Emergency Department staff often doesn’t have access to your full medical record. This is why it’s so important for you to bring the following with you:
- a driver’s license or state-issued ID
- your health insurance card
- any medicines you are taking in their original bottle (If you don’t have the original bottle, a list of medicines and their dosages is also extremely helpful.)
Please remember, weapons are not allowed in the Emergency Department.
What to Expect When You Arrive
If you arrive by ambulance, one of two things will happen depending on your condition. You will either go to the triage nurse, who will assess your condition, or, if your condition is severe, you will be sent straight to a patient care area.
If you arrive by car, a patient ambassador will record your name and chief complaint. Once we’ve entered you profile into our computer, you'll see the next available triage nurse for an initial evaluation.
The triage process allows our staff to care for patients with most life-threatening emergencies first. Because we’re continuously welcoming new patients, we’re also continuously updating the order in which patients are seen. This means time it takes to see a doctor can change with each new patient that arrives.
Patients are allowed one family member or visitor at a time. During certain exams or treatments, visitors may be asked to remain in the waiting room. If that happens, a member of the Emergency Department staff will update you on your loved one’s care.
What to Expect When You See the Doctor
In the exam room, a nurse and medical provider will perform a more thorough review of your symptoms and condition. From here, doctors will determine if you need additional tests, such as x-rays, blood work or urine analysis.
Depending on your condition, a number of things could happen next:
- You could be admitted to the hospital.
- You could be sent to surgery for a procedure.
- You could be sent to the Heart and Vascular Center for a procedure.
- You could be sent home with instructions to follow-up with your primary care doctor.
Every patient and every condition is unique, and so it’s difficult to predict how long your evaluation and treatment might take. In some cases, the doctor might want to see how your body responds to certain medicines before sending you home or to another part of the hospital for care.
Getting Your Medical Record
If you receive care in the Emergency Department, you can get a copy of your medical record from the Medical Records office at AnMed Health Medical Center. Medical Records can be reached at (864) 512-1258 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Want Your Feedback
If you have questions or concerns about your care at any point during your stay, please call a patient advocate at (864) 512-1404 or email email@example.com.