Our skilled and qualified emergency care teams will give you and your family the best care possible.
To help you understand what to expect during an emergency department visit, we have provided answers to some commonly asked questions.
Why do patients have to wait for treatment in the emergency department?
People wait in the emergency department for many reasons. Some of these include:
- Waiting while the sickest patients are seen first.
- Overcrowding due to issues such as the flu or ambulance diversions. Also, unlike a doctor’s office where appointments are scheduled, many emergency patients may arrive at once.
- Waiting for radiology and laboratory results. (Some test results take longer than others.)
- Waiting for consultations from specialist physicians.
- Shortages of inpatient beds in the hospital, resulting in patients remaining longer than expected in the emergency department.
The very best care takes time. A triage staff person will grade your condition by severity. Patients with potentially life-threatening conditions such as a stroke, heart attack, hemorrhages and severe trauma are seen first. Patients are seen by order of severity of their condition, not by order of the time they arrived. Once in the treatment area, your total stay may depend on your symptoms, illness and/or whether you have to be admitted to the hospital.
The time of day and the day of the week may also determine how busy the emergency department is. Typically, the emergency department is busiest between 3pm and 11 pm. Weekends and Mondays are usually the busiest days of the week.
Why do some patients get seen before others?
We must care for critical patients with life-threatening conditions first. If you have a minor illness or injury, you may have to wait while sicker or more severely injured patients are seen first.
What is triage?
You may hear the word triage (pronounced “tree-ahj) when you enter the emergency department. The triage process determines who needs to be seen first. During triage, the severity of a patient’s condition will be determined. In addition, when a patient first comes to the emergency department, personal and medical history information will be obtained, and vital signs will be checked, including temperature, heart rate and blood pressure.
Do extensive waiting times affect treatment outcomes?
Our emergency staff works very hard to make sure no one waits so long it will affect the severity of illness or injury. Some patients may wait longer than we would like, but we do our best to make sure the sickest patients are seen first and that all patients are treated as quickly as possible.
An empty waiting room doesn’t mean that the emergency department is not busy assisting patients. For example, patients who arrive by ambulance enter the emergency department through a different entrance. Also, many important “behind the scenes” activities take place in the emergency department that patients do not always see, such as processing lab and other test results.
How long does it take to get laboratory and radiology results?
To accurately diagnose your condition, we need time to review any lab and radiology tests. Most laboratory and radiology results could take approximately two hours. However, some tests take longer to process than others.
Who will be caring for me?
As a patient in the emergency department, you will be cared for by a team of highly skilled professionals. These include the following:
- A medical doctor (M.D/D.O.) has overall responsibility for your care. Doctors talk to the laboratory, nurses and other doctors as necessary.
- Physician Assistant and/or Nurse Practitioner is a midlevel provider that works in conjunction with the physician to care for your illness or injury.
- A registered nurse (R.N.) will assess and monitor your physical condition, give you your medication, maintain your IV and keep you and your family informed of any tests and procedures. Each nurse works very closely with your doctor to provide the best care possible for you.
- Licensed Practical Nurses or ER technicians may also be involved in your care.
Can my family visit me in the treatment area?
Yes. One family member is allowed to wait with you in your treatment room. He/she must stay at your bedside. If the emergency department becomes full, or if a caregiver feels that you need privacy, or if your condition or others in the immediate area warrants your family member may be asked to return to the waiting area. For the safety of our patients and staff the ED is locked down. While we would like for you to be able to visit your family members , please be aware that frequent entering and exiting of the ED takes the staff away from patient care.
What happens when I am discharged?
When you are discharged, you will be given instructions on how to care for yourself and given a number to call if you have continued problems. You may be instructed to follow up with your primary care physician. You will be responsible for your own transportation home.
Our goal is to provide each patient with emergency medical care of the highest quality. If you are dissatisfied with the care you receive at any time during your stay, please inform your nurse or doctor before you leave so that we can address any concerns you may have.
Emergency Department Facts
- Wayne Memorial opened a new, expanded, 10,000 square foot Emergency Department in 2005.
- The Emergency Department has 18 treatment rooms (14 private) and a “fast track” for minor injuries.
- State-of-the-art technology allows providers to access records quickly. The Emergency Department (ED) has its own x-ray and trauma rooms.
- The ED staff uses computerized charting for timely turnaround. Fully-trained and board certified physicians and physician assistants are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Treatment rooms include two negative air-pressure rooms that can be used in cases of bio-contamination.
Give us your feedback!
After you are treated and released, you may receive a survey regarding your recent experience in our emergency department. Please complete the survey and return it as soon as possible. We value and appreciate your feedback, and we will use your comments to identify areas that we can improve. We also encourage you to recognize any of our staff members who may have gone above and beyond in delivering your care.