Preparing for an ER Visit

Preparing for an Emergency Room Visit

ER visits can be stressful! When person is injured or sick enough to require immediate medical attention,  unexpected variables can make ER visits more complicated. Here are some things that can be done in advance to quicken the pace and get the patient medical assistance faster.

Things to Consider BEFORE You  Head to the ER

Waiting for medical attention in a hospital emergency room may seem interminable. For someone who is in serious pain or violently ill, it can seem like an eternity. Fortunately for our patients, the Emergency Center is a NO WAIT, 24/7/365 facility! Even so, there are still some ways to be prepared for an unexpected ER visit to help our staff provide the best care - and quickly. Here are tips to keep in mind:
  • Identification and Payment. Having proper identification on hand allows for expedited handling of personal information when a patient first arrives for emergency care. Most people don't bring a lot of cash to the ER, so a credit or debit card is more likely the best way to pay for an emergency visit. For those who have insurance, always have a health insurance card ready and up to date.
  • Cell phone charger. Bring a phone charger so the lines of communication can stay open to keep in contact with loved ones.
  • Medical history. It is imperative that doctors are informed of any medical history crucial to providing emergency care for a patient. Doctors strongly urge people to be as knowledgeable as possible about their own medical history and it is best to have this information on paper. Medical information such as allergies, previous medical visits, aversions to particular medicines, current or previous medications, and genetic medical history are a few things that will help make an ER visit more efficient.
  • Injury or illness details. It is important that doctors receive as many details as possible regarding the reason for the patient’s emergency visit. What is the issue? Where did the incident occur? What were the circumstances surrounding the incident? When did the injury occur, or how long ago did symptoms of the illness start becoming noticeable? All of this information greatly helps doctors develop a diagnosis quickly and accurately. Provide a scaling of symptoms on a 1-10 rating (the Wong-Baker scale rates a one being mild, up to ten being severe) and how quickly they have escalated. Be concise and provide as many details as possible. Also, be sure to ask questions if at all confused as the doctors want to help and will provide as much information as they can.
  • Trust. It is important that patients trust their doctors when they are choosing diagnostic options. Physicians have a specific process for every situation. For instance, when a patient comes in complaining about stomach pain, they will order standard testing procedures, such as bloodwork and urine analysis. These tests aren’t thrown in to add unnecessary expense, but are crucial to determine what exactly is going on with the patient.
  • Bring a friend. When someone is very sick, it can be hard to communicate with doctors. When in severe pain, there may be difficulty walking or driving. That is why it is best to have a friend or family member come along to the ER. This person can advocate on the patient’s behalf and can help communicate with doctors. This person can also help the patient travel to and from the ER. It is even better for the patient to bring someone who is familiar with the situation and also the patient’s medical history.

Prepare for an Emergency BEFORE it Happens

Most people don't look forward to Emergency Room visits because medical emergencies can be very scary. When someone is sick or in pain, they just don't function well, so it's best to be prepared. Emergencies should always be taken seriously and by having an action plan ahead of time, BEFORE illness or injury strikes, patients can quickly receive the medical care they need.

The Emergency Center is here for you if you are having a medical emergency. Do not hesitate to come to The Emergency Center, as we will perform a free Medical Screening Exam to determine if you are having a true emergency, or if you can wait for an Urgent Care or your regular physician. You can even call us in advance to reserve a room! The Emergency Center provides up to 23 hours of Observation and offers 24/7 care with NO WAITING. Visit one of The Emergency Center’s convenient 24-hour locations in ArlingtonFort Worth, and San Antonio.