When is an emergency?
This question is often asked before a trip to the Emergency Department. Try evaluating your situation according to the following criteria:
- Emergency: life-threatening injury or health problem, extreme pain and/or great difficulty breathing
- Non-emergency: some pain and or labored breathing, no immediate danger of losing your life
If you feel you are having a life-threatening event, please call 9-1-1 and you will be taken to the most appropriate emergency department, depending upon your injury. In a life-threatening situation, time is very important.
How quickly you are seen by a physician will depend upon the triage process. Triage is a way of determining which patients are sickest and in need of immediate medical attention. It may be that a patient who came in after you will be seen first because that patient has immediate medical needs.
Nurses assigned to triage are specially trained to classify the urgency of your condition. We must respond to all emergency conditions as quickly as possible, but some are more critical than others.
What to expect in an exam room
Once you are taken to a treatment room, a physical assessment will be performed and you will be examined as soon as possible. Several procedures such as x-rays, respiratory therapy, or laboratory studies may be ordered. While some of these tests may be time-consuming, they will help ensure proper diagnosis of your condition. After testing and treatment are complete, you will be discharged from the Emergency Department, admitted to Conway Regional Medical Center, or transferred to another facility.
Our goal is to make sure you have the best medical treatment available. If your condition requires your transfer to another health care facility or if you request to be transferred to another facility, we will attempt to make arrangements for you to be accepted elsewhere.
If you are discharged from the Emergency Department, you will receive written instructions related to your specific condition. These instructions will be explained to you and you will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding your diagnosis, treatment, or after discharge care.
Providing our patients and family members with up-to-date information is a high priority for the Emergency Department staff.