Triage nurses are usually the people who begin your care when you come to the ETD.  They evaluate you by asking questions.  They also take measurements such as blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and assess pain if appropriate.  They perform a physical examination which may include listening to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope.  Triage nurses may examine parts of the body affected by your condition.

Triage nurses use their education and experience to establish which patients have the most serious symptoms.  There are also standards that guide the triage nurses in making these decisions.  Patients are not necessarily seen on a first come first serve basis. They are seen in order of priority given by the triage nurse. If you come to the ETD in an ambulance, you may not be seen by a triage nurse.  Instead, you may be sent directly into the ETD.

A nurse in the ETD is assigned to the Central Communication and Flow of patients. This person is responsible for making sure that all patients in the ETD receive care as quickly as is possible.  He or she also makes sure that each patient is matched to the clinical team of doctors and nurses that can best meet their needs.

Once triage is done the nursing team works together to move you either into a treatment area or to the start up room. The purpose of the start up room is to have you seen quickly by a doctor, physician assistant (PA) or an advanced practice nurse (APN).  The start up team does a brief examination so that blood tests can be done and you can receive pain medication. You will then be placed in the treatment area. 

After you are examined, the team will make a treatment plan for you. Then, you or your family members will meet with the registration clerk. The registration clerk asks for information about you, such as your address, date of birth, and the name of your family doctor. In addition, the registration clerk will collect your insurance information in order to complete the registration process. 

A team of professionals works together to help you in the treatment area. This team may include a doctor, PA, or APN, and a nurse, technician and others.  The team members communicate closely with each other about your plan of care. Certain tests may be ordered and the results will define your course of treatment. The team approach will address all aspects of your care and make you as comfortable as possible throughout your stay .

Medical services in the ETD are available without discrimination based on age, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, diagnosis, ability to pay, or source of payment. 

Being able to communicate with your health care team is important.  If you have special needs, please tell the nurse.  A sign language interpreter or Telecommunications device for the deaf (TTD) can be provided or you can go a location that has TeleTYpe (TTY) services. Let the nurse know if you do not speak English well and need information in another language.  He or she will contact a language interpreter to come and translate for you.

It is important to learn what rules your insurance company has about treatment in the ETD.  For example, some insurance providers ask you to notify them within a certain amount of time of your visit. Please check with your insurance company for specific details. Learn more about insurance information.

You will receive two bills for your emergency room visit. One is from the medical center for use of the ETD and the services provided by the ETD staff. The other bill is from the doctor, PA or APN in the ETD who evaluates you. If other specialists take care of you they may also send you a bill.  This could include a radiologist who reads X-rays or a CAT scan, or a cardiologist who evaluates your Electrocardiogram (EKG).  

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