What to Expect in the Emergency Department
The Emergency Department staff’s goal is to see patients as soon as possible and to give all patients our full, personalized attention. However, patients who require intensive care or who are critically ill or injured are always treated first. Unfortunately, that means that when the Emergency Department is busy, patients may have to wait to see a physician, nurse, or other qualified health care professionals. There are other common reasons for delays:
- The physician, nurse, or other qualified health care professional may need time to review a patient’s medical history.
- The physician, nurse, or other qualified health care professional may be trying to contact a patient’s primary care physician.
- The physician, nurse, or other qualified health care professional may be waiting for the results of blood tests, X-rays, or other specialized procedures or tests.
No matter the reason for the delay, we appreciate your patience and understanding.
While you are waiting, if you feel your condition has worsened or you have any concerns, please come back up to the registration window and inform the staff.
Leaving Without Being Seen
If you have been waiting for a long time, you may feel tempted to leave the Emergency Department before you have received a medical screening examination. You have the legal right to do this, but we strongly discourage it. Leaving the Emergency Department without being screened is a serious, perhaps life-threatening, decision that you should not make out of frustration. You need to consider that:
- Getting the medical screening examination may save your life, and forgoing the examination may endanger your life.
- Getting the medical screening examination may prevent your condition from worsening, and forgoing the examination may cause your condition to worsen.
- Going to another facility’s Emergency Department will likely delay, not expedite, the medical screening examination, even if you proceed directly to another facility. The wait at the other facility’s Emergency Department may be just as long, if not longer, not counting the time for travel and the triage assessment.
- Traveling home or to another facility’s Emergency Department could cause your condition to worsen. If you are still determined to leave Sacred Heart Hospital’s Emergency Department, we ask you to please notify the triage nurse.