Did you know that more than 140 million Americans visit the emergency room each year? This is quite a huge population. This only means that emergency rooms such as ER near Bulverde play a significant role in the healthcare industry. They help to save peoples’ lives.
People visit the emergency rooms for several reasons, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, abdominal pain, and life-threatening conditions, such as heart attack or stroke.
However, a visit to the emergency room can be quite traumatic and stressful for any patient. Many people usually visit the emergency room without actually understanding what it is all about.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the essential things you need to know about emergency rooms, popularly known as the emergency department, as well as some of the things you need to do when visiting the emergency room. Keep on reading to explore them.
Some of the things you should know about emergency rooms:
1. The emergency room is for emergencies
Despite the fact that many people in the emergency room waiting room could be having the flu or cough, the emergency room is ideally supposed to be for emergencies.
That’s why it is called the emergency room. The whole system is built based on the idea that at any minute, a patient with a heart attack can enter through the door, or a stroke patient, or a woman in labor that can give birth at any minute.
2. They don’t operate on a first-come, first-served basis
When it comes to emergency rooms, it doesn’t mean that the first patient is the first to see to be seen by the emergency room physician. They don’t usually see patients in the order they come through the door. Patients with severe symptoms tend to be seen first.
So a patient who arrives after you will be seen before you if they have severe symptoms. The emergency staff at the triage [usually a registered nurse] will check the patient’s temperature, blood pressure, and pulse.
The nurse will also take the medical history of the patient and perform a brief examination of the symptoms the patient is experiencing. This will help them determine which patients should be given priority.
Patients with severe emergencies will receive immediate treatment. The triage process generally helps ensure that all patients get the care they need as quickly as possible. So if your symptoms aren’t that severe, you will have to wait for some time.
3. Emergency doctors are a “jack of all trades”
Of course, as an emergency room doctor, you don’t know what the next patient who will walk through the door is suffering from. These doctors must be equally competent with urinary tract infections as they are with massive chest trauma. If the illness or injury is life-threatening, they must know how to handle it.
These emergency doctors are like any other handyman; they really need to be good at what they are doing. An ER doctor can run circles around any other type of doctor, such as a cardiologist- when treating a patient with cardiac arrest.
However, emergency room doctors may not be good at maybe recognizing a rare disease or condition. But sometimes, they may identify a problem and send the patient to a specialist. They are also not in a good position to notice trends or do long-term medicine.
4. You may have to wait longer in the waiting room if your condition isn’t severe
As mentioned above, emergency rooms don’t usually operate on a first-come-first-serve basis. They usually prioritize patients with severe emergencies. For instance, if you are just having the flu, then another patient arrives after you, and they are experiencing cardiac arrest, the staff at the emergency room will attend to him or her first.
That means you will have to wait a little longer. Moreover, administrative tasks such as registration, initial evaluation, and examinations can take some time, coupled with lab tests.
5. There are usually a lot of people in the waiting room
The emergency room is usually the first and sometimes, the only place for many Americans to go to for their healthcare. That’s why you find that these days, emergency rooms are flocked with patients with different illnesses or injuries. So you need to practice a high level of hygiene, such as using a hand sanitizer.
Things to keep in mind when visiting an emergency room:
When visiting an emergency room, remember to:
1. Carry your medications or a list of all your medications if possible
The more the emergency medical staff knows about your medical history, the better. If possible carry all the current medications you are taking or a list of them.
You can also give the staff the name and phone number of your primary care doctor. Giving the ER staff a list of your medications and supplements you take can help reduce allergic reactions as well as drug interactions.
2. Disclose all allergies
Disclosing all your allergies to the emergency medical team is critical in keeping you safe. Allergies don’t just include drug allergies but food and latex allergies as well.
It’s worth mentioning that not all reactions mean that you are allergic to a certain medication, but any adverse side effects should be disclosed to the medical team.
Drug interactions occur when there’s an unfavorable reaction between two or more medications as your body absorbs them.
3. Never exaggerate symptoms
Usually, patients who demand specific medications or are overly dramatic may not even realize that they are actually doing so. When it comes to describing your symptoms to the doctor, be as complete and honest as you can.
That should include what these symptoms are, how each one of them began, whether they have occurred in the past, and what you think could be triggering these symptoms [whether it’s food or medication].
It is also good to disclose whether you tried treating your illness or injury at home before actually deciding to visit the emergency room to seek care.