Emergency Room FAQs
Emergency RoomThe hospital department that provides emergency services to patients who need immediate medical attention. FAQ
- What is triage?
- What is the Fast Track?
- Why do I keep repeating myself?
- Why am I waiting?
- Can you treat my pain?
- Why am I not getting antibiotics?
- I’m being discharged – what now?
- What should I do after I leave?
WHAT IS TRIAGE?
Triage is the process used to determine how soon you need treatment based on the severity of your illness or injury. Triage allows the most seriously ill or injured patients to be treated first. Triage begins at the check-in window. NOTE: Due to the triage process, we cannot estimate the length of your stay. We appreciate your understanding and patience.
NOTE: If your PCM wants to be contacted during treatment, please understand that this can only take place AFTER your consultation with an ED physician.
WHAT IS THE FAST TRACK?
The Fast Track is a division of the ED that specializes in treating urgent care concerns. Urgent care is typically less complex than emergency care, and usually takes less time. When your condition is not life-threatening but requires treatment within 24 hours, you need urgent care. Examples of urgent care concerns are:
- minor trauma/burns
- neck/back pain
- asthma/upper respiratory conditions
- skin rashes
- bug bites
WHY DO I KEEP REPEATING MYSELF?
Your safety is our priority. Repeating your name, symptoms and circumstances to multiple staff members helps us uncover important and helpful details about your condition. Be involved. Use these opportunities to ask questions. If something doesn’t “sound right,” please speak up and let us know!
WHY AM I WAITING?
Wait times are affected by the number of our patients and the severity of their illnesses or injuries. Tests or consults can also affect wait times. In fact, some tests require periods of fasting so please do not eat or drink anything while you wait unless you have permission from a doctor or nurse.
NOTE: For the safety and privacy of all patients, please wait in your treatment room and try not to spend time in the hallways or other common areas.
CAN YOU TREAT MY PAIN?
We want you to be as comfortable as possible. Common pain therapies include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, trans-dermal medication patches, hot/cold compresses and splints. We avoid using opioids (narcotics) whenever possible. If an opioid is required for effective pain control, only the lowest effective dose is used.
NOTE: You may not be able to drive for up to six hours after receiving certain pain medications.
WHY AM I NOT GETTING ANTIBIOTICS?
Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections. Common conditions like colds, sinus and respiratory infections are usually viral infections and will not respond to antibiotics. In fact, taking antibiotics when they’re not necessary may worsen your condition. Your provider will know if antibiotics are appropriate for your diagnosis.
NOTE: Inappropriate use of antibiotics can be harmful to your health and cause your body to become immune to them in the future.
I’M BEING DISCHARGED – WHAT NOW?
Once a provider has informed you of your discharge, please wait to review and sign your discharge paperwork. Please do not get dressed until given permission to do so.
We may need to contact you during the next 48 hours, so please give us the best phone number to reach you during this time. Be sure to let us know if you have any questions or concerns before you leave. Understanding your discharge plan is an important part of recovery.
NOTE: You may need an escort if you took any medications during your stay that can cause drowsiness or impairment.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER I LEAVE?
Follow your discharge plan. Complete any medication therapy as prescribed. Contact your Primary Care Manager (PCM) or referring clinic as instructed. If you experience any complications, contact your PCM immediately or return to the Emergency Department.
Please provide feedback regarding your care experience at: http://go.usa.gov/x8yRd
NOTE: The Emergency Department is not a substitute for primary care. It is important for your long term health to establish and maintain a relationship with a Primary Care Manager.
Building 9A Floor 1
Main: (301) 295-4810
Hours of Operation
24 hours, 7 days per week
Last Updated 10/3/2019