IV Trauma Center
at St. Joseph’s Hospital is a Level IV Trauma Center. It provides round-the-clock physician coverage, which is supported by highly trained nursing and other clinical staff.
The Emergency Care Process
Emergency care is based on triage, a system of assigning priorities of medical treatment based on urgency. The triage nurse determines the order in which patients are seen based on their condition. This means the most critically ill or injured patients are treated first, regardless of their arrival time.
The doctor who sees you is highly trained professional, who will examine you as soon as possible. He or she may order tests or x-rays, some requiring blood to be drawn or visit to another department. Getting the test results may take some time. Once the results are received, the doctor will explain them to you. Depending on your emergency, your treatment may be simple or complex and carried out by a doctor or nurse. Your treatment may take a few minutes or several hours, depending on your illness or injury. The doctor will decide when you can be discharged from the ER or if you need to be admitted to the hospital. If you are less ill or less injured, you may be seen by a midlevel.
The nurse will provide you with a copy of your discharge instructions and any prescriptions the doctor may have written you. The nurse or provider will answer any questions you have about your care and treatment. Please keep your discharge instructions, because you are responsible for your own care after you leave the ER.
Appropriate Use of Emergency Care
The main role of the ER is to care for emergencies. An emergency is when your health condition is serious and requires urgent attention. To ensure that you are getting the best care possible, to reduce unnecessary waiting times, we encourage you to talk to your family physician or healthcare provider. As someone who knows your medical history, your primary healthcare provider can help you develop a responsible healthcare program, including advice on care that can be more appropriately provided in his or her office.
How Can I Help?
- Bring an up-to-date list of your medications
- Be patient. How soon you are seen depends on how sick or injured you are. The ER sees a large number of patients with a wide variety of illness and injury including those who come by ambulance.
- Check with the nurse before eating or drinking anything.
- Please do not use cellular phones anywhere inside the ER.
- If you are here with a loved one, please observe our visitation guidelines. We allow 1-2 visitors to be in the room with our patients. Our first priority is to care for our patients. You may be asked to step out of the room so that we can complete a task that requires privacy or to wait so the admitting process can be completed.
- Please do not bring food or drink into the patient care rooms.
- If you have brought someone to the ER and are not feeling well yourself, let our staff know so that we can determine if it’s appropriate for you to visit a patient in the ER. You may be asked to wear a mask while visiting and to wash your hands before and after visiting.
Approximate Length of Visit by Illness/Injury*:
- Minor injury- no lab or x-ray: minimum of 30 to 60 minutes
- Injury with x-ray: minimum of 45 to 90 minutes
- Illness with lab: minimum of 1 ½ to 2 hours
- Abdominal pain: minimum of 2 hours
- Heart or chest pain: minimum of 2 hours
*Estimated length of visit once you are placed in an exam room. These are only estimates- your time may be longer or shorter depending on census and specific tests ordered.”