We have simplified our definition of Emergency Care to help you understand what to expect at the emergency department. Here are some guidelines.
Step 1: On Arrival
If you have been brought (via taxi, walk in or private vehicle) to the emergency department and require a wheelchair or assistance into the department, your driver/relative must enter the department and request assistance from a staff. After admission your driver should park in the main hospital parking lot and not at the emergency entrance which has been reserved for ambulances.
If you arrived by an ambulance, your emergency care may begin with Step 3 or with you being brought immediately to a treatment room.
Step 2&3: Triaging and Registration
Triage is the place where your health concern is initially screened and evaluated. The triage nurse will assess and send you to the best course for your emergency treatment whilst providing basic first aid when necessary. The triage nurse may also direct you to the imaging department for images like X-rays, if appropriate.
The triage personnel will initiate your records and obtain consent for your treatment. Priority is given based on the severity of illness. Bear in mind that often the severity of one’s illness is based on clinical and scientific data and not what merely meets the eye.
If the nurse chooses to triage you in the triage area, you will be asked questions regarding the reason for your visit to the emergency department. There will also be questions relating to your health concerns, such as how and where the injury occurred or how long your medical condition has been going on. There will be questions concerning medication administration, treatment assistance, condition monitoring, comfort/pain, previous surgeries, past medical history, and family history.
You will need to make a folder (registration) in the emergency department at the records unit. The registration clerk will ask you for your name, birthday, occupation, address, telephone number, next of kin and other necessary queries.
Step 4: Consultation and examination room
The triage nurse will either direct you to a treatment room for immediate care or will direct you to the consulting room until a doctor/ care giver becomes available.
You will be asked not to eat or drink anything (where necessary) until the doctor can see you. Before using the restroom, be sure to ask the nurse if a urine specimen may be required for your treatment. The nurse will also keep your family members informed of your progress and will let them know when they may visit.
While you are undergoing treatment, we ask that you leave your valuables with the family member, partner, or the individual who accompanied you to the emergency department.
An emergency physician or medical officer will examine you at the earliest opportunity. Additional questions may be asked and tests, such as blood samples for the laboratory, ECG, or additional x-ray exams, may be ordered. The physician may need to consult with other physicians of the expanded teams to coordinate treatment.
After admission the triage nurse will hand you over to the ward nurse who on you periodically.
Step 5: Discharge
Most patients seen at the Emergency department are able to return home after treatment. If you are discharged to go home the emergency department staff will give you instructions for follow-up care, including the team doctor you’ll see at the OPD when you’re due for review. We will print a bill and ask you to make payment before you are allowed to leave.
If you need to be admitted to the hospital, ward nurses will assist you and your family members with these arrangements. Appropriate beds for admitted patients are not always immediately available. You may need to spend additional time in a patient care area within the emergency department. The nursing staff will try to make your stay in the department as comfortable as possible. Patient relatives are not allowed to stay overnight during admissions and patient belongings at the emergency should be at the barest minimum to help with translocation when necessary.
Insurance and Billing
The staff may not be able answer all questions regarding your health insurance but they can direct you as to where to go. Sometimes you may need to contact your insurance company (if private) directly to obtain answers to your questions.