The emergency department of a healthcare center is responsible for providing medical and surgical care to patients that require immediate attention. This department is also known as the emergency room or ER. Emergency rooms can be chaotic, maxed out, or at capacity, depending on the current circumstances. Patients may have the option to avoid long waits at a hospital ER by visiting private emergency rooms in their community. Regardless, this article will share everything you need to know before going to any San Antonio emergency room.
What to Expect When you Arrive at the Emergency Room
As soon as you arrive at the emergency room, a triage nurse will assist you. A triage nurse is a medical professional specially trained to deal with the emergency cases of this department.
They will ask you about the medical issues and check your temperature, blood pressure, and pulse. If your injury or illness is severe, you will be taken to the doctor immediately. If not, you will be requested to wait and you may need various tests or X-rays done.
The Emergency Care
In a San Antonio emergency room, you can expect a team of doctors and nurses to be present to provide proper care for you. Depending on your condition, you may have to get some tests done like blood work, X-rays, etc.
You will have to wait to get the results of your tests. Moreover, you may also have to wait for the doctor who specializes in your particular case. If your pain or discomfort becomes severe, let the nurse or doctor know immediately.
And, if they suggest to keep you under observation without admitting you to the hospital, check with your health insurance providers whether or not this service is covered.
After the Treatment
If you are very ill or need further treatment or evaluation, you may be admitted to the hospital. But generally, you can be treated in the ER. Before you are discharged from the hospital, the care provider will provide you with a set of instructions highlighting how to take care of yourself and prescribe necessary medications. If you have any questions, this is the time to ask your doctor or nurse.
What Should You Bring Into the Emergency Room?
Below are a few things that you need to bring in to a San Antonio emergency room:
- List of Allergies
You should have a list of allergies that you suffer from. Depending on your condition, the doctor may not have enough time to order blood tests or other lab works to gather this information. This list will help them understand whether or not you can be given aspirin, antibiotics, or other medications without any adverse reactions.
- Prescription of Your Medications
When you arrive at the ER and need immediate treatment, a list of medications you are taking can prove to be highly helpful to the medical professionals. This will help them determine what medications might have caused the reaction and take immediate steps to save your life.
It is a good idea to type out the list of medications you take and keep it your wallet or save it on your smartphone. The ER staff or paramedics can use it to identify how to implement the best treatment for your medical condition.
- Photo Identification
Many hospitals need patients to bring their photo identification to prevent billing and insurance fraud. When submitting the insurance card and co-payment, you may be asked to show an identification card. State ID, driver’s license, or any other proof will be sufficient.
- Insurance Cards
Any staff member at the check-in desk of any medical facility will ask you about your insurance coverage. Therefore, you should have your insurance card handy. Additionally, also keep your co-payment readily available.
Hospitals tend to charge specific fees for co-payment, and if you cannot afford to pay it at the point, it’s okay. The ER billing office will send you the bill in the mail, and you can pay the amount before being admitted or treated.
- Poison or Other Toxins
If you are visiting the ER room due to the intake or any poison or toxin, you should try to bring it along. And, if you are able to speak, inform the paramedic or people who are with you what you have ingested and where it can be found in the house or workplace. Providing this information can be a life-saving step.
- Emergency Contact Details
If your condition is severe and the ER staff wants someone to be there with you, you should provide them with a couple of emergency contacts. The medical staff can call your loved ones and ensure that you have someone beside you during the treatment.
Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care – Know the Difference
Urgent care centers take care of non-life-threatening situations and are equipped with medical staff who can directly access labs and X-rays onsite. These centers are open late and during weekends and holidays. Urgent care centers treat conditions like:
- Back and joint pain
- Urinary tract infections
- Mild asthma
- Animal bites
- Cold, cough, and sore throat
- Fever and flu symptoms
- Minor cuts, burns, and sprains
- Infections and earaches
The emergency room, as we discussed above, is meant for emergency medical situations. They are capable of handling surgical procedures, trauma, X-rays, and many other life-threatening conditions. Sant Antonio’s emergency room is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should go to the emergency room in the following situations:
- Severe allergic reactions
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Chest pain or heart attack
- Severe burns or cuts
- Loss or blurry vision
- Major trauma or head injury
- Breathlessness or severe asthma attack
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden weakness or numbness
When you arrive at the San Antonio emergency room, do not be afraid to ask questions. Health literacy is a big component to establish an efficient course of treatment. When patients understand what doctors are suggesting and why it is easier for both parties to agree on the game-plan for the patient’s well being.
When you are being treated, try to ask what is being done and why. If you are unsure of something, speak up, and get clarity. Once you have provided ER staff with the insurance details, ask if there are any out-of-pocket costs. Being educated about the ER department can help you feel assured about the treatment you are receiving.