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What to Expect

Before Treatment

We value your time, and we are committed to doing all we can to keep wait times as short as possible. However, there will be times when wait times are longer due to the needs of patients with life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke. Naturally, these patients take priority. That’s why, when you arrive at the Emergency Department, you will first be seen by our triage team. Triage is a French word that means sorting, and that is exactly what a triage team does. We use an Emergency Severity Index (ESI) to determine who needs to be seen the soonest, based on the seriousness of their illness or injury.

After triage, you may be asked to have a seat in the waiting room. While you are waiting, be sure to:

  • Check with a nurse or other team member before eating or drinking anything
  • Ask a team member before using the restroom in case we need to collect a urine sample
  • Notify a team member or the nurse if your condition worsens
  • Share a list of medications you take


Depending on your illness or injury, a lab or radiology technician may call you for testing before you are transferred to a room in our Emergency Department. Once you have a room, a clinician and a nurse will take your medical history and perform a physical exam. Based on the results and your initial concern, the clinician will determine whether any diagnostic testing is needed and develop a treatment plan. It’s important to understand that testing takes time. The list below should give you a general idea of how long your test will take to perform and process:

  • Lab testing: 60 min
  • Urine testing: 45 min
  • X-ray: 60 min
  • CT Scan: 60 – 90 min
  • Ultrasound: 90 min

Once your test results are ready, we will review them with you. We encourage you to ask questions throughout your visit to make sure you understand your condition and your treatment plan. Once you have been evaluated and treated, you will be admitted to the hospital for further treatment or discharged with instructions for your care.

After a visit to the Emergency Department, we recommend that you follow up with your primary care physician. If you do not have a primary care physician, our Find a Doctor tool can help you get connected with a physician.