8 Things You Need to Know Before Going to the Emergency Room

8 Things you need to know before going to the Emergency Room to make sure you have the best emergency room visit possible.

The Emergency Room (ER) handles everything from heart attacks and strokes to tummy aches, so visiting an ER may take a while. Everyone is seen in the order of most pressing need – or the severity of illness – first. Danville Regional Medical Center has a Fast Track system in place so that those who do not necessarily need to see a doctor for their condition aren’t required to wait for a doctor.

“When you’re sick or in pain, a few minutes can feel like an eternity,” says Anne Mills, Director of the Emergency Room at Danville Regional. Here are some tips on how to make the experience better.

Occupy yourself. The waiting room is likely to be filled with people. So, make sure you bring something to distract you.

Don’t eat. You never know what tests the doctor may order and food in your stomach can sometimes interfere with tests and procedures.

Come with someone. Just like a long drive can be less boring with a companion, so can your emergency room visit. And a friend or relative can act as your advocate, communicating on your behalf with the doctors and nurses so that you can focus on getting well.

Bring a list of your medications. You should really keep this information with you at all times in your wallet or in a file on your portable device. The list should include all prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements. You should include allergies and contact numbers. If you have any condition, allergy, or take any drug that a Medical Provider should know about should you become unconscious, then you should also wear a medical ID bracelet at all times.

Be patient. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for every 100 people in the United States, there are 45 emergency room visits per year. That’s a staggering number. If your visit could be taken care of at an urgent care facility, such as Family Urgent Care on Piney Forest Road, or by your primary care physician, you would do yourself a service and likely save yourself some money by going there first.

Understand the process. There are two types of services provided at Danville Regional’s ER — Emergent Care and Urgent Care. If you have a truly life-threatening condition such as a heart attack or stroke, you will receive immediate care. If you must see a doctor for an urgent care condition, you will be seen after those experiencing life-threatening conditions. Patients are not always seen in the order in which they arrive. If you have a sickness or condition that doesn’t require a doctor to see you, then you may be seen by a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner. The entire system is based on the needed urgency of your condition ensuring you the proper care as quickly as possible.

Protect yourself. You never know what germs and contagious illnessesmay be in the waiting area. Ask for a mask. Use hand sanitizer. Avoid shaking hands with and hugging people you may run into.

Come prepared to make a payment. Bring your insurance card with you and be prepared to pay deductibles and co-pays at the time of visit. Danville Regional provides service to anyone irrespective of ability to pay. In addition, for those who do not have insurance and/or for those who expect to pay for their own services, Danville Regional offers a substantial discount if payment is made at the time of the visit.

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