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Your Emergency Department Visit

When you arrive at a Gwinnett Medical Center Emergency Department, you will be asked to check in, and then, depending on the nature of your emergency, you may be asked to wait. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Patients with the most serious or rapidly changing conditions are treated first—no matter what order they arrive in.
  • Depending on your problem, you may need to wait for a special room to be available.
  • The arrival of ambulances bringing patients to the trauma unit also impacts the wait time.
  • Some very sick people will need lots of time and people to take care of them, and we cannot always know how many critical people will come in while you are waiting.

The Emergency Department Process

The first stop in your visit is patient registration and visual nurse assessment. Depending on severity of your condition and room availability, you may be escorted to a room or asked to wait in the waiting room. You will be called when it’s time for triage. Triage is a process used in the Emergency Department to check everyone and decide who needs to see the doctor first. While there, an RN will take your blood pressure, pulse, respiration rate and temperature and ask you about your medical problem.

When you are called to the exam room, another RN will talk to you again about your medical situation. The staff asks many questions because the more we know about you, your general health and the reason you have come to the Emergency Department, the easier it will be for us to treat you quickly and safely.

After the exam room nurse gets your information, a doctor will provide treatment. If you need to stay in the hospital, another physician will be called to care for you during your stay.

What to bring to the Emergency Department:

  • A list of your allergies (medicine, food, latex)
  • A list of any medicines that you take every day; this includes the dose and how often you take it
  • A list of any over-the-counter medicines, herbs and vitamins that you take every day
  • A list of any medical problems that you have
  • A list of surgeries that you have had
  • The name and telephone number of your primary care doctor

Insurance verification and authorization for coverage is your responsibility. If you have questions about your coverage, contact your insurer. Phone numbers are generally listed on the back of your insurance card.

Before you leave the hospital:

  • Make sure you know what’s wrong, including signs and symptoms that would require returning to the Emergency Department and when to go in for a follow-up exam.
  • Find out what you need to do to care for yourself at home, including what medications you should take and whom you should call if you have any problems.
  • If follow-up care is recommended, be aware that additional charges, including insurance co-pays, may be required.
  • Be sure to see the discharge counselor before you leave.


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