Emergency Department Frequently Asked Questions

Emergency Department Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Eisenhower Medical Center’s Tennity Emergency Department (ED). This guide should answer many of your questions. The map will give you an overview of the ED, adjoining areas and nearby services.

Is registration necessary?
Registration is essential to your care in the ED. It provides a record of your consent to be treated, and is used to document your treatment and to order lab work and/or X-rays.

What is ‘triage’?
Triage is a French word meaning ‘to sort’. In the ED, triage refers to the process of examining patients and placing them in the order they will be seen and treated. 

What is the Rapid Treatment Area?
The Rapid Treatment Area is a section of the ED for treatment of less urgent cases. This benefits both urgent and non-urgent patients by freeing up beds in the main treatment area and by decreasing wait times for less urgent cases.

Will I have to wait long to be treated?
While patients are treated in the ED in order of urgency, wait time also depends on how many patients are already in the treatment area.  Resuscitative patients are taken immediately into the treatment area.

The Five Levels of Triage are as follows:  

  • Resuscitation - Persons with critical, life threatening illnesses or injuries requiring immediate evaluation and therapeutic intervention.
  • Emergent - Persons with unstable symptoms determined to be possibly life threatening.
  • Urgent - Persons who are stable but with major illness or injury.
  • Semi-Urgent - Persons who require minimal labs or radiological exams.
  • Non-Urgent - Persons with non-complicated illness or injuries that need no labs or radiological exams.

Remember: Your waiting time may increase depending on ambulance arrivals who may require immediate attention. The ambulance entrance is not visible from the waiting room. The Triage Nurse will keep you apprised of changes when asked, and will monitor your condition as needed.

How long does it take to get results?
Timing of test results is determined by volume and acuity of patients being evaluated in the treatment area.  Lab work and X-rays usually take an hour, while specialty tests (CT Scans, MRI, Ultrasound) may take longer. Physicians generally evaluate several patients concurrently and review lab results as soon as they are available.  In perspective, please note that if done on an outpatient basis, exam/tests/results, may take 1 week or greater.

How do I find out about my family member’s condition?
The Lobby Manager (Nurse) or Security Guard at the Information Desk are your information resources. You may ask for an update on a patient’s progress whenever you are concerned.

How is the ED staffed?
The Eisenhower ED is staffed with Physicians Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Registered Nurses, Licensed Vocational Nurses, Emergency Medical Technicians, Secretaries, Registration Clerks, Housekeeping personnel and Volunteers. Our staff can be identified by their badges.

How many beds does the ED have?
The ED has 4 resuscitative beds, 22 emergent/urgent Beds, 12 semi-urgent rapid treatment area beds and 4 specialized beds for a total of 42 beds.

Are Visitors Allowed?
Our ED staff welcomes visitors, although the decision for a specific patient is left to the physician and nurse caring for the patient. Visitors may be asked to leave for a few minutes so the patient may be more fully examined or begin necessary treatments.

The Eisenhower ED is a secured area with authorized access only. As a visitor, you are required to obtain a badge from Security at the information desk if you wish to visit your family member/friend at the bedside.  Please remain at the bedside and respect other patients’ privacy.

Where can my family get something to eat while they are waiting?

Eisenhower’s Café 34 is open daily in the new Annenberg Pavilion from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., closed only from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Vending machines are located in Café 34.

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