ER refers to the emergency room or emergency department. It is unlike a doctor’s office visit that requires a scheduled appointment since ER does not. Patients with chronic and life-threatening diseases visit ERs, or anyone experiencing a sudden health shock or accident gets admitted to ER.
In the U.S., there are 136.3 million people who visit the emergency department yearly. Life is unpredictable, and keeping this figure in mind, it is no exception that any of us can need to visit the ER anytime. No one looks forward to going to an ER, but becoming stressed and anxious will only add to your issues.
It is better to know beforehand what a visit to the ER is like and what you need to do while visiting. These seven things will be helpful.
Do Your Research:
Do not wait for an emergency to occur; instead, do your research today about your options. Make a list of the best nearby healthcare units that have an ER where you can receive treatment. Focus on finding hospitals that have expert and trained staff. This includes everyone, from triage nurses to doctors.
The first healthcare professional you will interact with is the triage nurse; they specialize in emergency care. They will ask you questions, check your pulse, take your temperature, check blood pressure, and suggest tests. Nowadays, most nurses acquire higher education,ranging from BSN to MSN online degrees, which make them more competent. Choose a hospital with experienced staff, as they are the ones who determine what care you need and how urgently you need it.
Understandably, people fear ER visits, but you also need to understand that your life is very precious, and wasting time can be dangerous. If you feel any severe symptoms like face drooping, constant vomiting, pain on one side of the body, chest tightness, severe headache, slurred speech, etc. do not wait it out. Go to the ER quickly.
You might not understand the underlying symptoms, but the professional staff will. Especially in case of heart-related issues, one becomes so afraid of developing a possible cardiac problem that visiting ER scares even more. But delaying your visit is not the solution; going there is.
In case of an emergency, you might not have the time to open up your several drawers and gather different files, medical and other documents. And for correct diagnosis and treatment, you will need your complete medical records at hand. Ensure you store all your medical records at an accessible place in your house, and every record is in the same place.
You need to tell the examiner about your health history, medications, allergies, recent medical procedures or tests, physician’s name, identity, emergency contact information, etc. It is hard to memorize all this and easy to get something wrong. And if you mess up, it will lead to wrong treatment and grave consequences.
Don’t Go Alone:
Make sure to take a family member or friend with you to the ER. Being in the company of someone you trust can ease your pain. You need someone to fill out all the paperwork and go through the register counter since you will not be able to do it yourself.
Remember the important documents we mentioned? Ensure your trusted family member, friend, or caregiver has a copy of everything so that in case of a hurry, you can ask them to bring your documentation since you might not be in a state to do it yourself. Moreover, they will give you moral support, perform tasks like asking some important questions for you, etc.
Never be afraid or shy about asking questions. The more you know about your ailment, the better you will be able to pinpoint and tackle its cause. The nurses, doctors, and ER staff are there to help you out. When it comes to health, nothing is more important. Sometimes patients think they know everything about their condition, but this is not always true.
Be open to communication, discuss everything thoroughly, and ask as many questions about your condition as you want. Fear of embarrassment has no place in this kind of situation.
Focus on Your Symptom:
It is crucial to be as honest and as focused as possible when visiting the ER. You might have a few allergies or different medical conditions, but in the ER, focus only on the symptom that has brought you there. Do not talk about all your other symptoms at once.
The staff and doctors will love to help you in every possible way, but an ER is different from a regular doctor’s appointment—someone else with a more severe condition than you might be waiting. Also, never exaggerate or lie about your symptoms, thinking you will get treatment quickly. It is your health we are talking about. You don’t need to get misdiagnosed or lose your doctor’s trust by making him doubt everything you say.
You will need to wait before getting treatment. There are many patients at the same time in the ER, meaning not every patient can receive treatment right away; some conditions are more serious than others. Prepare mentally that you will have to wait for a long time. The average waiting time is 4 hours at least.
The registration, filling records, testing, reports, discharging, etc. definitely requires a lot of time. So exercise patience and do not worsen your condition or staff’s morale by being angry. Try to bring a book with you as a distraction, or if you have a hobby, like knitting, etc. it might seem absurd, but having a healthy distraction will help.
Visiting the ER is stressful enough. You are already sick and also have to tackle the tension of going, registering, waiting, and getting treatment. Here are seven things to doto make your ER visit easier.
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