About Emergency Department
The Emergency Department at Catholic Medical Center is committed to creating an atmosphere of quality care and efficient service. We are a Level III Adult Trauma Center and Level IV Pediatric Trauma Center, with 30 treatment rooms and dedicated areas for trauma, cardiac, stroke, and pediatric patients. The Emergency Department features modern emergency medicine equipment and state-of-the-art bedside monitoring capabilities.
Our Emergency Department is staffed by physicians certified by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Our nursing staff is certified in Basic and Advanced Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and the Trauma Nursing Core Curriculum. The Emergency Department Paramedic Staff hold the same certifications as our nursing staff in addition to International Trauma Life Support.
What can I expect from the Emergency Services Provided?
The Emergency Department at Catholic Medical Center is a full-service unit prepared to serve acutely ill or injured persons. When a patient arrives at the Emergency Department, either a trained emergency nurse or paramedic will meet the ambulance service or greet you and ask you the reason for your visit. The severity of your illness or injury you are experiencing will determine when you will be seen by the emergency services team. If the triage nurse or paramedic determines it is necessary for you to be treated immediately, you will be brought directly into an examination room. Otherwise, the nurse or paramedic will complete the assessment and direct you to a registration clerk, who will begin a computerized record. Patients previously treated at Catholic Medical Center will already be in the computer system. Questions for first time patients will include information about your primary care physician, employer and health insurance.
Treatment Room & Evaluation
When a patient enters a treatment room, the nurse will continue evaluating the illness or injury by asking further questions, checking physical condition and beginning the test process, such as X-rays and blood tests. As soon as they are available, one of our emergency physicians or nurse practitioners will examine you. Although some of their questions may seem similar to the nurse’s questions, it is important for the physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner to develop his/her own evaluation of your illness or injury. Following the exam, additional tests or treatments may be ordered.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why all the paperwork? Doesn’t this delay being treated?
Unless a person is unconscious or has been transferred by way of ambulance or helicopter, he or she will need to sign a consent form authorizing appropriate medical treatment. For those persons under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian is required to complete and sign this paperwork.
Creating a record of your visit begins with the registration process. You will be asked for personal health information, family medical history and medical insurance information. To make this process quick and easy, please remember to bring a list of medications you are currently taking, as well as the dosage taken, the name of your primary care provider, your insurance card and insurance information and a list of allergies you have. After the visit, the Emergency Department at Catholic Medical Center will notify your primary care provider so they may follow through with any discharge care instructions.
- How and when is payment exchanged for treatment received?
If complete insurance information is provided at the time of registration, the insurance provider will be sent a bill. Most insurance providers have a co-pay for emergency care which will be indicated on your insurance card. You are responsible for the balance due after the insurance provider’s payment is made. If you do not have insurance, a credit account representative will contact you to set up a fair and reasonable payment schedule.
- During a patient’s time in the Emergency Department, will visitors be allowed?
Generally, the number of visitors allowed in the Emergency Department treatment area is kept to a minimum. This allows the Emergency Department team sufficient space to do their jobs quickly and efficiently. It also ensures you are receiving the best medical care as well as maintains an appropriate level of privacy. Two waiting areas are available in the Emergency Department to provide comfort and quiet for family members, friends or relatives.
- What if I have questions?
You should not hesitate to ask questions of those directly involved in your care. The more you know about your diagnosis, medication or treatment, the better. The Emergency Department team is committed to helping you understand your medical issues and the suggested course of treatment. It is equally important you understand your prescribed follow-up care.
- What happens when a visit turns into an admission to the hospital?
In some cases, you may be admitted to Catholic Medical Center for further treatment. If this is the case, the Emergency Department team will work with your primary care provider. In some cases, Catholic Medical Center’s hospitalists may be called in to oversee care.
- What about minor illnesses or injury? Is this handled differently?
The CMC Emergency Department is designed to also treat patients with minor, non-urgent injuries or illness. There is a separate area staffed for faster evaluation and treatment. Highly trained and experienced nurse practitioners, nurses and paramedics work in close consultation with the emergency physicians on duty.
- What happens after a visit to the Emergency Department?
During your time in the Emergency Department, additional tests may be taken. Once a diagnosis is made and a treatment course has been prescribed, it is essential you understand the next steps. Discharge instructions will provide you with the appropriate follow-up care or medication prescribed. If you do not understand the discharge instructions or have additional questions, please ask. You are responsible for your own care after you leave the Emergency Department. We make every effort to follow through with your primary care provider to notify them of a visit but it is strongly recommended you arrange a follow up appointment as well.
In some cases, you may need assistance from a family member or friend to assist you in your safe return home. If you need additional assistance, please ask. Our staff wants to ensure patients return home safely and enjoy good health. Let us help you.