Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to our services and treatment options, we're making it easy for you to get the information you need. For your convenience, we've compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions.
What can you expect when you come to the ER?
When you arrive at the ER, you'll be greeted and rapidly entered into the hospital computer system. Next, you'll be evaluated by a nurse who will ask for more detail about your medical problem, including background information. And finally, you'll be taken to an exam room for appropriate tests and treatments.
Why do you have to wait in the waiting room before you see a physician?
While we strive to move patients quickly into the exam rooms, there are times when we must provide care to patients based on who has the most serious medical problem. Sometimes that means patients with less serious problems may have to wait in the waiting room until an exam room is available.
What if you don't have health insurance?
You'll be offered a medical evaluation to identify a potential emergency medical condition regardless of your ability to provide payment.
How long does an Emergency Department visit take?
There is significant variability in the length of an Emergency Department visit, due mainly to the seriousness of the illness and the number of tests necessary. You can generally expect from one to four hours. You'll leave the Emergency Department with an examination as well as with the results from the tests that were performed.
Can you see your doctor in the Emergency Department?
Your doctor may take care of you in the Emergency Department, but most patients are taken care of by a physician who has special training in emergency medicine.
Are there things that you should not come to the ER for?
In general, illnesses or conditions like common colds, minor skin rashes or other minor problems should be treated by your primary physician.
How long does it take to see the emergency physician?
The length of time to see the emergency physician can vary, but the average time at Lutheran Hospital is approximately 15 minutes from arrival to the Emergency Department. Patients with emergency conditions will be seen immediately.
What tests can be done in the Emergency Department?
Most basic and advanced diagnostic tests can be performed in the Emergency Department. However, tests that aren't immediately necessary can be scheduled after you've been discharged from the Emergency Department.
What happens if the emergency physician thinks you need to be admitted to the hospital?
If your condition requires you to stay in the hospital, the emergency physician will contact your primary physician or the appropriate specialist and arrange for them to admit you to the hospital. That physician assumes responsibility and directs your care while you're in the hospital.
What special training does a physician board-certified in emergency medicine have?
A physician who is board-certified in emergency medicine has completed four years of medical school and then completed three to four years of specialized training in emergency medicine. The training has an emphasis on recognizing and managing any and all medical conditions that present to the emergency department, including life-saving interventional procedures.