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What to Expect in the ED

1) Safety Screening

When you arrive you will first proceed through our front entrance and public safety screening. Our Public Safety Officers can assist with directing your family on where to park and will be able to obtain immediate assistance from the nursing staff if you require it.

2) Forms and Vital Signs

You will then go to the triage nurse. This nurse will get some basic information regarding your visit and will direct you to the appropriate location. You will be asked for information regarding why you came to the emergency department that day, obtain a brief medical history, ask about your medications and will obtain your vital signs.

3) Taken to an Exam Room

Based on that information you will be assigned a level of illness, also known as acuity. Patients with the most severe levels of illness are seen first. The nurses and doctors will be working to see you as quickly as possible. If you have a less severe illness, you may be asked to wait in the waiting room. The nurses will check on you to answer questions.

Once you are in a patient room, you will be asked to change into an exam gown and you will be examined by our nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants. You will be asked to provide your history and current symptoms. You may be asked the same questions several times such as your medications or allergies. This is part of the academic process of medical care and to ensure that all members of the team are aware of these items.

4) Tests and Diagnosis

Tests and treatments will be ordered based on your current illness and symptoms. Blood tests typically take 90-120 minutes for the results to be available. An x-ray can take 120-150 minutes and a CT scan can take 2-4 hours for the tests to be completed and the results to be available for the medical staff, depending on the type of scan ordered, adequate IV access, etc.

The emergency department medical staff may need to consult with specialty physicians as part of your care.

Once a diagnosis is made, the emergency department medical staff will determine if you are able to be discharged or need to be admitted. If you are being discharged, your treatment will be completed and you will be given specific information about what to do after your visit. This may include following up with your primary care doctor or other medical staff. If you are going to be admitted, the team will request a bed on an inpatient area and once available, you will be transported to that bed.

Find a doctor or make an appointment:
General Information: (314) 747-3000
One Barnes-Jewish Hospital Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63110
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