What to Expect

Our Emergency Department: What to Expect

Vigilant Care from Humboldt General Hospital

If you're on your way to the Emergency Department, it's normal to feel uncertain, anxious, and even fearful about what to expect when you arrive. Below, we have broken down the intake process at our Emergency Department so you can proceed with confidence.

Three Important Phases of Your Care

  • Triage: Triage is the process of determining which patients need urgent medical attention and which ones can wait. When you arrive at our Emergency Department, a triage nurse will listen to your medical concerns and assess your symptoms.
  • Registration: Following triage, a clerk will take down important information (such as age, contact information, insurance coverage, etc.) that will help our hospital provide the best care possible.
  • Medical Care: A specially trained emergency physician will discuss your symptoms and concerns with you. Additionally, other medical personnel, such as lab and radiology staff, may also perform diagnostic tests as needed.

Prioritizing Emergency Care

  • If you notice that other patients are seen before you, the triage process has identified that their medical concerns must take priority.
  • If you believe you have been overlooked by our staff, please check in with us. We try to keep our waiting patients updated as often as possible.
  • If you believe your condition is getting worse while you wait, please check in with us. A nurse will check you and ensure that you are not in any danger.

When You Are Admitted

Once your wait is over and our staff is ready to see you, you will be brought into the treatment area. There, you will speak with a nurse about your condition and concerns. A doctor will also see you, review your medical information, and determine a course for treatment.

Receiving Treatment

  • Once a doctor has decided a course for treatment, he or she will discuss it with you (if you are conscious) and forward all treatment information to your primary care physician.
  • In many cases, lab work may be called for. This often involves taking a small blood sample and running quick tests what will help the physician decide on your best course for treatment.
  • Sometimes, you will require a short observation period to see how your condition progresses or responds to treatment. In these cases, you will be moved to an observation room where you will be monitored by nurses and doctors for several hours.
  • If you require extensive further treatment and observation, you may be admitted to our hospital. Our physician will discuss the details of the admission with you and your family and why the admission is warranted. Your primary health care provider will also be notified of the admission. If you do not have a primary health care provider, a doctor at Humboldt General Hospital will be assigned to oversee your care.

What to Keep in Mind

  • At Humboldt General Hospital, pain is one of our highest priorities. If you are waiting at our Emergency Department or are already being treated and feel that your pain has not been properly addressed by our staff, please let our nurses and doctors know.
  • Valuables should be left with a friend or family member when you are being seen at our Emergency Department. If you have arrived alone, our staff can keep your items in a secure storage area.
  • Patients are allowed one in-room visitor at our Emergency Department (two if the patient is a child). Our facility understands that having a loved one close during an ER visit is important to your well-being. Unauthorized visitors are not allowed in the treatment area and must remain in the waiting area.
  • Food and drink can interfere with medical care, so patients should not expect to eat or drink anything while being treated at our Emergency Department. Visitors are welcome to visit our cafeteria or vending machines, both of which are located near our Emergency Department.
  • Humboldt General Hospital is a medical residency hospital, which means that both residents and medical students are frequently on hand to observe medical services and assist our staff.

Going Home

If you are permitted to go home after receiving emergency care, we will provide you with written instructions, which will include follow-up appointment recommendations as necessary.

If you find that your symptoms worsen once you are home, you should contact your primary healthcare provider or return to the Humboldt General Hospital Emergency Department.