When people hear the term “Emergency Room”, there may be a sweaty palmed flashback of sitting in a chalk full waiting room while your eyes graze back and forth through the other patients awaiting their fate. Or some may glimpse into the dramatic lives of Mc Dreamy and Meredith Grey as they steer through the trivial pursuits of the Emergency Room. These thoughts may be common, but it might be helpful to soothe some anxiety and misconceptions about the ER. Visiting the ER can be a very stressful situation for some, causing panic attacks, you can read about this and how to stop them in this article.
Below, I will outline ten helpful tips people in the Emergency Room would like for you to know in order to aid your process.
1. Don’t Stress If You’re Not Seen Right Away!
Instead, feel relieved because this means that there are people in more dire situations than you. This is not to say that your situation is not important to us, because it is, it just means that your specific Emergency Room may have patients with more threatening symptoms. We evaluate each patient carefully to ensure that we are using our time (and yours) efficiently. If you’re not seen right away, it usually means that the problems that you are having are not a matter of life or death.
2. Visit The ER Prepared To Wait
I know that when you’re in pain, waiting probably isn’t your first thought, but you will feel better once you have something to take your mind off of the pain. In this article, you can review the causes behind ER wait times and how one might deal with them. It is common for patients to wait for six to eight hours, so make sure that you are prepared for this. Speaking of hands, the hand-holding and evident support that comes with working in the ER is relentless. These are people whose work is to make sure others are alright, trust that you are in good hands.
3. Be Polite
This honestly makes the whole setting more enjoyable. In addition to showing appreciation for the people helping you, make sure you also understand that these people do in fact know what they are doing and have gone to great lengths in order to be in their position. In stressful situations, it is common to second guess what people say, but have trust in the people who want you to be as safe and healthy as possible. If you have difficulty understanding what a doctor or nurse is saying here is a list of first aid acronyms that may be helpful in a stressful ER situation.
4. Be Honest
The next tip may seem like common sense, but it can be common for people to fib about the events that caused their injury. Don’t do this! Realistically, those working with you have likely seen worse and even though a sex, drug, etc. related injury may seem difficult to talk about, in the end, it will be more than worth it.
5. Our Staff does not just consist of ER Doctors
It is very common to have social workers and psychologists be part of the Emergency Room community. This brings many people comfort as it evidently creates a protective feeling for those who have been through trauma, often creating a healthy outlet and feeling of sanctuary.
6. Remain Calm and Astute if Possible
Make sure you are comfortable with the decisions being made about your body. For example, if you have any specific views on whether or not you would like a breathing tube or CPR, make sure that it is heard! You won’t be judged as it is your personal medical decisions and it will probably make you happier, in the end, to get exactly what you wish. Being aware is evidently a large part of having a successful time in the Emergency Room.
7. Ask Questions!
Even if the hospital is on your insurance plan, some doctors may not practice on your same plan, which would mean that you would be paying extra. If you are uncomfortable with this make sure to follow up on the issue. Being organized continues to be helpful, especially when it comes to our next tip.
8. Try to Visit The Same ER If Possible
If you have a chronic illness and require constant hospital and ER visits, make sure that you go to the same location every time, as the hospital will evidently know your medical history. Even though this may seem logical, it is common for problems to happen randomly, making you feel the need to choose another location. If you can be consistent with one location it can potentially be life-saving and save both you and the ER team a lot of time.
9. Keep Your Medical Records Organized
Even if you do not have a chronic illness, it is best to be organized with past information in order to aid your recovery. For example, if you have any allergies, had an operation, have an insurance card, are taking medications, etc. make sure that this is known as you never know what information may save your life.
10. Not All Emergency Rooms Are The Same
Some are larger than others, which means a division of services. For example, there can be specific services for those with less pressing issues or sectors specifically for children, it may be a smart idea to figure this out beforehand, as it speeds up a lengthy process.
I get it, the Emergency Room is definitely a stressful place, but through the ten tips listed above, we hope you can gather some piece of mind. If you continue to feel stressed about the situation I urge you to seek out other forms of help, as both mental and physical help is of equal importance. Just remember that you are not alone (the Center For Disease Control states that one- fifth of Americans visits the Emergency Room every year). Know that sometimes, life doesn’t go as planned and those in the Emergency Room will do their best to aid you through your process!