When you arrive at an emergency room seeking care for yourself or a loved one, you are trusting them to care for you like family. At Medical City Healthcare ERs, it’s our mission to provide exceptional, compassionate care to every patient, every time. And while every ER visit is different, we hope that this information will help you better understand what to expect as a patient. Here are 9 things to expect during a trip to the ER.
Medical City ERs are not COVID-19 testing sites
While you can expect to find advanced, specialized care for serious injuries and illness in our emergency rooms, Medical City Healthcare ERs are not COVID-19 testing sites. For a list of testing sites near you, choose your county from the list below or access a statewide list from the Texas Division of Emergency Management:
Visitor guidelines are in place to protect patients, their families and emergency room personnel. In other words, to keep everyone safe. As such, these guidelines may be subject to change for a variety of reasons, including extreme weather events or a pandemic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, one visitor may be permitted per ER patient if space allows, although special circumstances may allow for some exceptions. Visitors must be at least 16 years old.
All ER patients and visitors will be screened upon entry and will be required to wear a mask at all times. We also ask that all visitors help us maintain social distancing of six feet.
Anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms or recent exposure to a COVID-19-positive person may not visit.
Find current visitation guidelines on our COVID-19 Resource Hub.
When you arrive
When you arrive at the ER, a member of our care team will evaluate your illness or injury and ask questions to get a better idea of your condition. This is called triage and will allow us to better care for you and start your treatment plan right away. In fact, treatment may be started during triage, such as having lab work, X-rays or a CT scan.
We appreciate your patience during this time and throughout your visit. While we try to see patients in the order they arrive, patients who arrive after you may be placed in a treatment room first, based on the severity of their illness.
At times, patients may be asked to return to the emergency room lobby, where a member of our care team will recheck you and keep you updated about next steps. Always tell our staff if there is a change in how you are feeling.
Please check with your care team before:
- Eating or drinking
- Using the restroom (a urine sample may be needed for testing)
Registration may take place at the beginning or toward the end of your emergency room visit. A member of our registration team will visit with you. They will ask for your insurance and identification while maintaining your privacy.
ER wait times
A visit to the ER can often take several hours. We know that your time is valuable and we will make every effort to examine, treat and discharge you as quickly as possible. Our focus is to keep you safe and comfortable.
Here are just a few of the reasons that your visit may take longer than anticipated:
- Numerous patients may arrive at the same time
- Patients may be arriving at the ambulance entrance, which cannot be seen from the lobby
- All exam areas may be occupied by patients undergoing medical treatment
- Many medical tests take over an hour to process and receive results
- Your ER physician may seek consultation from a specialist, depending on your illness or injury
Your medical screening and treatment plan
You can feel comfortable knowing that our physicians and nurses are specialists in emergency medicine. During your visit, you will receive a medical screening exam from either a physician, physician assistant (PA) or advanced nurse practitioner (ARNP). This exam will include a review of your vitals and medical history.
After your exam, you may need to have blood work, X-rays, CT scans or other medical tests to guide your treatment. Your medical team will work together to keep you updated with the expected wait times.
You will be escorted to a treatment area based on your screening exam. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of your care team.
Your provider will review all test results when they are completed and will then determine a diagnosis and talk with you about the best plan for your care.
Medical City Healthcare is proud to promote safety and battle the opioid crisis within our community. For the safety of our patients, we will follow the common practices below:
- Oral pain medication is offered first, prior to intravenous opioids.
- Chronic pain episodes are addressed with non-opioid medications and other non-medication treatments. You may be referred to a pain specialist to help manage your pain.
- The emergency room does not fill prescriptions for patients who run out of pain medication.
All X-rays and CT scans are read by a board-certified radiologist. You can access the details of your visit and test results, including COVID–19 test results, in the MyHealthONE patient portal at MyHealthONE.com.
- If you had a COVID-19 test in the ER (as part of your evaluation/treatment), it can take 24 to 72 hours for results. As referenced above, Medical City ERs are not COVID-19 testing sites.
- COVID-19 testing is available at CareNow locations across North Texas. You can find additional testing sites through your county’s website or through the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
- If you were deemed eligible for COVID-19 monoclonal antibody infusion treatment, please call (972) 202-8866 within 1 to 2 days to schedule your appointment.
Discharge and follow-up
If you are being discharged from the emergency room (as opposed to being admitted to the hospital), your nurse will provide you with follow-up instructions and any prescriptions you may need to have filled. The nurse will explain these materials and answer any questions you may have about your care or treatment. The nurse will also remove any IVs that may have been placed during your stay. Please be patient as this process may take some time.
If you have any questions during your ER visit, your care team will be happy to answer all of them throughout your stay.
Medical City Healthcare provides comprehensive emergency services for adults and children across North Texas.
At Medical City Healthcare, we're dedicated to the care and improvement of human life. So, we hope you'll Take Care!
For more information, call our Ask a Nurse hotline 24/7 or use Find a Doctor online.
You can also get care for minor injuries or illness at one of the many DFW CareNow® Urgent Care locations, with convenient Web Check-In® so you can wait in the comfort of your home.