top of page
  • Writer's picturejondab

Preparing for an Emergency Room Visit



Emergencies are just that – emergencies! You don’t plan for them to happen. But most of us at some point or another find ourselves in an emergency room, either for ourselves or a loved one. When the emergency happens, all you can think about is getting to that emergency room as fast as possible.

If you arrive by ambulance or if you are unconscious, you receive immediate care. Otherwise, a triage nurse assesses your condition.


When you check in at the desk, they will ask you for:

· Your name

· Date of birth

· Gender

· mailing address

· name and phone number of primary care doctor

· photo ID

· list of current medications

· health insurance card

· Medicare card if applicable

· Emergency contact information

· Reason for your emergency care visit


On a recent visit we were also asked if there was a Financial Power of Attorney and a Living Will/Advance Directive. They also wanted a list of other regularly seen doctors.


If you are upright and mobile, you are taken to an area where your vitals are taken. From that initial interview other tests may be requested so the team can learn more about your problem. On our visit my husband had an EKG, a CT scan, and an X-ray. For each of these he was taken to another area for the test and then returned to the waiting area.


Plan on being in the waiting area for a long time. We were in the waiting room eleven hours and over twelve hours at the emergency center. I did have enough experience to know to bring reading material and some water. There will probably be some snack machines but when we were there not all were working including the coffee machine. Also, the person who is there with the emergency will very likely get cold. Since I had driven us to the emergency room I could run back to the car for extra sweaters and water.


At the end of about eleven hours, we did get to a back room to see a doctor. The last test, the X-ray, showed that he had aspiration pneumonia. He was given medicine and liquids through a drip and a prescription for home. We were lucky in that he did not have to get admitted to a hospital.


During that entire time, I felt like the Emergency room personnel were working hard and doing the best they could. Naturally, our emergency happened on a weekend which is a busier time and recently a large hospital had closed down so this hospital was covering more people than it had been set up for.


My challenge to you is to have a folder or binder to grab with all documents for each member of your family. Also, knowing ahead of time what to expect lowers your frustration and stress levels.


If you are struggling with developing an organizational plan to organize your files and medical records or just want guidance with decluttering your space, join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space for You virtual support group.


Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of four books as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.





25 views7 comments

Recent Posts

See All

7 則留言


Julie Bestry
Julie Bestry
2023年7月05日

I'm so sorry your husband had to go through that, but relieved that everything has been resolved. Having not been to the hospital since I was 12, my visit in February 2009 (the first of six that year) was eye-opening. It's simultaneously terrifying and stultifyingly boring until you get to actually start seeing medical experts. I can't believe you were left in the waiting area for 11 hours; that's unconscionable! This advice is excellent. To your list, I'd add a list of dates of any surgeries. When my mom was having a pre-surgical visit a few years ago, we had to fill out paperwork that not only included the cause of death of her parents, but her grandparents! So, that an…

按讚
jondab
jondab
2023年7月06日
回覆

I actually have a bag I grab for my husband for every doctor visit or emergency. I have a log with color coding of every visit -primary doctor, oncologist, radiation, chemo, dermatologist, etc. - then I have a folder with CT, PET, MRI or any other scans. I also have a folder just with hospitalizations or outpatient surgeries. We are in the Emory system so all Emory doctors we see have information in the system. His family history is in the system, so I don't carry that.

I find that when we check in they ask about recent surgeries and hospitalizations.

One thing that aggravates me is that you usually fill in a form online before visits and then when…

按讚

Janet Barclay
Janet Barclay
2023年7月03日

I'm sorry you had to go through that but thankful that your husband didn't have to be admitted to hospital. My husband had a cardiac arrest 5 years ago, and was hospitalized for 21 days while they ensured he was stable and then set out to figure out what caused it. Even being organized, mistakes can be made. I told them he didn't want life support, but they wanted to see his legal paperwork, so I brought it the next day, only to realize I'd brought my own instead of his. By the time they had the correct paperwork, my husband was out of the woods and it was no longer an issue, so maybe that mistake was a blessing…

按讚
jondab
jondab
2023年7月03日
回覆

It sounds like fate took a hand.

按讚

Linda Samuels
Linda Samuels
2023年7月03日

Thank you for sharing your story and excellent preparedness tips. I'm so sorry you had such an intense emergency room experience with 11 hours in the waiting room and 12 hours at the emergency center. No fun at all!


Unfortunately, I have a lot of emergency experience because of my parents (both deceased now) and other family members. Especially when I was Power of Attorney and in charge of my mom's medical decisions, I needed to be prepared. I carried with me a list of all her medications, doctors, diagnoses, allergies, brief medical history, and other important contact info. I also had a lot of that information stored in my phone, which also helped.


In addition to the lists, I'd…


按讚
jondab
jondab
2023年7月03日
回覆

I also kept notes - I have a log that I have kept for Rob since we began this cancer journey. It is very helpful when I am asked about when a procedure was done or what doctor did a procedure. I sure can't remember all that stuff - especially under stress.

按讚

dnqsolutions
2023年7月03日

These tips are really good to know.

按讚
bottom of page