Surviving a Night in the Emergency Room

Emergency room entrance in Los Alamitos.

Emergency room entrance in Los Alamitos.

An emergency can hit at any given moment. Being prepared for a hopefully short visit to the emergency room will completely change the comfort of your stay.

The emergency room is meant for vital and severe issues, if symptoms are a true emergency then calling an ambulance would be highly advised. Patients should know that coming into the emergency room with something that can be treated at a local doctors office is most likely gonna be returned with a wait time of anywhere from five minutes to four hours.

Having a California Identification card on hand at all times not only makes the process of registration a patient easier when come into an emergency room, but is a state law as well. If a patient does have insurance having that on hand at all times will also make a visit run more smoothly.

Jon Manley has been an emergency registration clerk for over three years now at Los Alamitos Medical Center. Manley said, “If a patient has insurance, but does not have the insurance card it becomes extremely difficult to be able to run eligibility and the patient will most likely be put down as a self pay which can result to be a pretty expensive visit.”

Manley also said many patients grow upset when having to wait in an emergency room for a laceration or abdominal pain, but what they do not realize is ambulances are coming in the back door for people who cannot breathe, have fainted, or are having chest pain. Any one of those symptoms or incidents should be treated with an call to an ambulance.

Always being prepared with a small packed bag of essentials can make a unexpected visit to the emergency room more comfortable. Keeping a the bag in the car trunk with these essentials would be the most efficient location. Items that would be useful for a trip to the emergency room would be things like a phone charger, blanket, list of contact info to family or friends, some bottled water, and maybe a magazine of preference. Being able to contact family and friends is important especially in the circumstances that you do not have a phone.  Making yourself more comfortable for a possible long wait will make the difference between a good or bad visit.

Triage Nurse Cielo Gusman has been nursing for almost 10 years now and really encourages patients to call an ambulance if the issue is a true emergency. Gusman says that patients get upset about a wait time, but what patients have to realize is that emergency room cannot be treated like a doctors office.

“I do my best to see all patients and take vitals as efficiently as possible, but some days are just busier than others and it makes the night a lot longer,” Gusman said.

Gusman knows the difficulties of treating patients while rooms are taken and that waits can be agonizingly long, this is why she encourages to call an ambulance if the situation is a true emergency.

Recognizing a true emergency is important and being prepared for one will reassure a much more comfortable visit to the emergency room.

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