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ER Etiquette

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1) ER's are not first come first served. Staff Triag  people according to the severity of their issue.

2) Don't drive yourself if you are the one having a problem you could kill someone.

3) Try to avoid using the ER for minor things. If you have one check with your Doctor about going to the ER for things that could be handled in their office.

4) Don't make assumptions. Why someone is taken before you is not your business.

5) For those with chronic on going issues have documentation on you at all times. This can be med alert + a summary of issues and meds and contacts that you carry in your wallet. I have the same info on my emergency call list at work. My friends know the card is in my wallet. I update it every time my meds are changed and after each checkup. I just give it to the Triag person, makes communication much easier.

6) Be polite to the nurses and other staff members. But they understand you are scared, not feeling well, are in pain.

7) No the person in the waiting room doesn't have to let you watch their movie on their laptop. They don't have to change the movie to occupy your child.

8.) It is a bad idea to use the ER as a Doctor's office. If you have no insurance, check to see if your county/province has a low-cost clinic for uninsured patients. You can also call a Dr. and see if they offer assistance programs for those who are low-income or no insurance.


edited for spelling...because yes, I do know the difference between patient and patience. :P

9) Use a Minor Emergency or Urgent Care center for things like food poisoning or sprained ankles. Not only will you not be taking up valuable time/space in a Major Emergency Room, but the service tends to be faster.

10) Limit your caregivers/drivers to two functional adults. There is no need for the whole family to tag along unless you are dying. Do not bring your children, elderly relatives, or anyone else who needs assistance or supervision. The only exception is if they are the closest of kin to the patient (e.g. Grandpa needs to be with Grandma). In that case, one family member/caregiver should be assigned solely to assist them while another looks after the patient.

11) Don't stay in the emergency parking zone any longer than necessary. If the patient is conscious, a family member should be able to leave them long enough to move the vehicle.

12) Don't snoop, pry, eavesdrop, gossip, or try to pump the staff for info on other patients.

Crazy Chicken Lady:
ER staff don't have the time to run across the street to get McDonald's for patients while they wait (nor are they allowed to).

Don't get angry if the doctor won't prescribe you what you want. He or she takes into account your allergies, other medications, symptoms,etc to determine what will work best.

Please don't call 911 from the waiting area and demand to be taken to another hospital. Emergency dispatchers really hate this.

Also, please understand that more than likely you will have to wait longer than you would have to in a doctor's office. Most hospitals in this area are grossly understaffed and the doctors and nurses are doing the best they can.
Finally, please remember to fill out the surveys hospitals send out so that hospitals know what they need to improve on and it really makes staff members' days to hear something positive about how they do their jobs.

Try to keep conversations quiet. Other people are suffering, and noise can make that worse.

Be polite to the nurses (and everyone else, but espeically the nurses) they are the ones who do a lot of the taking care of you.

Tests take a while, do your best to wait patiently.

If cell phones are not allowed, respect this policy.

Try not to take up extra chairs in the waiting room, especially if the room is full.

Holidays are the worst time to visit ERs, so expect even longer than usual waits.

Don't try to judge the seriousness of someone else's problem. That's why they do triage.


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