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What Should I Expect from an Emergency Room Visit?

Anna T.
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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During an emergency room visit, you should expect to be spoken to initially by a nurse who will ask you about your reasons for being there. While you are explaining the details regarding what is wrong with you, the nurse will probably weigh you, take your blood pressure, and check your temperature. He or she will most likely examine any injury present. You will then probably be escorted to another room and asked to wait for the doctor to come in and examine you. The doctor may prescribe any necessary medication after his examination is complete and ask you to follow up with your usual doctor within a few days if your symptoms have not improved.

If you have something very serious wrong with you, your emergency room visit might go a bit differently. For example, a severe injury resulting from some type of accident would most likely mean that you wouldn't spend much time speaking with a nurse or doctor prior to being treated. Hospital staff tend to treat people in the order of how severe their symptoms are, and you would probably be treated right away if you had a serious injury. The doctor and staff would most likely focus most of their attention on you until your condition became stable. There is also a chance that the staff might have to call in other nurses and doctors for help treating you and other people in the hospital if you arrive on a day when there are many patients present.

There is a chance that you will be asked to stay in the hospital at the end of your emergency room visit if your symptoms or injuries are serious. If you don't have to stay in the hospital, you will be free to go either with or without a prescription for treating or relieving discomfort from your ailments. People generally have to either pay for their emergency room visits or make some type of payment arrangements before they exit, and you will probably be asked to see a receptionist before you leave for this reason.

The receptionist in the office of the hospital will most likely ask you if you have health insurance. If you do, you can present her with your insurance card so she can determine how much money, if any, you owe. Most types of medical insurance have a copay amount for emergency room visits, while others pay 100 percent of any fees. If you do not have medical insurance or you cannot afford the entire amount of the copay for your emergency room visit, the hospital may allow you to set up payment arrangements to take care of the bill over a certain period of time.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGEEK. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.

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Anna T.

Anna T.

Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGEEK. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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