Ephrata Community Hospital

What Happens When I Arrive at the Emergency Department?

When you arrive, a Patient Ambassador will be on hand to assist you and your family members in the waiting room.

Before you can be treated in the Emergency Department, the Patient Ambassador will ask you to sign a consent form to authorize appropriate medical treatment to be determined by the emergency medical team. Consent from a parent or legal guardian is required for children under the age of 18. The HIPAA Privacy Rule protects the information you provide to our personnel.

A triage nurse will ask you questions about your condition and assess your vital signs. The severity of your condition will determine whether you need to be seen immediately.

It is helpful to bring along a list of medications and insurance information. In addition, patients should be aware of their insurance plan's pre-certification requirements. It's a good idea to be familiar with these requirements before an emergency occurs.

Patients with major illnesses or injuries including breathing problems, heart problems, infant illnesses, severe burns, severe bleeding, poisoning or drug overdose will be seen first.

Patients with other conditions may be asked to wait while more severe cases are seen. These less-serious conditions include sore throats, sprains, cuts and bruises, headaches, and belly pain

If you are asked to wait, and your condition worsens, please notify the staff immediately.

While you wait, please understand that the Emergency Department is a busy place. Do not leave the waiting area without first checking with the staff.