Top Things you should know when going to the ER

I have worked as a nursing assistant at an ER for over 6 years and I think it’s about time I let you in on some information that could save you some time if you’re ever planning on going in to be seen.

  1. Did you call your doctors office first? – This is very important and is asked by every nurse when you come in to be seen. Most people say no; they just came right here. Unless you are bleeding out, possible heart attack, or have been in an accident; you should always call yours doctors office first to see if they have availability to see you. You could waste over 4 hours just to find out the cut on your finger didn’t need stitches, or been checked out at yours doctors in less than 30 minutes.
  2. If you have to urinate while in waiting room, ask a nurse if you need to grab a sample. – Do you know how many times I’ve asked a patient to give me a urine sample when I bring them back into a room and they say “I just went while I was waiting.” If you are being seen for any reason that might need you to give a urine sample like abdominal pain don’t be afraid to ask for a cup while you’re still waiting.
  3. Do not refuse to give your urine sample because you’re scared the weed you smoked last week will show up on your lab results. – This one ties into the last, if you are actually in the ER for a medical emergency then don’t hold out on giving us your urine sample due to you being scared of what will be found in it. N the doctor isn’t drug testing your urine; he’s trying to see if anything is off to find what the cause of your illness is. AND….. the longer you hold out on giving your urine the longer you have to stay, and in a lot of cases the doctor won’t give out pain medicine until he sees all your results including blood work, urine, x-rays, ekg’s, and so on.
  4. If you were capable of walking in here on your own then don’t except the staff to take care of you like your a baby. – This is very important! We see patients come in all the time that stroll right in without a problem and then the moment they get in a room on the stretcher they aren’t capable of even standing. You’d be surprised how many independent men and women under the age of 40 ask me to put them on a bed pan because they “just can’t get up right now”. I saw you walk in the hospital but now since your comfortable and don’t want to move you want me to put your grown independent butt on a bedpan? WHY would you even want that option if you have functioning legs??????
  5. Medical staff does keep an eye on you and what your doing while in the ER. – If you came into the ER with 10 out of 10 abdominal pain but I see you found time to stop at Dunkin’ Donuts to get a large iced coffee and a bag of Doritos out of the vending machine before checking yourself in than ain’t nobody gonna have sympathy for you, let alone believe your in that much pain. Don’t even get me started on the one’s who come in and want one of our bag lunches and the TV remote. If you are in the ER it means you have an EMERGENCY; therefore you shouldn’t be eating junk food and wanting to watch TV, because with 10/10 pain you can’t focus on or eat anything.
  6. If you come in with a non-urgent complaint expect to be waiting awhile. – Why do people with hang nails come to an ER and get mad at the nurses because the patient that came in after them with chest pain is being seen first? It’s common sense people!!! You have a small cut, sore throat, cough, rash, minor burn, or anything else of that sort you will be treated but not as fast as the guy who might be having a heart attack. We understand everyone is important and will be seen accordingly to what they are here with and how severe. But if you feel it’s taking too long…. call your doctor!

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