What to expect when you arrive in the emergency department

Posted at 5:41 PM, Mar 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-09 17:56:49-04

A visit to the emergency department in a medical emergency can be stressful and possibly even intimidating, but there are steps you can take to reduce anxiety and make the process smoother.

Upon entering the emergency department, a triage medical professional will meet with you to access your condition and gather medical information. Triage is a process of assigning priority to patients in the emergency department based on symptoms and vital measurements. If a patient is in critical condition and in need of immediate care, he or she is pushed to the front of the list.

Basic Steps to Checking into the Emergency Department

1. Patient registering at the registration desk

a. If you do not need to be treated right away, you may be directed to a registration area where you will provide basic patient information, including your health insurance information.

2. The waiting room

a. Following registration, you will be directed to have a seat in the waiting room. It’s important to remember that the emergency department does not operate under a “first come, first served” basis. A triage professional will be present to help determine the order in which the doctors will see patients. If your condition seems to worsen, speak with the triage professional right away.

3. Medical Examination

a. Once you are in an examination area, an emergency department doctor will examine your condition, monitor your vital signs, and possibly order medical tests. The doctor and other medical professional will be on hand to answer your questions and explain your treatment process. Depending on your condition, you may be admitted to the hospital.

Although the emergency department may be crowded, there is an efficient process going on behind the scenes. Patient advocates and nurses are available to assist you with any concern.—Online ER Check-in

All four IASIS Utah hospitals offer an online ER appointment check-in option for non-life threatening medical conditions. allows people to schedule a treatment time online and wait in the comfort of their own homes, rather than in the waiting room. If there is a projected delay in the ER due to the arrival of critical patients, patients are sent a real-time notification via phone call or email

Visit to schedule an ER appointment.