Visiting the Emergency Department
Learn when you should visit the emergency department, and what the process is after you arrive.
Visiting the emergency department
In life-threatening situations, emergency services are vital:
- Go to the emergency department if you believe your situation requires urgent care, or is life threatening. You can also call 9-1-1.
- Do not go to the emergency department if you can apply home treatment safely and can wait to see your regular doctor during their hours of operation. You can also consult your local Urgent Primary Care Centre or call 8-1-1 for advice.
Process after you arrive at the emergency department
No two emergency department visits are the same. We care for the sickest the quickest, so you may wait longer than someone else, and you may have to wait at any point during your visit. Many children and adults may not need a test. Whatever your needs, we’re here to help.
Check out the steps listed below for an idea of what your visit to the emergency department will look like.
A nurse will see you to assess:
- Your needs
- How urgently you need care
A clerk will start your chart. They will ask for your:
- Personal Health card
- Date of birth, address, phone number, etc.
- A nurse or doctor will talk to you about your concern
- You and your care team will make decisions about care together
- You may need tests and to begin treatment
- You may be taken to a different area for tests
Treatment may include:
- Lab work
- Other tests
Your care continues:
- A nurse will continue to monitor you and treat you
- Your doctor will review your test results and begin a treatment plan or order other tests
- We will discuss how to manage your condition including follow up with your family doctor
- You may be admitted to hospital, transferred to another site for treatment or sent home
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