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What to Expect in the Emergency Department

Emergency Department entrance image

Sibley’s Emergency Department is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. When you first come to the department with an emergency, you will be greeted at the reception desk by the nurse or EMT on duty. An admissions representative will enter your information into our computer system and begin the intake process.

Next, you will be evaluated for treatment, which involves gathering initial information to make a decision about where you will go in the department based on your level of need. This process can take place in the Quick Look bays, or your treatment room. A registered nurse will obtain your vital signs, gather more information about your symptoms and record your current medications and past medical history. 

In the treatment room, a physician or a physician assistant (PA) will see you. To accurately diagnose your condition, the physician or PA may order lab tests, X-rays or CT scans. The length of your visit will depend on the tests ordered.

At the end of your evaluation, you will either be admitted or discharged. If discharged, you will receive any prescriptions needed, instructions on how to care for your condition at home and information on your follow-up care.

Throughout the process, friends and family may stay by your side in the treatment bays or wait in the reception area by the entrance. This waiting area contains a vending area and two plug-in counters for charging and using electronic devices, among other amenities that make the wait more pleasant. There is also a separate family room, with a television and phone, for families that need a change of scenery. 

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