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Tips for Visiting the Emergency Department

Here are some tips to make your visit to the Emergency Department as easy and stress-free as possible.
  • State your Chief Complaint clearly to the nurse and other staff. Your chief complaint is the main reason you chose to go to the Emergency Department. Knowing the exact reason you came will help the staff to quickly guide your treatment plan.
  • Bring an accurate list of all your medications. You may also bring your medications in their original containers if you do not have a list. 
  • Limit the number of visitors that you bring to the Emergency Department. Generally, one family member who is able to assist in providing your medical history and drive you home at the time of discharge is sufficient. 
  • Expect to be in the Emergency Department for several hours. Labs and X-rays take some time to perform but may be necessary to diagnose your condition. Depending on your problem, you may not be able to eat or drink during your visit. 
  • Depending on your condition, pain medication may or may not be administered after you have been seen by your physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Pain medications are useful for decreasing pain but may not completely relieve pain.
  • All patients receiving pain medication will be asked to have a driver present if discharge is expected. A driver is required for you for any medication that may cause drowsiness.
  • Tell your nurse if you have a change in your condition during the visit.
  • Follow up with your doctor after discharge. A visit to the ED is meant to address a specific problem and is not substitute for routine visits to your primary care physician. 
  • If you need a primary care physician, call 812-450-FIND or browse our Find a Doc option to find the right doctor for you.