To make your ED visit as seamless as possible, here are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding treatment at the David B Kriser Department of Emergency Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.
When should I go to the emergency department?
Don’t second-guess your instincts. If you feel you are in danger, and something just isn’t right, come to the Emergency Department. Examples of some of the symptoms that could trigger an ED visit include: difficulty breathing or speaking; chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure; fainting; sudden dizziness or weakness; changes in vision; confusion; sudden or severe pain; uncontrolled bleeding; severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea; coughing or vomiting blood; suicidal feelings.
If time permits, what should I bring with me to the Emergency Department?
Before there is an actual emergency, it’s always a good idea to create a list that includes:
Be sure to keep the list up-to-date as your information changes, and bring it with you to the Emergency Department. If you don’t have your medications listed in advance, put all your medication bottles (prescriptions and over-the-counter) in a bag to show the ED nurse or doctor. It is also helpful to bring a friend or relative with you.
What can I expect during my visit to the Emergency Department?
When you arrive at the ED, you will undergo a brief registration process at the front desk. Soon after, you will be evaluated by a registered nurse who will take your vital signs and conduct a preliminary health assessment (the triage process). After you are assessed, you will be assigned to a specific treatment area. Once in the treatment area, you will be seen a team of health professionals who will work together on your care--including a nurse, patient care associate, physicians and/or physician assistant. These providers will ask you questions, perform examinations, order necessary tests and provide you with treatment and information.
How long will my Emergency Department visit take?
The recent renovations and improvements made to the ED were designed to improve the patient experience and shorten visits. Nevertheless, depending upon the nature of your case, a variety of tests may be necessary to diagnose/understand your health problem. We have your best interest in mind, and appreciate your patience while we work through the diagnosis and treatment process.
Who is in charge of my care when I am in the ED?
Some tests can be ordered by your triage of primary nurse, but an ED doctor is responsible for your care. Many patients are treated by a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant, and in teaching hospitals, patients may initially be seen by a resident. If you are not sure who is directing your care, ask to speak with the ED attending physician.
Can I have visitors with me?
Most EDs welcome visitors – having a friend or family member usually improves our understanding of your illness, and helps to ensure that our advice is well understood. When the EDs are crowded, we may ask family members to stay in the waiting room, so that we may provide space, care and privacy for all patients.
Is my private doctor notified about my ED visit?
During your time in the Emergency Department, your ED provider is in charge of your care. However, he/she will consult with your primary care physician (if available) on your care to ensure the best possible treatment.
Can I come to Mount Sinai Beth Israel from anywhere?
In the case of an acute emergency, you should go to the hospital/emergency department closest to you. If it’s easy for you to quickly reach us by foot, car, taxi or public transportation, consider coming to Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Emergency Department. Get directions here.
What happens at the end of my Emergency Department visit?
If you are being admitted to the hospital, you may have to wait in the ED for an “in-patient” bed to become available. Your ED medical team will continue to monitor and work with you until you move to the “in-patient” floor. If you are being discharged, you will receive a written record of your visit, along with detailed discharge instructions that outline any take-home prescriptions you may receive, along with instructions for follow-up care. Be sure to review the document thoroughly before you leave the ED, to ensure you understand fully.
The David B. Kriser Department of Emergency Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel
First Avenue at 16th Street
New York, NY 10003