Central Maine Healthcare is committed to making a trip to the emergency room as stress-free as possible. We’ve prepared this information so you know just what to expect at every step.
What happens when I arrive?
First, you will meet a registrar at the registration desk. The registrar will ask you a few questions and open a record for you in the hospital’s computer system. Then our triage nurse evaluates your symptoms, vital signs and other information to help prioritize your care.
Why did someone else get seen before me, when I got here first?
The triage process identifies more seriously ill and injured patients who need higher priority care. This means that patients may not be seen by care providers in the same order in which they are registered and triaged. For example, someone having a heart attack demands immediate attention and will be seen before someone with a fever, cough or even broken bone.
What happens after triage?
You may be escorted to a treatment room or asked to wait in the waiting area, depending upon the seriousness of your illness and available treatment space. Even if space is not immediately available, a care provider may begin any necessary tests, such as blood work or a urine sample.
What happens in the treatment area?
Once you are in a treatment room, you will be evaluated by a physician, a physician assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner (NP). An emergency nurse will also assist.
Following your evaluation, your care provider may order additional testing and treatments. An emergency nurse will monitor your condition. The nurse will also give you any medications prescribed by the emergency care provider. If you feel your condition is changing, do not hesitate to tell your nurse or other care provider.
How long will the wait be?
Although everyone’s experience is different, the average visit to any CMH Emergency Department is about two and a half hours. Many visits are shorter, and some are longer.
What happens after I am treated?
When all necessary treatments and procedures are complete and test results are reviewed, your care provider will decide if you will be discharged home, admitted to the CMH system as an inpatient, or transferred to a different hospital.
Patients who are discharged home are provided with complete after-care instructions. If you are advised to contact your primary care provider, it is very important that you do so.
If you have any questions after discharge, please call the Emergency Department you visited: