Whether you or a loved one is ill or injured, it can be helpful to understand the process that takes place when visiting the Crouse Hospital Emergency Department. It’s important to know that the most critical medical needs are addressed first. Patients with life-threatening conditions are treated immediately, while others are cared for based on the level of severity of the illness or injury. In some cases, a patient with a minor medical issue may be referred to Crouse PromptCare, directly across the street from the Emergency Room.
Triage: The First Step of Care
When you first arrive at Crouse Hospital’s Emergency Department, your treatment starts with the triage nurse, who is trained to begin the diagnosis and treatment of your emergency and/or medical condition.
In triage, you will:
- be asked to describe your reasons/symptoms for your visit.
- be asked for your medical history.
- be asked for a list of current medications you are taking.
- have your vital signs taken (pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and temperature).
- possibly begin treatments or diagnostic tests (blood and urine tests or X-rays, for example).
Every patient is important to us. Be mindful, however, that some patients have medical conditions that require more immediate attention. These patients may receive treatment before others with important, but less urgent needs. During these times, we ask for your understanding and patience.
The Exam Room
After triage, if a room is not immediately available, you may be asked to have a seat in our waiting room. We’ll make every effort to keep your time in the waiting room to a minimum. During this time, a representative from the Emergency Department admitting team will obtain additional information from you or a family member to process your chart.
In the exam room, you will be seen by a medical practitioner. While in the exam room:
- you may be asked, depending on your medical condition, to undress so a proper exam may be conducted. While undressed, you will be properly covered and your privacy maintained at all times.
- tests may be ordered to help in the diagnosis of your condition.
- the emergency physician may ask for a specialist(s) to help in your diagnosis and treatment.
There can often be a waiting time during an emergency room visit. Waits may be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Delays may be due to:
- an unexpected number of patients arriving by ambulance
- an increased number of patients to treat and care for in the Emergency Department
- an unusual wait time for test results.
We will make every effort to ensure that your wait time is minimized. And we will do our very best to keep you informed of all delays and the expected time you may have to wait.
Average Wait Time for Test Results:
|Can be several hours
Patients and Families
Patients experiencing a medical emergency are often anxious or upset. Having loved ones nearby for support may help them to feel more at ease. Visitors are always welcome in the Emergency Department. For patient privacy and safety, especially when care is being provided, we may ask family and friends to have a seat in our waiting room.
Emergency departments can be busy places. Despite the rapid pace, your care and your family’s concerns are important to us. To help you and your family/guests, we ask that you keep the following in mind:
- Social Work services are available. If you would like to speak with a social worker, please let the nurse or doctor know.
- Multi-faith pastoral services are available. Just ask any Emergency Department staff member to put you in contact with a chaplain.
- Crouse Hospital provides translation and interpreter services for those who speak languages other than English or who may be hearing impaired. Please ask our staff for assistance.
- Crouse Hospital offers help through our Financial Assistance Program for patients with undue hardship in paying for healthcare services. Please check with the Emergency Department registration staff to receive information on this program.
- Depending on your medical condition it may be necessary to admit you to the hospital for an overnight stay.
- When discharged from the Emergency Department, our staff will provide follow-up information about your care to your regular doctor. If you do not have a regular doctor, we will provide a referral to one for you.
- Ask questions! If something doesn’t seem or feel right to you, ask your doctor or nurse.
What forms of insurance do you accept?
All health insurance plans are accepted.
Will you bill my insurance?
We will ask you for a copy of your health insurance card before you leave, and will bill your insurance company directly.
Can I be treated in the Emergency Department if I don't have insurance?
Your health and well-being is most important to us. If you do not have insurance, you will receive an emergency evaluation and any emergency treatment necessary. Crouse Hospital offers help through our Financial Assistance Program for patients with undue hardship in paying for healthcare services.
How do I get a copy of the medical record for my visit to Crouse?
Simply call the Health Information office at 315/470-7194. You will be asked to sign a release form prior to receiving a copy of your record.
Do I need my doctor's permission before I use the Emergency Department?
What if I don't have my own doctor?
Pre-authorization from your doctor is not generally required, particularly when the situation is life-threatening. Contact your doctor after you have been discharged and ask about your insurance coverage.
Visit the Find a Doctor section of this web site to locate a physician who most closely matches your needs and preferences.