Your Emergency Room Visit: What to Expect

We know a trip to the Emergency Department might cause you to feel fearful or overwhelmed, especially if you don’t know what to expect. While you can never be fully prepared, knowing what to expect during an emergency room visit can help ease your mind.

Steps during your Emergency Department visit


During triage, a registered nurse will talk with you to learn about your medical condition and symptoms. Depending on the severity of your illness or injury, you may be seen sooner or may wait a little longer.

Exam Rooms:

Once you are taken to a treatment room, the nurse will make every effort ot ensure you are as comfortable as possible during your visit. The nurse will ask you medical questions and will perform a general exam. Please refrain from using cell phones or taking food or drink into the patient care area.

Healthcare Provider:

An ED healthcare provider will conduct an examination and may order tests needed to diagnose or treat your condition.


Depending on your symptoms, the healthcare provider may order tests such as lab work or radiology imaging to determine your medical condition. To ensure the highest degree of accuracy, specialists will evaluate your tests before a comprehensive diagnosis can occur. Please know that if your healthcare provider orders testing, your ED visit may take a little longer.

Healthcare Provider Explaining Test Results: As soon as your lab or radiology results are available, the ED healthcare provider will explain the findings and treatment options to you. Occasionally, additional testing may be necessary and will be administered through the diagnostic process.


Depending on your emergency, treatment may be simple or complex. Treatment may take a few minutes or several hours, depending on your illness, injury or presence of other critical patients in the ED.

Registration Completion:

Once you are treated by a healthcare provider, a patient access representative will meet with you at the discharge desk to review the information you submitted when you first arrived.

This information is very important and helps us:

  • Follow-up with you to share any test results that may not be ready before you are discharged
  • Submit your insurance claim quickly and correctly, and to accurately inform you of your financial responsibility for today’s visit

A registrar will request your insurance or co-pay, co-insurance or self-pay deposit before you leave today. Archbold’s Financial Assistance Program is available to assist eligible uninsured or underinsured patients with medical bills, beyond their ability to pay.


The healthcare provider will determine if you are able to be discharged from the ED, or if your condition requires admittance to the hospital. The ED healthcare provider may speak with your family healthcare provider or other specialists regarding your treatment. Sometimes, calls to other healthcare providers cause delays, especially if they’re unable to answer calls immediately.

Visitor Information:

Patients at the emergency department may have one (1) designated visitor in the waiting area and at the bedside as appropriate, with two (2) allowed if the patient is a minor.