Most people hope they never have to visit an emergency room for medical care. But sometimes accidents happen or illness comes on suddenly, and in these cases, seeking emergency room care really can be the best choice. Here are some tips to follow to ensure the experience goes smoothly and you get the care you require.
If you have time, call ahead.
Obviously, if you are bleeding profusely, having sudden chest pains, or are struggling with some other immediately life-threatening condition, then you should get to the ER as soon as possible. But if your condition is a little less dire, call ahead. Tell the representative who answers the phone about what's bothering you and why you'll be visiting. Sometimes, they can put you on a "waiting list" before you even arrive, which will help you receive care sooner. This also gives them time to gather any specialists they need. For instance, if you call and say you think you broke your leg, they may be able to call down an orthopedic doctor and have them there, ready to help, when you arrive.
Bring your insurance information.
Grab your insurance card or have someone else grab it for you. If you're able to give this information to the ER staff as soon as you arrive, they can enter it into their system. This will help ensure that they only administer treatments that will be covered by your insurance. Depending on your insurance plan, they may also have certain doctors who can offer "in-network" care for you, which will help keep your bill manageable.
Don't go alone.
When you're injured or ill, it can be tough to advocate for yourself and answer all of the questions that doctors and nurses ask. Yet, it is important for them to have the answers so they can provide you with the best care. So, try to avoid going to the ER alone. Instead, call a friend or family member and have them come with you. They can describe what happened to the staff so you don't have to talk as much. They can also do things like carry your paperwork to the desk, bring you water to drink, and so forth.
Visiting the ER is never pleasant, but if you follow the tips above, it should at least go more smoothly. Keep these tips in the back of your mind so you know what to do when an emergency pops up.
For more information about emergency care, contact a local facility.