Preparing for an Emergency Room Visit

Learn what to do before you head to the Emergency Room.

No one wants to head to the ER, but sometimes it’s necessary. Fortunately, with some planning ahead, you can be prepared to make your visit as smooth as possible. Try these tips to get ready for a potential visit to the ER:

Keep phone numbers handy. Sometimes it isn’t completely clear whether or not you should go to the Emergency Room. Keep numbers such as your primary care doctor, your pediatrician, your dentist and poison control handy near your phone or stored in your phone. In a stressful situation, it should be easy to find the phone numbers to call and check with medical personnel.

Know your route. Don’t wait until an emergency occurs to figure out how to get to your local emergency facility. Map the route online and take time on a weekend to drive it if you’ve never driven that way. Remember that certain times may involve more traffic than other times.

Have paperwork in order. Keep all your medical paperwork organized. The easiest way to accomplish this is to keep a binder with your entire family’s important medical information. This should include the numbers of doctors, any allergies and health concerns, information about previous surgeries, information about special needs and health insurance information.

Pack only the essentials. If the time comes and you need to visit the ER, only pack essentials. If you or a loved one has to be admitted to the hospital, you can have someone return for items, such as a change of clothes, later. For now, bring important paperwork. Consider a book or small handheld device for entertainment. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Have questions about your health that aren't an emergency? Call our Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5120 for health information or for help finding a physician.

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