QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Our Emergency Department (ED) cares for more than 170 people every day. While we pride ourselves on having the ability to care for a broad spectrum of illnesses, we are not able to predict when the volume of patients exceeds our capacity. When this occurs, your waiting time may increase. We appreciate your understanding and patience.
WHY AM I STILL WAITING WHEN I SEE SO MANY DOCTORS AND NURSES IN THE ED?
The emergency room tends to be very busy with doctors and nurses that are in the department to evaluate other patients who might require admission to the hospital. Often staff are waiting for return phone calls, results or charting. While you wait, your comfort is important to us. Please let us know if there is something we can do for you. We will do our best to accommodate your request.
WHY DON’T YOU CALL MY DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY?
If your doctor calls ahead of your arrival to the ED, we will usually wait until your evaluation and test results are completed before returning the call. Please let us know if you believe other arrangements have been made.
HOW LONG WILL I BE HERE?
Patients with minor illnesses or injuries might be seen in our Prompt-Care area, which has an expected stay of around two hours. If you are seen in the main ED, you could be there as short as several hours, or as long as overnight. We will do our best to keep you informed. If you have questions, please ask us.
WILL I BE CHARGED?
Yes. Once you have registered with a nurse and your vital signs have been taken, you or your insurance carrier will be charged, regardless of whether you stay to be seen by a physician or not.
WHAT ABOUT MY FAMILY AND VISITORS?
We support the need for patients to have their family with them. To ensure the comfort, safety and privacy of all ED patients, we ask that visitors inside the treatment area be limited to two people. Please ask the security officer located in the waiting room if you want to obtain a visitor’s pass.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?
When you arrive, you will be greeted by a security officer or a nurse who will ask you to sign-in. Based on your complaint, vital signs and the current status of other patients in the ED, you may be asked to sit in the waiting room until an appropriate area becomes available.
IF ANOTHER PATIENT ARRIVED AFTER ME, WHY ARE THEY BEING SEEN FIRST?
While in the waiting room, you might notice that patients who arrived after you are brought back to the ED before you are called. Please understand that if this occurs, it is only because we try to ensure that those patients with the most critical conditions get seen as soon as possible.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I’M BROUGHT TO A ROOM OR HALLWAY?
You will be asked to put on a gown. An IV may be insert-ed and blood may be drawn. You will typically wait around one hour to be seen by a physician or a physician assistant. Sometimes this time can be longer if the department is very busy.
IF MY CHILD IS WAITING TO BE SEEN, WHAT CAN I DO?
We recognize that bringing a child for emergency treatment can be difficult. Many of the ED staff are parents too. Based on your child’s age, there are different approaches and distractions we can provide. For example, we have videotapes, toys, crayons and books. Please do not hesitate to ask. We are here to help our littlest patients in any way we are able.
WHAT IF I HAVE TO BE ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL?
Overcrowded ED’s are a nationwide issue. Please be assured that while in our department, you will receive exceptional treatment and care. If the decision is made that you require admission to the hospital, our staff will arrange for a bed. Your wait time in the ED will be determined by how busy the hospital is at the time of admission. It is not uncommon for patients to wait an entire day for the appropriate bed to become available or even overnight.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM DISCHARGED?
The ED physician will review your care and diagnosis. You will get discharge instructions called “Aftercare Instructions.” The nurse or doctor will carefully explain your instructions, your medical prescriptions and will answer any questions about your care
We would like to thank you for choosing Waterbury Hospital’s Emergency Department. While we are all emergency medicine professionals, we are first andforemost mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. It is our commitment to our families that inspires us to ensure that you are cared for as if you were part of our family. Please take any opportunity to ask questions and to provide feedback, especially if our service has not fulfilled your expectations. If at any time you have a problem that needs to be addressed, our charge nurses are skilled and empowered to resolve your issue.
SOME HELPFUL HOSPITAL RESOURCES
- Wheelchair accessible public restrooms are located at the first right past the waiting room.
- Please secure your valuables by leaving them with a family member or friend before entering the ED.
- A TTY machine and public telephones are located in the alcove entrance of the waiting room. Hospital telephones are available in most of the patient rooms. Please dial 9 for an outside line.
- Cell phones can interfere with our monitors. Please use them outside or in the alcove area entrance.
- Televisions are located in the waiting room and sever-al of the ED treatment rooms.
- Snack machines are located in the alcove entrance of the waiting room. The cafeteria is located on the first floor. The coffee bar is located in the main lobby. If you are waiting to be seen, please ask the triage nurse if you can eat or drink before the doctor sees you.