When you come to the Emergency Department (ED) it is because you or someone you love is sick or injured. This information explains some of what will occur during your stay. We realize this is a stressful time and will do our best to help both you and your loved one throughout your ED experience. 

Triage: Assessing Your Condition
Each person who comes to the ED seeking care is first seen by a Triage nurse. This will take place in a treatment room or in the Triage area if there is no treatment room available. The nurse will initiate immediate care and begin a brief assessment of the patient's condition. We are then able to determine what services need to occur immediately.

Once you have been settled in an exam room in the appropriate area, the following people may be involved in your care:
 Emergency medicine provider (physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, resident)
 Nursing staff (RN, clinical assistant personnel) 
 Scribe (clinical information personnel) 
 Respiratory therapist 
 Medical Imaging staff 
 Social worker/chaplain 
 Registration clerk

Things you should know:
If you bring medications with you, please do not take them while you are in the ED unless a nurse or a doctor has granted permission.

Wireless devices such as cell phones, laptops, palm pilots, and hand-held video games must be turned off while in the hospital, as they can interfere with medical equipment.

After your visit
We are continually striving to improve our care and service. Please let us know how we are doing by filing out a comment card (located near the entrance).

Why is it taking so long?
Stress or pain can make time seem to stand still. That's why we're committed to treating your condition appropriately, as quickly as possible. Many factors can affect the amount of time you spend in the ED, such as the number of people waiting to be seen and the urgency of their conditions. Results from diagnostic procedures such as x-ray, CT scan and laboratory testing can take a while and, when necessary, so can consultation with another medical specialist. It takes time to work out the best plan of care for you or your loved one. We will do our best to keep you updated.

What should I do while I wait?
We offer a variety of activities for you and your family. Each exam room features a television, VCR, and radio. Movies and music CDs that appear to both adults and children are available upon request. Depending upon your condition and permission from the doctor, two family members are welcome in the exam room. We also have a waiting area designed just for kids, adjacent to the main ED lobby.

Who makes the decisions?
We believe good health care is a partnership. Our physicians work with your family doctor, necessary specialists - and most importantly - you and your family, to ensure the best plan of treatment for your condition.

What if I don't have insurance?
As a not-for-profit hospital, St. Luke's maintains an "open-door" policy. This means we will provide necessary care to any person, regardless of their ability to pay.

You can expect to receive a bill approximately six days from the date you are seen in the ED. For questions about your bill, or to make payment arrangements, please call St. Luke's Patient Financial Services at (208) 706-2333.

What additional resources are available?
We have a social worker to help meet any special needs you may have, such as transportation, housing, or rehab. Our staff chaplain is also available to provide spiritual counsel for you and your family.