Patient and Visitor Information

What to Expect during an ER Visit

Your Arrival

Patients are seen according to the severity of their illness or injury. While everyone´s reason for coming to the emergency room is important, patients who have the most serious problems are seen first. This means that patients with less serious injuries may have to wait while more seriously ill or injured patients are treated – even if they arrived at the emergency room at the same time.

Upon your arrival to the emergency room, you will be assessed as soon as possible by a highly trained nurse to determine the seriousness of your illness or injury. The nurse will take your pulse, blood pressure and temperature, and get a brief medical history. After being assessed by the nurse, you or your family member should check in at the registration desk. This gives us the information we need to order any necessary tests in a timely manner.

If your condition requires you to lie down, then you will be escorted to a treatment room from the triage area. To allow privacy and manage our space constraints, only one visitor is allowed at a time. If the patient is a child, then both parents may be present. If a treatment room is not available, you will be asked to sit in the waiting room until one can be prepared for you. Please do not eat or drink anything as this may interfere with tests the doctor may need to evaluate you.


When you are brought back to an exam room, you will be placed in a bed. You may be asked to undress and put on a hospital gown (which ties in the back) so the doctor may examine you. You may also be attached to a monitoring device so that our nurses can monitor your vital signs. Your nurse and doctor will visit you while you are being monitored. The doctor who sees you is a highly skilled professional and will examine you as soon as possible. Your care is important to us, but please remember that if patients arrive whose injuries or illnesses need immediate treatment, your treatment may be delayed.


Your visit to the ER may require tests to be done. The doctor will order any tests or X-rays he/she feels are necessary. Some tests require blood to be drawn, or you may have to go to another department. A technician will take you to that area if you must leave the ER. If at any time you do not understand a procedure, please ask your doctor or nurse. Obtaining the results of the tests may take some time. Once the results from your tests are received, the doctor will explain them to you. Occasionally, an additional test may be necessary.


Depending on your emergency, your treatment may be simple or complex and carried out by a doctor or nurse. Your treatment may take a few minutes or several hours, depending on your illness or injury. The doctor will decide when you can be discharged from the ER or if you need to be admitted to the hospital. The emergency doctor may speak with your family doctor or another specialist about your treatment.

Sometimes calls to other doctors cause delays, but they may be needed to ensure you receive the most appropriate care. If you are discharged, the nurse will provide you with a copy of your discharge instructions and any prescriptions the doctor may have written for you. The nurse will answer any questions you have about your care and treatment. Please keep your discharge instructions because you are responsible for your own care after you leave the ER.

If you are admitted, you will be taken to your room as soon as all the arrangements have been made. You may have to wait in the ER if a room is not immediately available. Please ask if you have any questions. As your emergency department team, Ascension Seton Smithville´s emergency room team is here to provide quality care.


We encourage you to ask questions and review your take-home instructions. We will ask you to provide insurance information to us before you leave the hospital. We file insurance claims and handle all the paperwork. If you do not have insurance, we expect payment for all services before you leave the hospital.