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How to get quick and efficient medical care

By Greg Cryns 


If you have to go to an hospital emergency room (ER) you will likely have to wait a period of time before you see a doctor. The ERs are always busy, even during the night.

It helps to know how the system works so you will be properly prepared. You want to see a nurse and a medical doctor as soon as possible.

You are usually greeted by a triage nurse who will assess the priority of your medical need. This 


person will provide a visual cursory exam and then ask several questions. It is in your best interest to have your medical history prepared. This will make sure it is complete and accurate.

So, before you endure a medical emergency write your medical history on an index card (or any good paper). Be sure to include all allergies and conditions you have. List all previous illnesses (but not minor colds, cuts and such) You may want to put this card in a special place so you can easily find it or tell someone where it is. Perhaps your wallet would be the best place to put this information.

Your nurse will be asking such questions as the time of onset of the condition and all medications you are taking at time. This is not the time to draw conclusions about your condition, assumin you are not a physician. Do not selectively omit any information, even if you think it is too minor to mention. If your situation involves breathing or bleeding, tell the nurse about that first because life threatening conditions are given first priority in the emergency room.

Since the hospital will naturally want to know how you are going to pay for the ER care, be sure to put your health insurance policy number on the back of the medical card. Include your date of birth, Social Security number, your employer's address and phone number.

If you arrive at a hospital by ambulance, you are usually given high priority. They will, at least, wheel you into an ER room where you will wait for care. If you think your condition needs very fast care, be sure to call an ambulance. When you get to the hospital you are automatically considered a patient of the hospital. This is not so if you walk in through the main door.

 

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