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Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to be an adult Level II Trauma Center?

What conditions qualify as an emergency?

What happens when I first arrive at the Emergency Department (ED)?

How do triage nurses assess patients?

Will I have to wait long to be treated?

How long does it take to get test results?

Will I be given pain medication prior to entering the treatment area?

How does my family find out about my condition?

Are visitors allowed?

What happens if I need to be admitted to the hospital?

Where can my family get something to eat while they are waiting?

How much will my emergency care cost?

What if I need an interpreter?

How can I prepare for emergencies?

 

What does it mean to be an adult Level II Trauma Center?

The Department of Health ranks Medical Centers according to the resources available to care for trauma patients in addition to the number of patients admitted yearly. Providence Regional has been caring for trauma patients with increased complexity for years.

Providence Regional maintains an on-site presence of general surgeons, adult and pediatric medical hospitalists, and intensivists, with additional standby access to all key specialties, including anesthesia, neurosurgery and orthopedics.

As a recognized adult Level II Trauma Center, Providence Regional provides care to patients whose cases are more complex by clinical standards. A majority of trauma patients are referred to Providence Regional from EMS as well as facilities unable to provide the necessary level of care.

What conditions qualify as an emergency?

An emergency is an accident or sudden unexpected illness that needs to be treated right away or it could result in loss of life, serious medical complications or permanent disability. In an emergency, go directly to the nearest emergency facility or call 9-1-1.

Examples of emergency medical conditions include:

  • heart attack or severe chest pain
  • loss of consciousness
  • bleeding that does not stop
  • severe or unusual abdominal pain
  • stroke, sudden paralysis or slurred speech
  • medically necessary detoxification
  • difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness
  • changes in vision
  • confusion or changes in mental status
  • any sudden or severe pain
  • severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • coughing or vomiting blood
  • suicidal feelings
  • difficulty speaking

What happens when I first arrive at the Emergency Department (ED)?

First we’ll register you in admitting or at your bedside so that we have treatment consent. Your registration helps us order tests and share information with your primary care physician. You’ll then see a triage nurse who will evaluate the severity of your injury or illness and determine how quickly you need to be treated.

How do triage nurses assess patients?

The triage nurse assesses you according to the following categories:

  • Resuscitation – conditions requiring immediate interventions.
  • Emergent – critical or life-threatening conditions in need of immediate admission to the treatment area.
  • Urgent – stable condition with a major illness or injury.
  • Less Urgent – stable but have the potential to become less stable.
  • Non-Urgent – stable and able to walk.

Please remember that although someone may look well to you, he or she may have a more serious problem that needs to be taken care of quickly. We appreciate your understanding when someone is treated ahead of you.

Will I have to wait long to be treated?

Patients in the ED are treated in order of urgency. This means you may have a longer waiting time if your condition is not life-threatening and there are several patients waiting overall. Your wait time could increase if we have a high number of ambulance arrivals (average of 50 daily) which often require our immediate attention. We do all we can to keep your wait time as minimal as possible and we’ll be sure to keep you informed of wait time changes.

How long does it take to get test results?

The timing of test results is determined by how many patients are being evaluated and what type of test you need.

  • X-rays - 30 to 60 minutes
  • Blood and laboratory samples - 1 to 2 1/2 hours or longer
  • Urine tests - 1 hour or more
  • CAT scan, MRI and ultrasound - 1 to 3 hours or longer

Physicians generally evaluate several patients at the same time and review test results as soon as they are available. We’ll do our best to keep you informed on the progress of any required tests.

Will I be given pain medication prior to entering the treatment area?

Most likely you won’t receive pain medication right away. Since pain is sometimes the only symptom of the seriousness of your illness or injury, the ED staff must find the cause of the problem before giving you pain medication.

How does my family find out about my condition?

With your permission, we will update your family and friends on your status. However, because your needs as a patient come first, family and friends may sometimes have to wait for information.

Are visitors allowed?

We welcome visitors, although the decision is left to the physician or ED staff member caring for you. Visitors may be asked to leave so that you may be more fully examined or begin treatment. Because the ED is a very busy area with limited space, we ask that visitors follow a few key guidelines:

  • Only one family member or friend may accompany you into the room. Others will need to wait in the lobby.
  • Children under the age of 12 are not allowed in the ED treatment area as visitors.
  • The Providence Regional ED is a secured area with authorized access only. Visitors must check in at the front desk to ask if they may visit a patient. Once inside the treatment area, visitors should remain at the bedside and respect other patients’ privacy.

What happens if I need to be admitted to the hospital?

The nature of your illness or injury may require hospital admission. If so, the ED staff will request a bed on one of our hospital units (wait times vary depending on availability). You’ll be cared for by a physician specialist or one or more of our hospitalists (doctors who practice medicine only within the hospital).

If you don’t need to be admitted, you’ll be discharged with instructions for home care and follow-up with your physician. Be sure to read the instructions before you leave in case you have any questions. Your ED physician may also write a prescription for you.

Where can my family get something to eat while they are waiting?

  • Northern Edge Café – Colby Campus
    Open 6:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.
    Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
    Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
    Dinner: 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • The Bistro - Cymbaluk Medical Tower, Colby Campus
    Open 6:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.

How much will my emergency care cost?

The cost depends on the seriousness of your illness. Financial counselors are available daily outside the waiting area from 9 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. to help you make payment arrangements. Call (425) 261-4021.

You may receive bills from the following organizations:

  • Providence Everett Medical Center (Emergency Services) (425) 261-2000
  • North Sound Emergency Medicine (Emergency Physicians) (800) 225-0953

You may also receive bills from other agencies that provided services associated with your emergency department visit. Please refer any questions about your bill to the appropriate agency.

What if I need an interpreter?

Just call our interpreter service at 1-888-574-7127 and we'll be glad to help you.

How can I prepare for emergencies?

  • Learn more about injury prevention from the American College of Emergency Physicians.
  • Find child safety information at SafeKids Snohomish County.