For many of us, a trip to the Emergency Room can be stressful, whether we are the ones needing care, or if we are accompanying a loved one. At Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center we're here to help you feel better prepared in such tense situations.

Assess the situation

Knowing when to call 911, when to go to the ER, or when to set an appointment with your doctor is very important. Remember, if you're unsure if your injury or illness requires emergency care, keep in mind that it's better to be safe than sorry. If it's an immediate, life-threatening circumstance, call 911. If it's an emergency, but not life threatening, visit the ER. And a scheduled doctor appointment should be the best option for all non-emergency situations.

Plan Ahead

If the person that needs medical attention is someone close to you, do your best to identify any part of their medical history. Do they have any allergies? Are they currently on medication? Do they have a history of hospitalizations? Is there a family history with a particular illness?

Also, if you have the time prior to leaving for the ER, it may be a good idea to bring a comfort item, a pen and paper, insurance cards, something to read and possibly a change of clothes. Calling appropriate family members and friends may also be helpful for support.

While at the ER

No doubt, the waiting part of the ER visit can sometimes frustrating, but understanding the process of ER care can be helpful. Oftentimes, ER physicians will order tests to give a more complete picture of your health situation, including lab work, blood tests, and perhaps even CT scans, x-rays, or MRI's. These provide important information for a proper diagnosis, but do require extra time to complete, process, and interpret. Your EIRMC ER nurse will provide you with ongoing updates during your stay.

Try to engage in quiet activities to keep you or your loved one calm: nap, read books or magazine, do crossword puzzles. You might also consider using this to call your insurance company to have a full understanding of your complete coverage.

Remember, doing your part in being prepared when an emergency happens can make all the difference in timeliness, proper care and in lowering your own stress level. For additional information about our ER services, click here.