What to Expect

When You First Arrive
Upon your arrival, you will be seen by a triage nurse, who will evaluate your condition and assign you a triage priority. The priorities have the following meaning.

Life threatening condition that needs IMMEDIATE medical attention (i.e., car accident, heart attack, severe burn)

Urgent condition that is not life-threatening (i.e., severe abdominal pain, shortness of breath, asthma, minor chest pain)

Minor medical conditions that require treatment. A delay in treatment will not cause the condition to worsen (i.e., back pain, cough, earache, sore throat)

Before registering, the triage nurse will take your initial blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate and temperature along with a brief medical history. Based upon your triage priority, you will be taken back to the treatment area as soon as an appropriate treatment room is available.

A patient who arrives after you, but has a more urgent or life-threatening condition, may be taken back to see the doctor before you. After you are seen by the triage nurse, the nurse will determine if you are able to register or if you need to be seen immediately by the emergency care physician. Our goal is to have you triaged within 15-30 minutes of your arrival to the Covenant Emergency Care Center.

Your Treatment
The treatment you receive depends on your condition. You may require blood tests, x-rays, or other tests. Test results may take an hour or more. More tests may be ordered upon receiving the results of the initial tests. This could lengthen your visit time. Your nurse will continue to monitor your condition while tests are being done. If you have any questions, please ask your nurse. After the Emergency Care Center physician examines you and reviews all of your test results, a decision will be made whether you will need to be admitted or treated and sent home.

If You Are Being Admitted
Once the decision to admit you to the hospital is made:

  • The Emergency Care Center physician must contact your family physician, the specialist or the “on-call” physician for permission to admit you.
  • Once Admitting is notified of your admission, a hospital room will be assigned for you as soon as an appropriate bed to provide for your specific care is available.
  • Environmental Services will be notified to ensure your room is clean and ready for you.
  • You will be transferred to your room as quickly as possible. Some causes for delay could be:
  • The proper room for your needs may not be readily available
  • Your room needs to be cleaned yet
  • Once the Emergency Care Center staff has been notified that your room is ready, they will contact the nursing unit and a report will be given to the unit's nurse about you and your condition. This may be delayed if the unit nurse is attending to another patient and is not readily available to take a report from the Emergency Care Center staff regarding your admission.
  • When all of the above preparations are completed, you will be transported to your room.
  • We will notify your insurance company if authorization is required.
  • If Covenant HealthCare has reached maximum capacity, the admitting process could be delayed up to 24 hours. Until a bed is available for you, you will remain in the Emergency Care Center where staff will continue to monitor your condition and make every effort to make your stay in the Center as comfortable as possible.

If You Are Being Sent Home
Your nurse will discuss with you any medications you need to take and provide you with discharge instructions to assist in your care at home. Following your treatment and determination that you can safely be sent home, a registration associate will speak with you regarding the check out process.