Emergency Department Tips

Emergency Department Tips

A trip to the emergency department is never fun.  But being prepared can make your experience a little easier. 

First, know when to visit.  Consider your condition – could you be seen by your primary care doctor or in an urgent care location?  Or, does your condition require immediate attention?  If so, don’t delay treatment and visit one of our emergency department locations right away. 

If you feel you are experiencing a medical emergency and need immediate assistance, please dial 9-1-1.

If an emergency department visit is needed, know what to bring.  See our list of items to bring with you that will help to expedite your visit.

When to Visit the Emergency Department

The following is a list of conditions typically treated in the emergency department.  If you are experiencing any of the following, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.  If you are experiencing a medical emergency and need immediate assistance, please dial 9-1-1.

  • Chest Pain/Shortness of Breath
  • Stroke
  • Serious trauma or injury
  • Poisoning
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Large cuts/open wounds with uncontrolled bleeding
  • Open or large bone fractures
  • Complications related to pregnancy
  • Burns
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Acute abdominal pain
  • Seizures
  • High and uncontrolled fevers (especially in children)
  • Head injuries

What to Bring When you Visit the Emergency Department

  • Bring any items you may need for several hours away from home.
  • Bring any applicable insurance information.
  • Carry pocket change for vending machines or pay phones.
  • Inform the nurse if your child's condition worsens while in the waiting room.

Information to Bring with You to the Emergency Department

If you need to come to WakeMed Emergency Department take along the following to expedite your visit:

  • Medications - Please provide the staff with a list of the medications you take (prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal supplements, etc.), including the dosages and how often you take them each day.
  • Emergency Contact Information - The name, address and phone numbers for your primary and secondary emergency contacts.
  • Insurance Information - If you have health insurance, have the insurance company's name and phone number handy as well as your group and/or policy numbers.  Our Emergency Department staff is committed to providing care to all individuals in need of emergency medical assessment and treatment regardless of health insurance coverage. 
  • Your Primary Care Provider - Include your primary care physician's name, address and phone number.
  • Medical Conditions & Surgeries - Please tell the staff about any medical conditions you have and any major surgeries you have undergone.
  • Allergies - If you have any allergies to medications, food, plants, bee stings or other substances, please tell the staff.