What to Expect in Our Emergency Room

Adventist Health Portland’s Emergency Department

Our emergency room is designed to ensure the best and fastest care possible. While each of our patients is important to us, we have to make sure life-threatening emergencies are handled first.

That’s why it’s good to visit your primary care physician or one of our urgent care clinics for any nonemergency conditions you have.

When you do come to the emergency room, here’s what you can expect during your visit.

Triage: how we prioritize emergency patients

Our emergency room is organized and staffed to take care of all your emergent medical needs. That means finding out what brought you to us is our first concern!

First, a patient care greeter will ask you to fill out a short questionnaire about your symptoms and what other medical problems you have.

You will be evaluated by an experienced triage nurse. They will ask brief but important questions about your medical history. You’ll also be briefly examined to check the severity of your condition.

That means you’re already being treated. The triage nurse may even order lab tests or X-rays that have been preapproved by physician guidelines to speed up your care.

Because we see patients based on the severity of their emergency, you may see some patients who arrive after you being treated first.

Even though we have to prioritize our patients, we really do care about seeing and treating you as soon as we possibly can.

A registration clerk will also meet with you. They get important information for our records, including your signature on a consent form so we can provide your medical care.

Treatment: When & where it happens

Your health and well-being is most important to us. That’s why your treatment may officially begin with our triage nurse.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be taken immediately to a private treatment room or be asked to wait in our comfortable lobby until a room becomes available. Our 32 emergency beds are designed with your privacy in mind.

After your initial evaluation, we may need to run lab tests or take X-rays to help diagnose what’s causing your symptoms. The time it takes to get your results varies.

After your test results are completed, the physician will meet with you again. A physician specialist may be consulted to help in your care. Depending on what they find, you may be treated and sent home to follow up with your regular physician.

If you need to be admitted to the hospital, we will arrange a bed in the right department. While you’re waiting to be moved, our emergency staff will continue to take care of you.

Visitors: Your privacy & comfort matter

We understand being in any emergency room can be a frightening experience.

Your privacy and the privacy of our other patients is very important to us. So is your comfort. That’s why we limit how many visitors are allowed in our emergency treatment area. Our staff will do their best to allow one visitor to be by your side.

Sometimes we also have to restrict visitors depending on your condition and treatment. But please know we want to connect you with your loved ones again as soon as it is safe to do so.

Discharge: how we get you home

If you are sent home from the emergency room, you will be given instructions regarding your diagnosis and treatment.

Knowing what to do when you leave and what to expect next is very important. We may contact your regular physician about your emergency visit so they can take over your follow-up care.

If you do not have a physician, we can help! We’ll give you the name of a physician from our on-call list for a follow-up office visit.

Satisfaction: Helping us know how we are doing

We are dedicated to providing you with prompt, courteous care. We appreciate your patience as we try to take care of many patients at once. Our mission is to address any concerns or fears you have, not just your physical symptoms.

Please do not hesitate to ask your physician or nurse if you have questions about your care or the care of your family member. Any time you’re not satisfied, speak with our nurse administrator. We’re here to help.

After your visit, you may receive a patient satisfaction survey in the mail. We would appreciate your taking a few moments to fill it out. Your input helps us improve our services and understand our community's needs.

We take pleasure and pride in serving you, so let us know how we can do even better.