emergency services

What to Expect in the ER

St. Helena emergency room

Our Emergency Department at Adventist Health St. Helena provides critical care for all patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You’ll get the personal attention you need as soon as you arrive.

Arrival and triage

When you arrive at our ER, you will be assessed, or “triaged,” to assess the severity of your injury or condition. This is usually done by one of our ER nurses who will make sure that, if you have an urgent medical condition, you are promptly seen. Once you are examined and the severity of your condition is known, you will usually be brought back to a bed to be seen by a physician.


Once you are in a private treatment room, a staff member will complete the registration process with you. Here you will need to disclose all medical information including allergies, current medications, past surgeries, etc. It is a good idea to keep a list of allergies and medications on hand in case of emergency.

Diagnosis and treatment

At this point, the doctor and nurses will care for you by performing a thorough assessment of your medical condition by an exam or evaluation. Tests such as imaging or bloodwork may be ordered to make a diagnosis.

Other doctors, such as your family physician or specialists may be consulted. Once you are stabilized and emergency treatment is given, you will be assessed to see if we should admit you to the hospital or send you home with medical instructions and directions for follow-up care.


If you are discharged from the emergency room, you will be given instructions regarding your diagnosis. It is very important you understand what to do when you leave the department and what to expect in the future.

In most cases, you will be given instructions to follow-up with your primary care physician or a specialist about your condition. If you do not have a personal physician, we will help you find one for your follow-up care.