5 Tips to Prepare for an ER Trip

5 Tips to Prepare for an ER Trip

No one likes going to the ER, but it happens to the best of us. That’s why it’s important to be prepared in case something bad does happen, from ensuring you have health insurance to packing an emergency bag in your car. Here are five tips on how to prepare for an ER trip ahead of time so you can handle any medical issues more effectively and get back to living your life as soon as possible!

1) Call Ahead

If you’re feeling nauseous or experiencing severe pain, don’t let it linger. Call ahead and get checked out before your condition deteriorates even further. While there is usually a wait time at emergency rooms, letting them know you’re on your way can help speed up your visit once you arrive. If it is a serious emergency and you cannot call ahead, proceed to nearest emergency room immediately and inform doctors of your situation when they take you in.

2) Go When It’s Not Busy

A lot of people go to emergency rooms when they can’t get in touch with their primary care physician or don’t have a family doctor. If possible, call ahead and find out what time of day is least busy. Getting there at 5 p.m., for example, will probably be less stressful than 10 a.m., when patients are coming in before work or school, having spent all night vomiting with some sort of mystery illness that comes out of nowhere.

3) Bring Pictures

Bring along any records, x-rays, MRI results, prescriptions, or other relevant medical information. Bring copies of your insurance card and personal identification. If you’re responsible for paying out-of-pocket costs on behalf of someone else (like a parent), make sure you bring appropriate documents (such as a health care proxy). Sometimes, hospitals ask patients to pay upfront. To avoid unexpected bills later on, bring cash or credit cards to cover expected expenses.

4) Be Prepared To Wait

Even with a serious medical condition, there’s a chance you may be seen by a doctor right away. More often than not, however, you’ll end up sitting in a busy waiting room or parking lot. Don’t waste your time reading outdated magazines or staring at your cellphone screen—bring some books or toys to keep yourself occupied.

5) Consider Calling Another ER if Necessary

Don’t take no for an answer! If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t get into a particular emergency room (ER), call up another and see if they have any slots available. While it can be time-consuming and frustrating, there are times when it is necessary. When we feel like we’re getting nowhere with one hospital, we try calling up other nearby hospitals to see what their status is.