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Sharp Health News

Headed for the Emergency Room?

Nov. 23, 2018

5 things to know before going to the ER

Imagine you’re attending a professional meeting or conference in another city and have a health emergency — what would you do? Maybe you’re at the beach with your family, and your child winds up with a jellyfish sting — where would you go?

If a situation like this happens, you might be reluctant to visit the ER, or Emergency Department (ED), for fear of waiting hours to be examined. At Sharp Coronado Hospital, a free online check-in service for non-life-threatening conditions helps save time and hassle by offering an easier emergency visit.

Marla Poston, manager of Emergency Services at Sharp Coronado Hospital, shares what you should know in case of a health emergency.

How do I know if I should go to the ER?
In general, if you have any symptoms you feel may be life- or limb-threatening, call 911 immediately. If not, you can access the Emergency Department at Sharp Coronado Hospital. Common uses of the ER reservation system include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, minor trips and slips, mild burns or cuts, and urinary discomfort.

How do I make a reservation?
If you are experiencing a non-life-or-limb-threatening emergency, visit to make a reservation by selecting an arrival time that is convenient for you and providing information about your symptoms. Our team will confirm reservations by email and start preparing for your arrival. They will also review the symptoms and determine if you need to come directly into the ER — even before your scheduled reservation time. Please know the team makes every effort to adhere to the reservation time as closely as possible, although sometimes other emergency cases arise that may delay your visit.

Should I call my primary doctor too?
A good rule of thumb is to involve the primary care provider whenever possible. Your provider will have familiarity with your health history and can give advice on whether or not to go to the ER.

What happens when I get to the ER?
Your first encounter is with a specially trained nurse who will assess your condition. The nurse will then involve the doctor to determine the immediate course of care. At Sharp Coronado, we want our community to know that your emergency is our emergency too.

What are things I should bring with me to the ER?
Emergencies are impossible to predict, so we recommend that you prepare like us — with a sense of “continuous readiness.” You should know the following:

  1. The name and contact information of your primary care provider.
  2. Your full medical history including any food or medication allergies, and the medications you take regularly.
  3. An emergency contact name and phone number — we recommend placing these items in a protected personal item, such as a wallet or purse.

“At Sharp, we strive to make it easier for our patients to handle life’s unexpected events,” says Poston. “This service is just one more way that we are transforming the health care experience.”

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