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Wythe County Community Hospital's Emergency Department is open 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year.
The emergency department is equipped to handle nearly any emergency situation with specially trained doctors, nurses and technicians.
When is it an Emergency?
It can be confusing sometimes to decide when your medical condition warrants a trip to the emergency department. Some examples of major illness or injury which constitute a trip to the emergency department are:
When in doubt, come immediately to the emergency department.
- breathing problems
- heart problems
- sudden dizziness, weakness or change in vision
- continuous bleeding
- coughing up or vomiting blood
- poisoning or drug overdose
- severe burns, cuts, punctures or bites
- severe or persistent vomiting
- chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
- change in mental status (such as confusion or difficulty waking or unusual behavior)
When you enter the emergency department, the first step will be triage. Triage is a process that makes sure that patients with the most serious needs are treated first. The emergency department is unable to treat patients on a first-come, first-served basis, so please be patient. The triage nurse will ask about your symptoms, take your vital signs and ask for a short medical history. The nurse will then classify patients according to need:
- Emergent- patients who have a life-threatening illness or injury
- Urgent - patients who are in stable condition, but need help as soon as possible
- Non-urgent - patients who have minor problems or chronic complaints
Waiting in the Emergency Department Lobby
Unless your situation is critical, you may experience a wait time. Some reasons for your wait may include:
- other patients require immediate treatment,
- beds or treatment rooms need to be prepared,
- ambulances may have brought in more critical patients.
If your condition changes while you are waiting, please notify the nurse or registration clerk immediately.
If you brought a loved one or family member to the emergency department, you may be separated from the patient. This may happen if he or she urgently needs treatment, needs tests performed, or the emergency area is too congested to safely care for patients. Emergency staff will keep you informed should this happen, but please feel free to ask any questions.
The goal of the emergency department is to see patients as quickly as possible. Sometimes long waits are unavoidable. If you feel your wait is excessive, please ask the nurse for assistance.