Staff members in Cottage’s Emergency Departments are there 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to help you. Their only motivation is to provide timely and compassionate treatment for those in need, and in that spirit, offer the following suggestions to would-be ED patients.
Make an assessment yourself.
- Do you feel this is a true emergency?
- Do you feel it could be life-threatening?
If so, go immediately to GVCH Emergency or SBCH Emergency where you may be seen more quickly. The same group of emergency physicians staffs both hospitals.
If you live in the Santa Ynez Valley, seek treatment at SYVCH Emergency; you will be transferred to the other hospitals if there is a need for additional care.
- Do you feel it could wait?
- Have you called your primary care physician for advice?
- Have you considered using a nearby urgent care center?
Have realistic expectations.
When you come to the ED, you will be evaluated by the triage nurse. Please accept the decision, and be prepared to wait for treatment, if necessary.
- Triage is not a case of first-come, first-served. More urgent cases will always have priority.
- Weekends and evenings see the most activity, both for ambulance and walk-in patients.
- The quietest time in the ED is generally 4:00–10:00 a.m.
Please understand why you may have to wait.
It's not because of a lack of staff. Lab, radiology and other tests take time, inpatient rooms need to be prepared as patients are discharged, and serious trauma cases will always take precedence.
Don’t bring the whole family with you.
One person is ideal, and he or she can be assigned to relay messages to others. If you come by car, be aware that you will not be allowed to drive home alone from the ED if you receive pain medication.
Please don’t call the ED to ask about a patient.
We cannot, by law, release information about your friend.
Bring with you:
- a legible list of your current medications and dosages.
- your insurance card and ID documents.
- the name of your primary care physician.
Thank you for helping us help you.