Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Winter Haven Emergency Department:

Will I have to wait to see someone for treatment?

It is often difficult to understand why there can be a long wait time in the Emergency Department. Patients are seen in order of severity of injury or illness as determined by qualified Triage Nurses and the Charge Nurse. Our staff is dedicated to meeting your needs as quickly as possible and wants you to be comfortable while you wait. Members of the Emergency Department’s Guest Services are available 24 hours a day to assist you with your needs while you wait. We appreciate your patience and understanding and appreciate your comments and feedback as they help us improve our services.

What should I expect when I visit an Emergency Department?

Upon arrival you will be greeted by Guest Services staff and triaged. During the registration process you may be asked to provide basic personal and billing information. Having a driver’s license or another source of identification and insurance information available will expedite this process.

Who will decide when I will be seen by the doctor?

Your condition will be assessed in our triage area by qualified nursing personnel. In some circumstances testing may begin while you wait in the lobby. If at any time your condition changes or worsens, please let the Triage Nurse know immediately.

What happens when I am taken into the Emergency Department from the waiting room?

You will be placed in a patient care area and given instructions that will help us expedite your care. You will be given a gown and bag for your belongings and if appropriate you will be asked to remove clothing that will restrict your exam. Some treatment areas utilize hall beds. In the event you are placed in a hall bed every attempt will be made to ensure your privacy and protect your belongings at all times.

Complete assessments will be performed and your physician may order assorted tests requiring blood and urine samples. IVs may be started. Result times vary dependent on the tests ordered. Your nurse and care team are available at all times to answer any questions you have regarding your care and testing.

Food and drinks may be withheld due to testing requirements. If your stay becomes extended, nourishment may be provided as appropriate.

What happens after I am seen by the Doctor?

Most patients are discharged home with written instructions, prescriptions and directions to follow-up with their primary physician. If you require admission, you will be transported to your inpatient bed as soon as it becomes available.

Can a family member go into the Emergency Department with me?

Visitor passes are available at the Registration Desk. Adult patients may have a family member or visitor at their bedside, however, space is limited and during exams guests may be asked to step out to provide privacy for our patients.

Minors may not receive routine care without parental consent. Children present a unique challenge in that they are often wary of strangers and may not be able to communicate their problem or pain. At no time should a child be left unattended and side rails should remain up at all times. In rare instances you may be asked to step outside the room while an exam or procedure is performed. If so, the reasons will be clearly explained.

How can I help the nurses and doctors caring for me in the Emergency Department?

  • Explain your problem:
    • When did it start?
    • How bad is your pain on a scale of 1-10?
    • Are you under the care of a physician for your problem?
  • Know your medications:
    • Bring in a current medication list with you when you visit the Emergency Department!
    • What medications are you taking and why?
    • What is the dose?
    • How often do you take it?
    • When did you take it last?
  • Know your allergies:
    • What are you allergic to and what reaction do you experience from taking it?
  • Ask Questions:
    • We are here to help you. It’s important that you understand the information you receive during your visit. If you are unsure of your instructions, please ask your caregiver.
  • Valuables:
    • Emergency Departments are very busy places and you may become separated from your belongings during your visit. For this reason, we ask that all valuables be left at home or given to a family member. If this is not possible, please make staff aware of them so steps can be taken to ensure their security.