Find Provider Providers Find Locations Locations Care Services Services Patients Patients
Patients & Visitors

FAQs for Emergency Department Visits

For questions not answered below, call 814.234.6110.

What should I bring with me to the Emergency Department?

The most important things for us to know are any allergies, current medications, and your past medical history.

Bring your health insurance card if you have it (usually under your parent’s insurance for undergraduates). If you don’t have your insurance card, we will help you get that information later for billing purposes. You do not need to pay for services when you come for care.

Can I bring a friend with me?

Of course. Particularly when you are away from your family, friends offer good support and can make the experience more comfortable.

Generally, one person can accompany you to the treatment area, or that person can wait in the waiting area. If several friends accompany you, only one can be with you in the treatment area while the others wait in the waiting area.

Additionally, Penn State student volunteers and peer counselors offer support and empathy to students, assisting them with telephone calls and transportation to help limit the stress.

Do you help someone who has been sexually assaulted?

Yes. The Medical Center, in cooperation with other organizations in the community, has a multidisciplinary team on call to assist victims of sexual assault. All nurses in the ED are sexual assault examiners.

A registered nurse, an advocate from Centre Safe, and a police officer work together to provide care, treatment, and emotional support. They remain with the person and are available for questions while at the ED. All options for care and next steps are fully explained and strict confidentiality is maintained.

There is no charge for these services, including the Medical Center and physician’s usual charges. During their regular hours, University Health Services can also provide care and follow-up for students who have been sexually assaulted.

If I brought one of my friends who had too much alcohol to the Medical Center, what would happen?

If someone is passed out and unable to be awakened due to alcohol or drug ingestion this could be a life-threatening emergency. You should call 911 for an ambulance so they can get treatment at the medical center.

The main purpose of the ED is to provide the best medical care and treatment for all people and conditions. We do not routinely call the police, and we do not call parents without the patient’s permission under most circumstances.

If a patient is not responsive and their condition is critical, no matter what the cause, we call the family. Otherwise, we would encourage any patient to contact important family members as appropriate to share information and avoid worry.

What about the police?

The police are not routinely called by the ED unless required to do so by law.

We will assist you in any way we can with negative consequences, but please consider the health and wellbeing of yourself and others your priority. Potential loss of life or permanent injury are far more serious than potential legal consequences. If you are in doubt, call us at 814.234.6110 or come to the ED to be safe.

Police do automatically respond to all ambulance calls in Centre County, including any university-based calls.

Getting to the Medical Center

We understand that it’s not always easy for students with limited access to transportation to get to our facilities. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your visit, your location, and the facility you are trying to reach, there are several different options to get to Mount Nittany Medical Center.

Emergency Visits

  • The Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Services Department is a 24-hour paramedic service that responds to emergencies. The paramedics, along with ambulance services in the area, provide advanced medical treatment before a patient arrives at the Emergency Department (ED). If a patient who has had too much to drink can get him or herself safely into a taxi, this is also an option.

Non-Emergency Visits

  • For follow-up visits to the Medical Center or appointments at other Mount Nittany Health facilities, students may arrange transportation with a friend, take a taxi or use a CATA bus. Remember that Mount Nittany Health requires transportation home from certain procedures to be arranged in advance with a friend or family member.

Taxi Services

  • Nittany Taxi, 814.867.4646

Bus Service

  • For information on CATABUS’s routes, visit