We know that a trip to the ED can be an anxious time, but we hope that these frequently asked questions will help ease some of your concerns.
In an emergency, always call 911. If you have general questions about Mount Nittany Medical Center's ED, you may call 814.231.7000.
Yes. Mount Nittany Health has a plan to manage a pandemic like COVID-19. We have practiced this plan and are now executing it to manage our resources effectively. This includes initiating a COVID-19 preparedness and response team, which meets regularly to discuss how we can meet the needs of our patients today while planning how to manage the potential of a dramatic increase in patient volumes in the future.
We are also connecting with local, state and national partners, as well as our healthcare colleagues across the region and state. Decisions are made to protect our patients and staff while also doing our part to help contain the rapidly progressing pandemic by:
Strictly adhering to infection and prevention control policies
Continuing the education of employees and staff
Rescheduling elective/non-essential services to ensure that we have the supplies we need to take care of patients who need immediate care
Limiting the number of people in our facility through temporary visitor restrictions
Implementing screenings and temperature checks for anyone who enters Mount Nittany Health’s facilities
Extending masking requirements to patients and visitors at Mount Nittany Medical Center
While some situations are clear emergencies, like a heart attack or serious accident, other conditions can leave patients feeling unsure if they need a visit to the ED, need to call 911 or need an ambulance.
In general, it's best to err on the side of caution. Experienced ED staff can best categorize your level of emergency once you get there, which affects how quickly you will be seen. The following is a simple guide to how ED staff handles patients, as well as some advice for how to handle situations before you arrive.
ED patients are ranked as one of five levels of emergency, with level five being the most serious:
Level five: The most serious level of emergency, this level can include things like cardiac arrest, heart attacks, strokes and major trauma. Patients suffering from a level five emergency need to be seen by a physician within minutes to minimize worsening of their condition. Patients should call 911 and come to the ED via an ambulance.
Level four: This level of emergency also requires urgent care, usually within 20 to 30 minutes, and can include conditions like chest pain and asthma. Patients experiencing these kinds of emergencies should call 911 and come to the ED via an ambulance.
Level three: Patients with level three emergencies have conditions like abdominal pain, vomiting, pneumonia and broken bones. These patients most often come to the ED by a private vehicle.
Level two: Level two emergency patients can wait to receive care for several hours. These conditions often include things like sprains, strains and most lacerations. These patients are often seen by a basic care physician assistant.
Level one: Patients with level one emergencies, like suture removals and wound rechecks, are usually seen by a physician assistant.
Here is a basic breakdown of what will happen when you arrive at the ED. If you arrive by ambulance, you may skip the first two steps:
A greeter at the registration desk will take your name, date of birth and the reason you're coming to the ED.
You will be seen by a triage nurse. Lab draws and X-rays may be ordered, if appropriate. Labs will be returned in about an hour.
You will be taken to a room and seen by a nurse. You may be given a gown to change into, if appropriate.
A physician or physician assistant will see you and determine a treatment plan, which will be implemented by nurses and technicians. You will be monitored to see how you are responding to the treatment.
A physician will reevaluate your status and any diagnostic results, like lab work. He or she will discuss whether you should be admitted or whether you can go home.
If you are admitted, you will meet with a hospitalist, who will monitor your progress. You will also be moved to a hospital room.