Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Emergency Rooms Work


Depending on a patient's specific medical condition, physicians will either admit the patient to the hospital, discharge the patient, or transfer the patient to a more appropriate medical facility.

If you are discharged, you will receive discharge instructions (either written specifically for you or pre-printed) that explain your medications and other treatments. If medications are prescribed, you may receive a beginning dose if there are no pharmacies open in your area at that particular time. You will also be referred for follow-up care should your condition continue or worsen.

You may need to be transferred if your condition is better treated at another institution. You may have to sign a consent form if your condition or mental state allows.

The modern emergency department performs an important role in our society. It really is a marvelous invention that has saved countless lives. Hopefully, the information in this article will help ease your fears should you need the services of an emergency department in the future.

For more information on emergency departments, medical conditions and related topics, check out the links on the next page.


More to Explore