How Emergency Rooms Work

Medical response
Medics respond to an evening rush-hour accident in Pataskala, Ohio.

Million­s of Americans visit an emergency room each year. Millions more have seen the hit TV show "ER." This­ has sparked an almost insatiable interest in the fascinating, 24-hour-a-day, nonstop world of emergency medicine.

A visit to the emergency room can be a stressful, scary event. Why is it so scary? First of all, there is the fear of not knowing what is wrong with you. There is the fear of having to visit an unfamiliar place filled with people you have never met. Also, you may have to undergo tests that you do not understand at a pace that discourages questions and comprehension.


In this article, Dr. Carl Bianco leads you through a complete behind-the-scenes tour of a typical emergency room. You will learn about the normal flow of traffic in an emergency room, the people involved and the special techniques used to respond to life-or-death situations. If you yourself find the need to visit an emergency room, this article will make it less stressful by revealing what will happen and why things happen the way they do in an emergency department.