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  • Services-St. Mary's Hospital in Streator Illinois
  • St. Mary’s Hospital Emergency Services

    St. Mary’s Hospital Emergency ServicesSt. Mary’s Hospital is proud to offer the Illinois Valley the highest quality of emergency care. We understand that your needs in an emergency situation are immediate. St. Mary’s emergency room is staffed around the clock by board certified emergency medicine physicians and registered nurses. Our exceptional registered nurses are not only trauma nurse specialists, but they are also certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.
    Because of the competence of our skilled staff, St. Mary's emergency department has been recognized by the Illinois Department of Public Health for advanced training in child emergency care. The Department also is certified by the State of Illinois as an Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics.

    What to expect during your visit.
    A trip to the emergency room can be scary. It is an unfamiliar place that is usually very busy. You may be able to ease your anxiety by understanding exactly how our emergency department works.

    How much time can I expect to spend in the emergency department?
    A variety of factors will determine the amount of time you spend in the emergency department, especially if you or your loved one have a complicated health problem. It may take several hours for the emergency department staff to stabilize you so that your health problem is no longer life-threatening.
    Finding out what is making you sick may require blood tests, x-rays or other diagnostic tests; your visit may be longer because it will take time to obtain the results of these tests. If the ER physician needs to consult with another physician specialist, this may increase the wait time as well.

    If you have a serious illness or injury, such as a heart attack or stroke, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for ongoing care. We will make waiting as comfortable and private as possible.

    Why are some people seen sooner than others?
    When you first arrive in the emergency department, a qualified medical professional will determine whether you need to see a doctor immediately. Keep in mind, even though you may have arrived before another patient, if another patient’s condition is more critical, the doctor will take care of him or her first. If you are asked to wait and start to feel worse or have pain, tell the triage nurse right away.

    Arrival and Triage
    When you arrive at the emergency department, you will first enter the waiting room where you will be greeted. If you are not taken directly to an exam room, you will be triaged. This is where each patient’s condition is prioritized. A qualified medical professional will record vital signs (temperature, pulse, respiratory rate and blood pressure) and get a brief history of current medical complaints, past medical problems, medications and allergies. If you arrive by ambulance or are unconscious, you will be assigned an emergency department bed immediately. It is important to remember that we must treat the patients with the most severe illnesses and injuries first.

    Registration is where we collect personal, family, and contact details and your insurance information. This step is necessary to develop a medical record so that your medical history, lab tests, x-rays, etc. will all be located on one chart that can be referenced at any time. The bill will also be generated from this information. Note: Anyone who comes to the emergency department will not be turned away, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance coverage.

    Once you are placed in an examination room, a registered nurse and an emergency physician will examine you and may order tests (e.g., x-ray, lab tests, and electrocardiogram). Your vital signs will be monitored and your urgent needs will be taken care of. 

    Once the results from any tests are ready, the physician will make a diagnosis, consult with your primary care physician if available and recommend treatment. If you are critically ill or require constant care, or intravenous medications or fluids, you may be admitted to the hospital or transferred to another facility. Otherwise, an emergency physician will discuss your diagnosis and treatment plan with you before you are discharged. You will also receive written instructions regarding medications, medical restrictions, or symptoms that may require a return visit.

    In the emergency department, we try to work as quickly as possible while providing the highest quality care. Unfortunately, many patients will still find that they may have a long wait for many reasons. Please keep in mind that the wait may be caused by a variety of factors including:

    • Waiting for the sickest patients to be seen first.
    • Overcrowding due to epidemics, like flu season.
    • Unlike a doctor’s office where appointments are spread out, many emergency patients may arrive at once.
    • Waiting for x-ray and laboratory results.
    • Waiting for specialist consultations.