EMERGENCY ROOMS

What you should know

  • The most seriously ill patients are treated first. The emergency department does not work on the principle of first come, first served.
  • You may be seen by a doctor’s assistant rather than a physician. This assistant can examine and diagnose patients. Their work is supported by a doctor.
  • It is impossible to estimate wait times and it is therefore useless to phone and ask.
  • We are not able to give you the duty doctor’s name.
  • You have the right to ask for a 2nd opinion before making a decision about major medical issues. 

Alternatives

This service is for people who require urgent care. Here are the alternatives:

Triage

Upon arrival at the emergency room, you must go to Triage where a nurse is responsible for assessing you based on the seriousness of your health problem.

The triage staff is not able to tell you how long the wait will be. This depends on the different triage levels of the patients who arrive between your arrival and when the doctor can see you, and upon the possible arrival of ambulances.

  • You will be called in order of arrival. The triage nurse can decide otherwise if a patient’s health condition appears critical.
  • The nurse will assess your condition.
  • The nurse will assign a priority level based on your condition.
  • Examinations can begin based on your reason for coming in (blood tests, radiography, urine test) so that the doctor has some data in hand.
  • The nurse will direct you based on your situation.

If your condition changes at any time, inform the administrative clerk in reception.

If you are over age 65

The administrative clerk will invite you to fill out a short questionnaire to provide you with the appropriate health services for your needs. We care about your wellbeing at home. 

Priority level

When you arrive at the emergency room, the triage nurse will assess you and determine the priority level that corresponds to your condition:

Priority 1: Resuscitation
Your life is in immediate danger (cardiorespiratory arrest, major trauma, etc.)

Priority 2: Very urgent condition
Represents a potential threat to your life, limb integrity or function (heart attack, stroke, etc.)

Priority 3: Urgent condition
Your condition presents some risks, but your life is not in danger (chest pain, serious bleeding, etc.)

Priority 4: Semi-urgent condition
Your condition does not require immediate attention (sprain, urinary infection, etc.)

Priority 5: Non-urgent condition
You have a minor health problem for which investigation and care can be delayed (cold, backache, etc.)

The waiting time depends on many factors, including your priority level based on your condition, your risk of deterioration, the condition of people remaining under observation in the emergency room, the number of people in the waiting room, the number of ambulance arrivals and the number of doctors in the emergency room. It is hard to predict the wait time as traffic levels are constantly changing. However, rest assured that our teams are doing their utmost to respond to patients as quickly as possible.

Observation

  • The doctor can decide to keep you under observation for some time.
  • In case of admission to the hospital, you will remain in Observation until a bed is available in the short-term care unit (hospitalization). 

Discharge

When the doctor discharges you, the nurse will give you all your documents.

It is incumbent on you to properly follow all the instructions staff members give you and to carefully read the information provided. In addition, make sure that you have in your possession any prescriptions and/or other documents (hospital card, etc.).

Above all, do not hesitate to ask questions or share any concerns you have before you leave the hospital. The staff is there to assist you.