Springhill Medical Center's Emergency Department is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Only physicians who are board certified in emergency medicine are on duty, teamed with nurses certified in advanced cardiac life support.

Springhill Medical Center's Emergency Department can be reached by phone at 251.460.5333. If there is a medical emergency, please dial 911.

We are committed to providing quality patient care. The first thing to do as a patient of the Emergency Department is to register in the patient registration area. This will ensure that the triage nurse knows that you are waiting. If you are a patient and waiting to see the doctor, please do not eat or drink. Doing so could delay or interfere with treatment or alter the results of tests.

Triage

To ensure that the most ill patients receive immediate care, our emergency department uses the triage system of evaluation so that critical cases, such as people suffering from heart attacks or injuries from serious accidents, are treated first. Your initial assessment will take place by a registered nurse. You will be placed in a category based on the severity of your illness and will be seen in that order. Please be reminded that during your visit with us, we may be receiving other patients through our ambulance entrance.

Vital Signs

The triage nurse will take your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and a brief medical history. This helps to speed our process, so please have all medical information (i.e. physician’s name, any allergies, all medications that the patient takes) ready and available. 

Registration

After being assessed by the triage nurse, you or your family should check in at the registration desk. The registration clerk will complete your record. It is very important that we receive accurate information should the hospital need to contact you after your visit. If a bed is not available in the ED, you may be asked to sit in the waiting room until one becomes available.

Patient Treatment

Depending on the emergency, treatment may be simple or complex. The physician or nurse may deliver treatment. It may consist of splints, intravenous fluids, bandages, or medications. Treatment may take a few minutes or several hours depending on the specific illness or injury and the presence of other critical patients.

Nurse Assessment

Inside the emergency department, a nurse will perform a physical assessment and note findings for the doctor. Because of patient privacy laws, your family or friends may be asked to wait outside the treatment area until the initial assessment by the physician is completed. Also, please understand that without a patient’s permission, we may not be able to discuss details regarding their condition with anyone. After the assessment, the patient will then be examined by one of the ER doctors or the patient’s personal physician. You reserve the right to call your primary physician and have him or her meet you at our emergency department.  This will help to decrease your waiting time.

Physician Assessment

The physician will order tests or X-rays that he/she deems necessary after the examination. Tests may be ordered by the doctor and carried out before you have a chance to see the physician. A member of the hospital staff will accompany you if it is necessary to leave the ED for a procedure or test. Obtaining results of tests/X-rays may take as long as one to two hours. If, at any time, you do not understand a specific procedure, please ask the doctor or nurse. As soon as your lab work and test results are available, the results will be discussed with you. Additional tests may be necessary.

Hospital Admission or Discharge

A doctor will decide if you are to be discharged from the ED or admitted to the hospital. The ED doctor may speak with your personal physician or other specialist about specific treatment. If you are admitted to the hospital and there is no room available, there may be a delay in the ED until another patient is discharged. As soon as a room is prepared, you will be taken to the room. If you are discharged, the nurse will provide a copy of discharge instructions and any prescriptions the doctor has written.

Emergency Room FAQ

Why would someone who appears to have fewer injuries than I have see the doctor before I do?

The patient may have been ranked in a higher triage category than you. Also, that patient may be meeting their private physician in the ED instead of using the ED physician.

Why does the staff ask for payment when I have good insurance coverage for emergencies?

Insurance policies vary from patient to patient. You are still responsible for co-payments to the emergency department. If you wish to self-pay, the registration clerk will collect a deposit fee. If you pay cash, and then insurance pays the full amount upon filing, Springhill will refund any overpayment.

What do I do if I need a specialist beyond the Emergency Department's physician?

We can offer the name of a specialist at the time of discharge.

How can I speed up the registration process?

Just because the waiting room is empty, does not mean the Emergency Department is not busy. Not every patient brings family members with him or her. Many show up alone. Also, one or two serious injuries can tie up the entire staff. This could be the reason for your wait. It is the goal of SMC to provide services to all patients as quickly as possible.