Understanding how the Emergency Room works is really important. The Emergency Room, or ER, is the only place that you can walk into at a hospital and get treatment. If you wandered up to the third floor recovery area and asked for care, they would send you to the ER first. The Emergency Room acts as a screening area in order to find the right places for people to go. Here are some roles of the Emergency Room.
When you walk into the Emergency Room, the receptionist will try to get a feel for the situation. If they can tell that you need help right away, a team of doctors and nurses will rush over to you and help you out. If, on the other hand, you have a cut on your hand from doing the dishes, you might have to wait in the lobby for a bit while they treat more critical patients.
When you are seen, they will work to find out what is wrong with you. In order to do this, doctors will evaluate your breathing, your ability to think clearly, and your heart rate. They will check your vitals in order to make sure that you are getting enough oxygen, and talk with you about why you ended up in the ER in the first place. If they decide that you need to have imaging performed, they will send you to have a CAT scan, and MRI, or an X-Ray. These tools will help them to get a better feel for what is wrong with you.
After doctors have an idea of what the problem is, they will stabilize you and send you to the right area of the hospital. Emergency Rooms are not meant for long-term treatment, they only act to stabilize patients and send them on their way. If you needed treatment like stitches, they will be performed in the Emergency Room, and then you will be discharged from the hospital.