The Emergency Department at Saint Mary’s Hospital is one of the busiest in the state. Built in 1982 to treat an estimated 30,000 patients per year, it now sees more than 70,000. And its doors never close.
“It’s an area that’s busy 24-7,” said Thomas J. Senker, vice president of operations for Saint Mary’s. “It’s also a major front door of the hospital with over 60 percent of our admissions originating from the Emergency Department.”
Despite these challenges, the hospital initiated an extensive renovation of the Emergency Department – a $2.75 million project – in September 2005, with the goal of creating a modern and efficient environment for patients, physicians and staff alike.
The new waiting, reception, triage and registration areas were designed to improve aesthetics and functionality. The project also improved patient privacy, increased capacity and improved patient flow with the creation of two state-of-the-art trauma rooms, a private unit for behavioral health patients, additional treatment beds and two additional nurses’ stations.
Saint Mary’s Emergency Department also houses the region’s only pediatric emergency care unit.
When you arrive in the Emergency Department (ED) at Saint Mary’s Hospital, the Patient Care Assistant or Registered Nurse at the front desk will register you by taking your name and asking why you are seeking treatment. You will then be asked to take a seat in the waiting area.
In the waiting room, please listen for the registrar to call your name. The registrar will escort you to a private area and ask for your personal and insurance information.
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When you return to the waiting room, your wait time to see a doctor will depend on the severity of your illness. Please note it is the hospital’s policy to treat patients with potentially life-threatening injuries or conditions first. Those who have non-emergent injuries or symptoms may be directed to the Urgent Care area for treatment. This is referred to as the “triage” process.
Our policy at Saint Mary’s is to treat all patients presenting to the ED regardless of ability to pay. Those who are uninsured or under-insured will be referred to a Financial Counselor for assistance.
Billing for emergency visits is not calculated until after your visit is complete. Please do not ask the staff for a “price list” or “estimate.” They will not be able to give you an accurate answer. Please note that if you choose to leave the hospital after triage, you will be billed and are responsible for those charges.
Be assured the Emergency Department staff knows you are waiting and will provide treatment as soon as possible. Our staff is focused on providing high quality, compassionate care for each and every patient. Any delays you experience may be caused by high volumes of patients who are seeking treatment at any given time. We will do our best to keep you informed of how long you may be asked to wait.
Note that some patients may require extensive testing such as X-Rays, MRIs or “CAT” scans that can lead to delays. The results of blood tests can take up to 2 hours to process. The results of some X-rays may take up to 4 hours.
At times, due to limited space, you may be initially evaluated in a hallway. We apologize for an inconvenience this may cause. It is our goal to provide appropriate care for every patient as soon as possible.
If you feel you do not have an emergency but require non-urgent medical treatment, you may wish to visit one of Saint Mary’s walk-in centers:
- Naugatuck Walk-In Center, 799 New Haven Rd., Crosspoint Plaza, Naugatuck,
- Wolcott Walk-In Center, 503 Wolcott Rd., Wolcott, (203) 879-7900
The ED staff can answer any questions you may have during your visit. For your convenience, you will find restrooms, vending machines, public phones, TTY and televisions in our central waiting area.
The Saint Mary’s café is located on the same floor as the Emergency Department. Breakfast is served daily from 6:30 to 10 a.m. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and dinner is available from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Subway restaurant, also located on this level, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Jazzman’s Café on the first floor offers hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks, fresh baked goods and soups. Also on this floor is the hospital chapel, ATM machine and gift shop, which is open 7 days a week.
We ask that all patients please turn off cell phones while they are receiving treatment. Cell phones may be used near the entrance to the Emergency Department.
It is our policy to limit visitors to the Emergency Department to 2 per patient. We ask all visitors to comply with this policy so that we are able to provide optimal care for our patients.
Please respect the privacy of other patients if you are accompanying someone into the treatment area.
We encourage patients to follow all of the instructions provided by their doctor or nurse. If for any reason your condition worsens, please contact your private physician or return to the Emergency Department for follow-up care.