Treatment

Your private physician may call the ED to notify us of your arrival. If this occurs, you are still required to be evaluated by the triage nurse and complete the registration process. The order in which you are evaluated and the timing of the registration process is determined by your medical need. Once you are brought into the treatment area, we ask that you disrobe and change into a hospital gown to facilitate your physical exam and any required radiology studies. During your evaluation, you will interface with several members of the ED team, some of whom will perform a physical exam and ask questions regarding your condition. These individuals include:

  • Attending Physicians: Emergency Medicine physicians who oversee all of your medical care in the Emergency Department
  • Resident Physicians: Physicians completing their specialty training. All residents are supervised by attending physicians.
  • Medical students: Students training to be physicians
  • Registered Nurses
  • Nurse Technicians and other staff members
  • Specialty/Consultant Physicians
  • Volunteers


During the evaluation you may be asked questions that seem repetitious. Please understand that to ensure the collection of complete and accurate information, the physician and nursing staff may need to clarify and confirm some of your responses. Even if you have been treated in the ED recently, the Emergency Department staff may need to perform a complete re-evaluation including a medical history, physical, and diagnostic testing.

Communication with Private Physicians

Your private physician may want to be called by the emergency physicians after you have arrived. We will contact your physician once a preliminary evaluation has occurred and we have adequate information about your condition. Usually this means contacting your doctor after some test results are known. Please be aware that even if your private physician said that he/she will "meet you" in the Emergency Department, he/she may not be present at the exact time of your arrival. The ED attending physician, regardless of any other arrangements that have been made prior to your arrival, will evaluate all patients presenting to the Emory University Hospital Emergency Department. 

Waiting Time

The goal of the ED is to evaluate all patients in a prompt and timely manner. At times there are unavoidable delays or waits. However, every effort will be made to make your visit as comfortable as possible. You may feel that your wait time is "excessive"; however, a period of observation may be necessary for appropriate evaluation of your medical condition. Our staff may also be discussing your case with your private physician, waiting for your laboratory or radiology results, or awaiting the arrival of a specialist. If we fail to communicate the reason for any delays, do not hesitate to ask your physician or nurse to explain your individual situation.