Alaska Regional Hospital - January 28, 2014

When you think of an emergency room, what comes to mind? Sure you think of doctors, nurses, sick patients, and people with life-threatening conditions, but what about the long-running NBC TV show, ER?

Obviously, this TV show fictionalized a lot of what life is like in the ER, and we hate to break it to you, but not all of the ER doctors look like a young George Clooney.

We don't want you to get the wrong idea of what to expect when you visit our Alaska Regional Emergency Department (no, it's not just like the TV show), but we do want you to know that you can expect outstanding care from board-certified ER physicians that strive to provide you with the most successful and efficient ER experience possible.

Even though we hope that emergencies will never happen to us or our loved ones, we have to anticipate that they might; and it's important to know what to do in an emergency situation and when to go to the ER.

We know that going to the emergency room can be overwhelming, and a little scary, but at Alaska Regional Hospital you're in good hands. When you arrive at our Emergency Department, you will be assessed by a highly trained triage nurse and will be seen immediately by an ER physician if your condition is severe enough. If you called for help, you may already be in the care of emergency personnel aboard an ambulance or our LifeFlight Air Ambulance.

Depending on the severity of your condition or illness, we may ask you to wait. We know that nobody likes waiting, especially when you're not feeling well, but because of the nature of emergency rooms, we must treat those with the most serious conditions first.

After being admitted, an ER doctor will evaluate your condition, and further laboratory tests or x-rays may be necessary. This can lengthen your stay at Alaska Regional Hospital, so we allow one to two visitors at a time to keep you company.

Once the ER doctor has made his or her diagnosis, he or she may refer you to a medical specialist or your general practice physician. Before your discharge you will receive information about your diagnosis, treatment plan, and follow-up care. You will be given written instructions about medications, activity, and symptoms to watch for that would require a return visit.

Alaska Regional Hospital is happy to help explain your discharge instructions or ER hospital bill, so don't hesitate to ask questions or call back later. And while we can't guarantee your ER experience will be as pleasant as watching the hit NBC TV show, we can guarantee that our Anchorage hospital will do our very best to give you the greatest emergency care possible.