If you have a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

At one time or another, most of us have experienced an Emergency Room first-hand, heard a story about an experience at the ER or at least seen it on television.

A visit to the Emergency Room does not have to be stressful or frightening. With the right information you can reduce anxiety and have a positive experience. Here are some guidelines to help you prepare for arriving to the ER.

Bring a Family Member or Friend

Whenever possible it is a good idea to bring someone else with you to the ER. If your condition is serious, you may need someone to help provide information and communicate with staff.

Have Your Health History, Medications and Insurance Card Handy

According to many health care professionals, it is important for people to be prepared with all of their health information.

Make sure you keep the following items in a convenient place such as a wallet, purse or on your refrigerator door, so that you may grab them quickly when leaving your home. It's also a good idea to keep a copy of these items with your spouse, family member or caregiver:

  • A list of the current medications, allergies and major events in your health history.
  • Copies of any recent medical tests or procedures.
  • Names of your personal physicians.
  • Emergency contact information.
  • Health plan information.
  • Driver’s license or other valid identification.
  • Advanced health care directives.

You will also want to make sure you answer all questions from medical staff to the best of your ability. Knowing all the facts helps health professionals make a complete diagnosis and a treatment based on the information that you give them. Let the nurses or other staff know if there are any changes in the way you are feeling.