What to Expect in the ER

Vanderbilt Emergency Room

Where do I check in?
When you come to the Emergency Department, check in at the triage desk. Triage is the medical term for treating the biggest problems first.

How long will I wait?
We try to serve patients as soon as possible, while also treating the most life-threatening emergencies first. Our busiest times are 4-10 p.m. each day. If your medical emergency is not life-threatening, we also offer several Walk-In Clinics, which are staffed by board-certified doctors.

What are some common questions I may be asked?

  • What is your medical emergency?
  • Are you in pain? If so, where?
  • Are you taking any medicines (including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, herbs and supplements)?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Do you have a primary care doctor?
  • Do you want us to contact anyone about this ER visit?

What if I do not speak english?
We offer on-site Interpreter Services in 15 languages, including sign language. We also offer interpreter services for more languages by phone.

What happens after I get treatment?
If your medical problem is not severe enough for emergency treatment, you will be sent home with discharge instructions that may include prescriptions for medicines. If you have any questions or don't understand these instructions, talk to a staff member until all your questions are answered.

What is the payment process?
The final step in your ER visit will be when you pay for your medical care. We accept all forms of payment.