Frequently Asked Questions
How long will the wait be?
Our staff is trained to determine the severity of each patient’s condition and make sure that those with life-threatening illnesses or injuries are seen first. This is called triage, where a trained nurse assigns a priority to each patient’s condition. These priority levels are immediately life threatening, urgent but not immediately life threatening, and less urgent. This system helps ensure that someone with a life-threatening condition is not kept waiting because they arrived a few minutes after someone with a more routine problem. Whatever your emergency, our goal is for you to be seen as soon as possible. We recognize that you deserve attention and care, and we will work efficiently to get you in and out in a timely manner.
Should I bring anything with me?
You may find it helpful to bring a notepad and a pen. It is important to share with your doctor information on your medical history as well as any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications or vitamin supplements you may be taking. Write this information on the notepad and have it with you upon admission. You may also want to use the notepad to take notes during your visit, as you may be given specific instructions.
Can I have someone with me?
In most cases, you can have a friend or family member with you in the Emergency Department. Our staff may ask them to step out of the room while a treatment is being done. If you need to go to radiology, then your visitor will need to remain in your treatment room.
What if I have questions after I get home?
We provide a series of videos to help you know how to care for a wide variety of injuries and illnesses commonly seen in the emergency room. These videos have been created by physicians to help you remember your doctor's instructions in the ER. The image to the right will link you to those videos.
You may also find that these videos provide enough direction in how to care for yourself or your loved one that you may be able to postpone your visit to a doctor until your primary care physician's office is open. If your condition requires immediate care, however, please come in to our emergency room immediately.
North Fulton Hospital Emergency Department Plan of Care
North Fulton Hospital’s Emergency department (ED) provides triage, medical evaluation, stabilization, and emergency treatment to all patients presenting for treatment 24 hours/day 7 days/week. A Registered Nurse provides triage and Board Certified and Board Eligible Emergency Physicians provide medical screening and treatment.
The ED sees approximately 40,000 patients annually. We are a state designated Level II Trauma Center. NFH is also a Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center. Approximately 16% of patients seen in the ED are admitted each year. This represents about 50 % of all hospital admissions. Approximately 8% of admitted ED patients are due to trauma. Average length of stay for admitted patients is 5 hours. For discharged patients, this wait time is less than 3 hours.
The ED is co-managed by the Medical Director, who oversees the medical services, and the Nursing Director, who oversees the nursing, technical and secretarial services as well as the daily operations of the department. Patient care staff include RNs, ED technicians, and Hospital Unit Coordinators (HUC’s). A Trauma Coordinator supports the trauma program in the facility and reports to the ED Nursing Director.
Department staffing is determined by average patient volume. Staffing patterns are predetermined but continuously reevaluated and revised as needed. Per diem, float pool, and contract labor are all utilized as needed to supplement staffing and to accommodate census requirements. Daily and hourly patient volumes are reviewed to evaluate census averages. Staffing is modified according to trends noted by day of week and hour of day.
Patients receive both nursing and physician assessments and dispositions on each visit. The ED receives a radio report with an estimated time of arrival on patients being transported by ground or air ambulance to the facility. This allows preparation time in order to receive incoming patients. Staff generate a written report on patients being admitted to an inpatient unit; this report is sent with the patient when a ready bed is received from the supervisor.
Our goal is to provide you with quality emergency care. We hope that this information will help you understand more about the Emergency Department. For more information call 770-751-2555.
For a free, confidential physician referral, call 770-751-2600 or visit the "Find a Physician" tab on this website.