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What Happens When I Arrive

We are here to help

The main goal of the Emergency Department at Centinela Hospital is to help you feel better. One way we can do that is to let you know what to expect while you are with us. Here are answers to questions often asked by our visitors. We hope this information helps make your visit as pleasant as possible.


When you arrive, a registered nurse will conduct an initial exam, take your vital signs and complete a brief medical history. Triage helps us determine the severity of your emergency and allows us to take care of the most urgent cases right away. That's why someone who arrives after you may be treated before you. We work to see everyone as quickly as possible and we attend to the most critical needs first.

Upon entering the Emergency Room, you or a family member should be able to provide a list of your current allergies and medications (with dosages).

We require written permission from a parent for treatment of children under your care. We can provide you with permission slips to take home.


During registration, we will ask you to sign a treatment consent form and to provide your name, address, phone number, personal physician and insurance information. For your convenience, if an exam room is available, a registration clerk will gather this information at your bedside. If a room is not available, and your emergency is not life-threatening, you may be asked to remain in the reception area until a room is ready for you.


Once you are in the treatment area, a physician will examine you and order any tests needed to evaluate your condition. Depending on the type of illness or injury, a nurse may start an IV or obtain a blood or urine sample, or you may undergo diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or a CT scan. Our goal is to keep you comfortable and conduct tests as quickly as possible. Some tests take longer to complete, and we appreciate your patience as we work to provide you with the most prompt, courteous, and comprehensive emergency care we can offer.


Your treatment will depend on your physician's orders after the medical evaluation is complete. Our staff will keep you informed about what to expect during every part of the treatment process.

Admission or Discharge

Most patients are treated and discharged to go home from the emergency room. If you are admitted to the hospital, you will be transferred to a patient room and we will notify your primary care physician. If you do not have a physician, a physician on our staff – called a hospitalist — will coordinate your care while you're at the hospital.

If your emergency room physician determines you can go home, you will receive written instructions about how to take care of yourself after you leave the hospital. It is important to follow these instructions, take all prescribed medications and schedule a follow-up appointment with your personal physician. If you have questions about your discharge instructions, please ask your nurse.


Family members of patients are important both to our patients and our staff.

To provide efficient emergency treatment and a safe environment, only one visitor may be with a patient at a time. (Two parents are allowed for minor children after the initial medical evaluation is completed.) When the ER is very busy, visitors may not be permitted (except for parents with children).

The emergency medical team will keep family members in the waiting area informed and up to date with the patient's condition and progress.

After Your Visit

You will be given instructions for follow up care prior to your discharge. It is very important that you understand and follow these instructions accurately. If you do not understand the instructions or have any questions about them-ASK! Patients are responsible for their own care after they leave the ED. Patients are also responsible for and are strongly encouraged to arrange follow-up appointments with their regular physicians. The Emergency Department can refer patients to appropriate specialists for follow-up care if necessary.