Many people have questions about the ER, such as whether they should even bother going or are the doctors really looking at your underwear or when should you insist that you be seen immediately? Jill Baren who is the chair of emergency medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania tells some secrets of the ER that she tells her friends in order to have a more efficient visit.
1. You don’t need to tell the doctor your whole life story. Keep things short and sweet and answer questions honestly. If they ask when pain started, don’t go into a tangent. Answer simply.
2. If you are a parent of a hurt child, do not drive to the hospital. If it is a true emergency call 911 and wait for the ambulance to get there. Distraught parents are dangerous on the road and can make things worse.
3. Don’t worry about being embarrassed. Some people avoid going to the ER because they are embarrassed about something like unshaven legs, the nature of the injury sustained, or an embarrassing piece of clothing. Doctors are not concerned with what you are wearing or what embarrassing position you were in when you were injured. They are just there to help you and make sure that you are in good health.
4. Be prepared for personal questions. The doctors are going to need to know certain things so that they can get a better picture of your medical history. They may ask questions about drug use and s*xual history no matter who you are.
5. Don’t lie about symptoms to get seen quicker. That will not get you anywhere and could complicate your diagnosis and treatment.
6. Doctors don’t care about your underwear!
7. See your primary care doctor when symptoms first arise so that you can avoid the ER. As soon as you notice something unusual going on, make sure you call the doctor.