If you have fever, cough or shortness of breath when you arrive at the Emergency Department:
- Wear a mask and come into the Emergency Department to be registered.
- Keep your mask on at all times.
- You will not be able to have any visitors.
About Emergency Department
Thank you for choosing the UAMS Health Emergency Department. Our state-of-the-art facility, board-certified physicians, and highly trained nursing staff offer excellent care for all types of illnesses and injuries.
We want you to have the best possible experience in our Emergency Department. Please read the information below to help you understand and participate in your care.
Patients in the Emergency Department are seen based on the severity of their condition and which treatment areas are open, not in order of arrival. For example, a patient with a life-threatening condition like a heart attack will be seen before a patient with a minor problem such as pink eye.
A triage nurse will determine the severity of your condition. When available, a physician in triage will begin your evaluation. If your condition changes or gets worse while you are waiting, please tell a member of our staff. The staff of the Emergency Department will make every effort to see you as quickly as possible.
Sometimes patients can be cared for by a provider in a quick treatment space. They may not seem to be in need of urgent care, but their issue can be treated quickly without taking up a patient room.
To shorten wait times, some patients are evaluated and treated in a hallway bed in the Emergency Department or brought to an overflow area. If you do not want to be seen in one of these areas, please let us know.
Important Information for Patients
- Please do not eat or drink anything while you are waiting to be seen. This includes drinking water. Some tests and procedures require an empty stomach. Please ask a doctor or nurse before you eat anything so your care will not take longer.
- Ask a nurse before using the bathroom to see if a urine sample is needed.
Food and Drinks
Vending machines with drinks and snacks are in the Emergency Room Waiting Room for family members and patients who are allowed to eat and drink.
The Lobby Café on the first floor of the hospital is open from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m, seven days a week. They serve pizza, sandwiches and snacks, hot and cold drinks, breakfast items and hot entrée specials.
The Cafeteria on the ground floor of the Central Building is open from 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phones and Valuables
- The phone next to the women’s restroom may be used for local calls.
- Free charging stations are available to charge your cell phone.
- To use the free WiFi, select the “UAMS Guest” network and log-in with your e-mail address.
- A computer, fax machine and printer are available in the Family Resource Center on the first floor of the hospital (near the Lobby Café) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- UAMS Health is not responsible for lost or stolen items. We strongly recommend that you bring only essential items with you to the Emergency Department. Please bring a photo ID, your insurance card, and a list of current medications, if available.
UAMS Health chaplains are available at all times to help patients and families with spiritual and emotional support. Please let the staff know if you would like to speak with a chaplain. A chapel is available on the first floor of the hospital.
Your Care Team
Your care will be supervised by an attending physician, who is a board-certified doctor with special training in emergency medicine. You may also see a resident physician, a fully-qualified doctor who is completing specialty training. Or, you may be seen by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant whose advanced degrees allow them to diagnose and prescribe medicine. These individuals will wear light blue scrubs.
Other members of your care team include
- Registered Nurses (royal blue scrubs),
- Patient Care Technicians (navy blue scrubs),
- Respiratory Therapists (green scrubs),
- Radiology Technicians (red scrubs), and
- Registration staff (black scrubs)
- Transportation (blue uniform top)
Because UAMS is a teaching hospital, students in these professions may also participate in your care. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please ask. Please write down the names of any staff you would like to remember.
You can write notes for your care team on the boards in your room.
What to Expect During Your Visit
- Registration: Staff ask your name, date of birth and/or social security number, and the reason for your visit to create an electronic medical record for your visit. You will later be asked for additional information such as your address, phone number, contact person and insurance provider.
- Triage: A registered nurse will see how serious your condition is and how quickly you need to be seen. When available, a physician in triage will start your evaluation.
- Evaluation: Your healthcare team will check your condition in greater detail and may order tests and/or treatments. Your team may include several different doctors and nurses, so some questions may be repeated.
- Testing: Blood tests may be sent to the lab for analysis. (Extra blood may be collected and saved in room in case more testing is needed.) Most results are available in 1 to 2 hours, but some tests take longer. Radiology tests include x-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans, which let your doctor see the bones and organs inside your body. Some tests require special preparation, such as drinking something that will help doctors find more about your illness. Depending on the type of test and how many other patients are being tested, lab results are usually ready in 1 to 4 hours.
- Treatment: You may be given medicine to treat your condition or help you feel better. You may also have a procedure, such as stitches or splints.
- Diagnosis: In most cases, the doctor in the Emergency Department will be able to find out what is making you feel bad and help you begin to feel better. Sometimes, the doctor may not be able to find out the exact problem in the Emergency Department, but the doctor will make sure there is not something seriously wrong. Emergency Department doctors may also call other specialty doctors, such as surgeons, heart doctors or eye doctors to see you in the Emergency Department. They will come as soon as possible, but there may be a delay if they are caring for other patients or need to drive to UAMS Health.
- Decision: If your doctor finds that you are well enough to go home, you will be given discharge instructions for how to take care of yourself at home. You may also get prescriptions, medical equipment, and instructions to see other doctors.
Please let your team know which pharmacy you would like to use. Prescriptions will be sent electronically. Your nurse will go over these with you and answer your questions.
If you need hospital-level care, you will be moved to a hospital room as soon as possible or given an option to use hospital-at-home care. It may take several hours before a hospital room is ready, but we will keep caring for you in the Emergency Department until it is ready.
Clean Hands Save Lives
- One of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs is to wash your hands or clean them with hand sanitizer.
- If your care team forgets this step when they come in to see you, please remind them.
- Please keep your own hands clean and ask others with you to keep their hands clean too.
Participate in Your Care
Talk to us. Tell us when and how the problem started, what it feels like, if you’ve had it before and what makes it worse or better. Tell us about your health, including past medical problems, things going on now, medicine you are taking and allergies. You can enter this information into your phone or write it down on a card or and carry it with you if you have a hard time remembering.
Ask questions. If you don’t understand what is happening or why, please tell your doctor or nurse. Before you leave, make sure you understand all your instructions, including:
- How to use new medicine or equipment
- When to see your doctor
- Signs that something may be wrong and when you may need to see a doctor sooner
- Anything you may not be well enough to do such as drive or lift heavy things
Tell Us About Your Experience
- If you have any questions about your care, please share them with the doctor or nurse before you leave. If you have questions or problems after you leave, please call 501-526-2082 to talk with a nurse.
- You may get a survey asking for information about your visit to the Emergency Department in the mail or in your e-mail. Please fill out this survey and send it back — your opinion is very important to us!
Entry to the Emergency Department is from Shuffield Drive on the south side of the hospital. Free parking for Emergency Department patients is available on the lower level of Parking 1, a parking deck west of the Emergency Department. If this lot is full, use the main entrance for Parking 1 off of Hooper Drive.
Show your ticket from Parking 1 to the Emergency Department registration staff for a one-time free parking pass to use when you leave.
If you are admitted to the hospital, please have a friend or family member move your car from the Emergency Department parking area to Parking 1. If you are admitted, a parking pass good for seven days of free parking is available at the hospital’s admissions desk.Get Directions
UAMS Health MyChart
UAMS Health MyChart is a free online patient portal that gives you free, secure 24-hour access to your health information. You can see your lab and test results, send messages to your doctor, make appointments, pre-register for appointments, refill prescriptions and pay your bills. Ask your provider or the clinic staff to send you a sign-up link by email or text. Once you have this link, you have eight hours to sign up with just your name and date of birth.
Areas of Expertise Represented at Emergency Department
You can’t predict an emergency, but when one strikes, UAMS Medical Center is ready to help you as the only adult Level 1 Trauma Center in Arkansas.
UAMS Medical Center is the first comprehensive stroke center in Arkansas certified by the Joint Commission and the only one in central Arkansas.