Skip to main content
Pile of paper cards, stethoscope and stopwatch

Why Is the Wait So Long at the Emergency Department?

One of the biggest frustrations reported by people who visit hospital emergency departments is the amount of time that they have to wait.

At any given time, all seven of our emergency departments can become extremely busy– especially during flu season, if there is a natural disaster, or after physician offices close for the day and on the weekend.

3 Things to Remember Before Your Emergency Room Visit

Here are some things to consider before coming to the emergency room (ER):

#1 – Come Prepared to Wait.

Check WakeMed emergency department wait times here, and consider choosing the emergency department with the shortest wait time.

#2 – Consider Bringing Key Items.

Bring some items to help keep you stay comfortable during your wait and possible admission to the hospital, including any items you may need for several hours or even days away from home.

#3 – Try to Be Patient.

We know that when you are sick, you want care as quickly as possible.

Understanding How Patients Are Seen in the ER

Our staff is working as hard as we possibly can to provide exceptional care to each and every patient. However, unlike in a physician’s office, patients in an emergency department are not seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

Instead, patients are treated in order of the severity of their illness.

This means a person with a heart attack or trauma arriving by ambulance will be treated before a patient in the waiting room whose condition is stable.

Our Patients Are Our Priority

Our patients our very important to us and their feedback is too. If there is anything we can do to help make the wait more comfortable for you and/or your family, please let us know.

Thank you for choosing WakeMed, and thank you for your patience during this very busy time of year.

Share