Care when you need it

Portneuf Emergency Level II Trauma and Air Rescue extends comprehensive emergency and trauma care throughout the region 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Accidents happen. Portneuf Medical Center’s Emergency Department is proud to serve all of Southeastern Idaho. Our highly skilled, board-certified, emergency medicine physicians, a comprehensive suite of specialists, trained physician assistants, experienced nurse and support staff are ready to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical ailments ranging from illnesses and minor injuries to major medical emergencies.

Equipped with high-tech medical equipment with access to radiology, diagnostic testing, in-house laboratories, neurosurgery, intensive care units as well as surgical and cardiac services we are always ready to treat the minor as well as the major accidents and illnesses.

If you think the situation is life-threatening, call 9-1-1 or go to the Emergency Department.

Examples of life or limb threatening emergencies can include:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Heavy or uncontrollable bleeding
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Sudden or excessive pain
  • Changes in vision
  • Confusion
  • Suicidal thoughts

Triage

While statistically our ED wait times are well below the national average, it is important to note that wait times are highly dependent on what is happening behind the scenes. When a patient arrives, their first stop is triage – a word we use to prioritize each patient’s condition. Triage nurses at the front desk determine if the situation is immediately life-threatening; urgent, but not life threatening; and less urgent. We recognize that every condition is important, but to save lives, we must prioritize based on emergent, urgent and traumatic situations.

Following initial triage, you are checked-in and your vitals are taken. Up until you are placed in a room, our front triage nurses continuously monitor patients and will adjust if a patient’s condition changes. Once in a room, our emergency-department nurses gather more detailed information; thereafter, an emergency-medicine physician obtains more specific information and may formulate a differential diagnosis. Tests may be ordered to help confirm or rule out a diagnosis. It is at this moment a patient is ‘seeing’ multiple doctors at once. Examples may include a radiologist, a general surgeon, neurologist, a gastroenterologist or other specialty physician who is part of the emergency medical team.

The vast array of people caring for patients in an emergency department can be confusing and often people do not know why they are just in a room waiting. Many specialist are not visitors in your emergency room, but rather behind the scene reading diagnostic reports and consulting with the emergency medicine team. It can take some time to rule out certain conditions and make a diagnosis.

While you are in our care and we deem you to be in stable condition, it is important to know that if another patient presents with a life-threatening condition, our first goal is to save lives.  Unlike an urgent care or a wellness visit, our emergency department cannot operate on a first come first serve scenerio; we must continuously monitor, adjust and make decision about every patient in our care.

As we put the all the medical pieces together concerning your condition, you may be admitted, discharged, given follow-up instructions to see a primary care physician or transferred to another medical facility. Our goal is to treat emergent, urgent and traumatic conditions; we do not prescribe narcotics for chronic conditions.

Emergency or Primary Care?

We do not handle medication refills. Community health care (urgent care) and primary care providers may be more appropriate for the following conditions:

  • Medication management
  • Minor cuts
  • Skin and wound infections
  • Rashes
  • Sinus pain
  • Sore throats
  • Colds and flu symptoms
  • Toothaches
  • Non-traumatic, chronic conditions
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