Emergency Care / Trauma
Trinity Hospital is verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level II Trauma Center, the highest level of trauma care available in North Dakota. Level II verification means Trinity meets all of the requirements necessary to provide initial, definitive trauma care regardless of the severity of injury. Trinity’s Emergency/Trauma Center (ETC) provides round-the-clock physician coverage, which is supported by highly trained nursing and other clinical staff.
The Emergency Care Process
Emergency care is based on triage, a system of assigning priorities of medical treatment based on urgency. The triage nurse determines the order in which patients are seen based on their condition. This means the most critically ill or injured patients are treated first, regardless of their arrival time.
The doctor who sees you is a highly trained professional, who will examine you as soon as possible. He or she may order tests or x-rays, some requiring blood to be drawn or a visit to another department. Getting the test results may take some time. Once the results are received, the doctor will explain them to you. Depending on your emergency, your treatment may be simple or complex and carried out by a doctor or nurse. Your treatment may take a few minutes or several hours, depending on your illness or injury. The doctor will decide when you can be discharged from the ER or if you need to be admitted to the hospital.
The nurse will provide you with a copy of your discharge instructions and any prescriptions the doctor may have written for you. The nurse or physician will answer any questions you have about your care and treatment. Please keep your discharge instructions, because you are responsible for your own care after you leave the ER.
Appropriate Use of Emergency Care
The main role of the ETC is to care for emergencies. An emergency is when your health condition is serious and requires urgent attention. To ensure that you are getting the best care possible, to reduce unnecessary waiting times, we encourage you to talk to your family physician or healthcare provider. As someone who knows your medical history, your primary healthcare provider can you develop a responsible healthcare program, including advice on care that can be more appropriately provided in his or her office.
How Can I help?
Bring an up-to-date list of your medications
Be patient. How soon you are seen depends on how sick or injured you are. The ETC sees a large number of patients with a wide variety of illness and injury including those who come by both ground and air ambulance.
Check with the nurse before eating or drinking anything
Please do not use cellular phones anywhere inside the hospital as it interferes with monitoring systems.
If you are here with a loved one, please observe our visitation guidelines. We allow 1-2 family members to be in the room with our patients. Our first priority is to care for our patients. You may be asked to step out of the room so that we can complete a task that requires privacy.
Please do not bring food or drink into the patient care rooms.
If you have brought someone to the ETC and are not feeling well yourself, let our staff know so that we can determine if it's appropriate for you to visit a patient in the ETC. You may be asked to wear a mask while visiting and to wash your hands before and after visiting.
Approximate Length of Visit by Illness/Injury*:
Minor injury - no lab or x-ray: minimum of 30 to 60 minutes
Injury with x-ray: minimum of 45 to 90 minutes
Illness with lab: minimum of 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Abdominal Pain: minimum 2 hours
Heart or chest pain: minimum 2 hours
* Estimated length of visit once you are placed in an exam room. These are only estimates - your time may be longer or shorter depending on census and specific tests ordered.