When a medical emergency occurs, count on expert care close to home through Spencer Hospital’s emergency service professionals.  An emergency physician is available within the hospital every minute of the day, working with a team of highly skilled nurses and paramedics.

In case of an emergency, call 911. Spencer Hospital’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team provides paramedic coverage for all of Clay County and is assisted by fire and rescue located throughout the region.

If you arrive by vehicle or foot, the Emergency Department entrance is located on the northeast side of the hospital on Second Avenue East just off East 13th Street.

Upon Arrival

When you arrive in the Emergency Department, you will be greeted by an emergency health professional who will conduct a brief medical history and exam to determine the severity of your condition. Emergency departments triage patients, meaning patients are treated in order of severity of illness rather than arrival time. If your condition changes at any time, notify the nurse immediately. Registration information will be taken by an admissions and registration counselor after your initial medical evaluation.

Everyone was incredibly polite, respectful, understanding, concerned and more; and it was presented in such a caring and genuine way that I felt 100% safe and secure and trusted my health care providers completely. It was the best emergency experience I've had. Thank-you!! To all who helped!

—Satisfied Patient

For your care, please:

  • Before eating or drinking anything, please ask the nurse. You may be required to fast for optimal care.
  • Have a list of your current medications and allergies.
  • Please turn off or silence your cell phone in the exam room.

Frequent Reasons for Seeking Emergency Services

If you or a companion is experiencing any of these symptoms, seek emergency care:

  • Chest pain and symptoms of heart attack
  • Stroke symptoms, difficulty speaking, walking, or weakness on one side of your body
  • Severe breathing problems
  • Bleeding injuries
  • Major injuries, especially head injuries
  • Serious burns
  • Broken bones
  • Poisoning
  • Major allergic reactions

Emergency Treatment

Our physicians and nurses are specialists in emergency medicine. They will examine you and will create a plan of care based on your individual treatment needs. Lab tests and diagnostic procedures may be ordered to further help diagnose your condition. After evaluation and treatment, the emergency services physician will either:

  • Discharge you and allow you to go home with instructions for your care.
  • Admit you to Spencer Hospital as an inpatient
  • Have you stay at the hospital under observation
  • Transfer you to a specialized medical facility

Diagnostic Testing & Wait Times

Your physician may order lab and/or diagnostic imaging tests to better determine your condition. Most lab tests can take from 30-75 minutes to complete. Complicated, X-Ray, and CT (Cat Scan) tests can take 60-120 minutes to be interpreted. We understand waiting in an emergency health situation can cause anxiety. We will strive to keep you informed of wait times.

Follow-up Care

The primary role of the emergency physician is to treat an emergency medical condition. Upon discharge you will need to follow up with your primary doctor or practitioner for further evaluation/treatment.

Family and Guests

A comfortable waiting room is provided for family and friends. Depending on your condition, a family member or friend may be with you in the exam and treatment room. However, there may be time when visitors may be limited or restricted.  If visitors are permitted, please limit visitors to one to two people.

Emergency Care Team

Your emergency care will be overseen by a physician and a team of health professionals. Depending on your medical condition, you may have additional care providers and ancillary staff involved in your care.

  • Physicians:  Our Emergency Department is staffed with independent Emergency Physicians who are available 24 hours every day. If you are admitted as an inpatient or need specialized health services, you will be referred to one of our local family care or specialty physicians.
  • Nurses who will monitor your health and administer medications and treatments under the direction of your physician.
  • Paramedics who respond to all 911 calls and also provide transportation to other healthcare facilities. Paramedics also work closely with the emergency services physicians and nurses in caring for you.
  • Leadership or Resource Nurses who work closely with your entire care team to assure your health needs and personal comfort is being met.
  • Specialized Health Professionals including staff specifically trained in physical, occupational, speech or respiratory therapies, or would care treatment and infectious diseases.
  • Lab or Diagnostic Imaging Techs: If lab tests or diagnostic imaging (x-rays, MRIs, CT, etc.) are ordered, you will be visited by a lab tech to secure a sample of your blood, and/or by a DI tech who will conduct the imaging test required for your care.

If at any time during your stay you have questions or concerns, please ask to visit with a nurse leader. For optimal healing, we believe you need to be as comfortable as possible and pleased with your care.   

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