What to Expect at the Emergency Department

A typical visit to the Emergency Department begins at triage. Here, a nurse assesses how ill or how badly injured the patient is, how quickly the patient should be seen and whether the patient will be seen in the General Treatment area or in Fast Track.

Fast Track

For those patients coming to the Emergency Department with less severe illnesses or injuries, Fletcher Allen offers "Fast Track" -- a treatment area located within the Emergency Department staffed by a physician assistant and a registered nurse or emergency services technician. Fast Track is open 1 p.m. - 11 p.m. daily.

Emergency Services

The General Treatment area of the Emergency Department is where serious, non-trauma emergencies are treated. Rooms are grouped into designated treatment areas:

  • Orthopedics
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Ears, nose and throat
  • Psychiatry

These special purpose areas enable our skilled physicians and staff to
provide specialized care and equipment required for the specific needs of these patients.

Trauma Care

 Fletcher Allen is a Level I Trauma Center, which means we provide the highest level of specialty care to trauma patients, and must meet strict national standards to do so. Fletcher Allen is the only Level I Trauma Center in the state, and we also serve northern New York.

As a referral center serving the region with advanced-level care, we are ready around the clock, 365 days a year, for any type of emergency. We care for approximately 1,000 trauma victims each year -- people who have been critically injured in car, hunting or skiing accidents, fires, drownings or in a shooting-among other incidents.

Here, trauma patients have access to highly skilled physicians with expertise in:

  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Burn care
  • Pediatrics
  • Cardiology

Your Care Team

The Emergency Department is staffed by board-certified Emergency physicians.  The attending physicians are assisted by physician assistants. Rotating through the department are intern level resident physicians from Medicine, OB-GYN and Pediatrics. There are also advanced level Family Practice residents in the department. Up to seven medical students per month rotate in the department.

Services for Children

 A visit to the Emergency Department can be scary for anyone, but this is especially true for children.  Here at Fletcher Allen we have dedicated pediatric rooms, equipment specific to each age group, as well as a separate waiting area that is child-friendly. 

Additionally, Child Life specialists are available -- specially trained staff members who assist children with their visits and procedures.

Support Services

We have social services and case management resources to assist patients and families with difficult situations as they present themselves.  The Emergency Department has alliances with HowardCenter and First Call to meet our adult and pediatric crisis management needs.  Another of these very valuable resources is the Women’s Rape Crisis team.  These individuals respond 24/7 for victims of sexual assault.

We have a core group of highly trained registered nurses who have become Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs).  This is a program that prepares nurses to do a thorough forensic exam and treat victims of sexual assault.