ER physicians like Dr. Josyann Abisaab know that people wonder why emergency rooms often don’t treat patients in the precise order in which they arrive.
This due to the concept of triage. Triage is generally a patient’s first stop in the emergency department. It is the site where a member of the ER team, usually a nurse, evaluates the patient’s condition and assigns him to one of three categories:
1. Imminently life-threatening
2. Urgent, but not imminently life-threatening
3. Less urgent
As a result of triage, someone who arrives with a life-threatening condition can be seen immediately, even if he or she was not the first to arrive. Conversely, this means that patients with less time-oriented problems may need to wait a bit longer, while still receiving the correct level of treatment.