The patients are examined at the emergency department to determine the cause of sudden symptoms or the extent of injuries.

The most common examinations at the emergency departments are various laboratory tests and imaging.

For laboratory tests, blood samples are taken, and patients are asked to give a urine sample.

The most common imaging examinations are basic x-rays. In emergency departments with wider availability of services, ultrasound scans and computer tomography are also be performed. MRI is seldom used in emergency departments.

To carry out these examinations, there is a laboratory and x-ray unit at the emergency department, or near it. Usually, these units are run by separate personnel. The customer is instructed to visit these units and then return to the emergency department.

The emergency department personnel and hospital porters assist patients in these units if they are unable to visit them by themselves. If a patient is seriously injured or ill, the personnel is with the patient at all times.

Laboratory results and x-rays are not normally ready immediately and patients have to wait for them. The time for the results of laboratory tests to be complited come back varies from one hour two hours. With near patient test results are ready immediately faster. With X-rays, the patient will also have to wait for the consultation with the radiologist.

Follow Mikko at the emergency department

Mikko follows the signs and finds his way to the laboratory. Soon he is asked to step into the blood sampling room. Mikko is instructed to sit down on the blood sampling chair and his arm is supported on a cushion. Mikko is asked to roll up his sleeve because the sample is taken from the vein inside the bend of the arm. The lab assistant explains the process and taking the blood samples is quick and easy.

Mikko remembers it has not always been this easy and it has taken several attempts with the needle to find the vein. This time it only took one attempt. The lab assistant asks Mikko to go to the toilet on the opposite side of the corridor and give him detailed instructions on how to give a urine sample. After the samples have been taken, Mikko returns to the waiting room at the emergency department. He sits down and tries to pass the time by browsing a magazine.

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Updated  1.5.2021