Leaving the emergency department

After the examinations, doctor’s consultation, procedures and monitoring, the cause for the patient’s illness or injury has been established and decisions have been made about the next steps.

Patients are usually discharged with care instructions. If the cause of the issue has not been identified or urgent specialist examinations or procedures are needed, the patient is admitted to the hospital.

This means that the patient is moved on to a hospital ward which specialises in the illness or injury in question. Sometimes a patient needs to be taken straight into surgery, or a procedure or intensive care.

The patient’s further treatment may also take place at the inpatients ward of their local health centre. The patient is transported by ambulance or a taxi that is equipped with stretchers. A patient who is in good condition can also travel by a regular taxi.

If the patient’s condition does not require inpatient care and they can manage at home on their own or with the help of family or a friend, they are discharged. Patients can travel home by their own car, public transport or if the condition so requires, by a taxi paid for by Kela.

On discharge, patients are given care instructions, a sick leave certificate and prescriptions as necessary. Once the patient has been discharged or referred for further treatment, the care process at the emergency department comes to an end.

Follow Mikko at the emergency department

Mikko’s wait at the emergency department is soon over. His doctor arrives and talks Mikko through the findings and the probable cause of the pain. The doctor explains that the ultrasound scan shows signs of inflammation in the bowel. The doctor mentions something called diverticulitis, which means the inflammation of pockets that can develop in the lining of the intestine. According to the doctor, the blood tests would support this diagnosis.

Mikko is prescribed antibiotics and pain medication. According to the doctor, the inflammation is not bad enough to require a hospital stay. However, the doctor stresses that if the symptoms don’t settle with the antibiotics and painkillers, Mikko should seek further treatment.

The doctor hands over some papers to Mikko, and leaves to take care of other patients. The nurse soon appears to remove the cannula. The nurse recaps the self-care instructions and explains that the prescriptions have been given electronically and can be picked up at any pharmacy by showing the Kela card.

The nurse sees Mikko out and wishes him a speedy recovery. Mikko walks through the waiting room and steps outside and walks to the car park where he parked his car in the afternoon. Mikko is pleased with his treatment and relieved that the cause of the pain was identified on a single visit. If there is anything Mikko would change about the experience, it would be the long waiting time. Mikko understands this is not always possible, but of course, waiting is never fun.

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Updated  8.6.2020