Emergency Department: Frequently Asked Questions
Where should I go for emergency services and how do I get there?
If you are having an emergency and cannot get to a hospital on your own or with someone’s help, dial 911. If you or someone bringing you is trying to get here, you can use Google maps to locate Cooley Dickinson Hospital at 30 Locust Street in Northampton, or follow these driving directions.
What do I need to bring with me?
To help you receive the most accurate and efficient care, please bring the following items if possible:
- All of your medications or a list of your medications, including their dose and how often you take the medication. Download a medication form.
- A list of your medical problems
- A list of your allergies
- The names(s) of your primary care doctor and any specialists who treat you
- Your current address and insurance card
What should I expect when I arrive at the Emergency Department?
We know how important it is to have someone with you when you are getting care in the ED. For the safety and privacy of all our patients and staff we ask that your visitors check in with our patient greeter who will contact the patient and clinical staff to receive clearance for a visit. Your visitors will then be brought to your room. During periods of high volume or clinical care needs, visits may be limited. If you or your visitor has questions or concerns, speak to our patient greeter. For more information on visiting an Emergency Department patient, read the ED patient brochure in English or Spanish and visit the Visitor Information page.
How long will I wait to be seen?
Emergency care means that the number of patients and their needs are unpredictable and vary greatly due to factors beyond our control. When you arrive in the ED you will be evaluated as quickly as possible, ideally within 15 minutes. Patients with the most serious conditions are seen first, but all patients are monitored by clinical staff while they wait.
Once you go to an Emergency Department room, your time of treatment will vary depending on the number and type of tests ordered and the treatments you need. Patients are triaged based on the seriousness of their illness or accident.
What if I can’t pay?
Our staff takes care of all patients regardless of their ability to pay.
Help us help you
Our medical, nursing, and volunteer care staff wants to make sure your visit is as comfortable and pleasant as possible, while providing the highest quality of care available. If you have questions or require more help, any member of our staff is ready, willing, and able to assist you.
Participate in your care
Be sure we:
- Check your name band
- Wash our hands
- Tell you about your care, tests, medicine, and procedures
- Ask you about your goals for your care
If we do not do any of the above, please talk to your nurse or ask to speak to the charge nurse on duty.
Advance Directive, Massachusetts Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST)
We want to honor your wishes. Please bring a copy of your advance directive or MOLST with you to the ED. Learn more about MOLST.