Parent and child with doctor

Emergency Care 

What to Expect in the Pediatric Emergency Department

Triage

Triage is the process of evaluating the seriousness of your child’s illness or injury. When you first arrive, you and your child will be seen by the triage nurse who is specially trained to care for children in the Pediatric Emergency Department (ED). This registered nurse will ask you questions about your child’s illness or injury, check your child’s temperature and weight, and briefly examine your child. It is important to give all the needed information to the triage nurse. If your child has a life-threatening or very serious illness or injury, the nurse will ensure he or she will be seen by a doctor right away. If your child’s primary care provider was contacted before your visit, he or she may have called to tell us about your child's condition.

Registration

After triage, you will usually go to the registration area. The registrar will ask you for information such as your address and telephone number. This information will help staff to contact you or your child’s doctor about your child’s care. Paperwork necessary for your ED visit will be given to you at that time.

Waiting Area

You may be asked to wait in the waiting area until an exam room or doctor is available to see your child. Please understand that patients may not be seen in the same order of their arrival. Patients with the most serious illnesses and injuries will usually be given priority. A Child Life Specialist is available during the early evening to offer activities, answer questions, and help keep you informed. Feel free to ask a nurse or doctor if he or she can give your child something fun to do; we have many toys, books and videos available.

While you are in the waiting area, please do not give your child anything to eat or drink without checking with the triage nurse first. If you notice that your child is getting sicker or is in more pain, tell the triage nurse right away.

Examination

As soon as possible, you and your child will be brought into an exam room, where a team of doctors and nurses will care for your child. Two different doctors may evaluate your child. A resident physician, who is a medical doctor in training to care for children, may initially see your child. Your child will also be seen by an attending physician, who is a medical doctor who is trained to care for children with emergencies. The attending physician supervises the care of your child. Depending on your child’s condition, your doctor may order a blood test, X-rays, or other tests to help determine what is wrong with your child. Each test will be fully explained to you before it is performed.

A top priority in our Pediatric Emergency Department is to make sure each child is as comfortable as possible, and to rapidly assess and treat pain. If your child is in any pain, please notify a doctor or nurse so that the proper pain relief can be given.

Discharge

When your child’s ED visit is complete, the doctor or nurse will give you instructions on how to care for your child’s illness or injury. They will also tell you about follow-up care. If you have any questions after you leave, call the Pediatric Emergency Department at (212) 746-3300, or call your child’s primary care provider.

Admission to the Hospital

Your doctors may decide that your child needs to stay in the hospital for further observation or tests. If so, arrangements will be made for your child to be moved to an inpatient bed on either our general pediatrics unit or the pediatric intensive care unit as soon as possible.

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Physicians

Specialty or Expertise

Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine
525 E. 68th Street
New York, NY 10065

Main Emergency Department Number
(212) 746-3300

Emergency Referrals and Transport/Critical Care Transport
(212) 746-1111 or (212) 746-0308

Neonatal Transport
(212) 746-0318

Other In-Patient Referral
(212) 746-1111 or (212) 746-0308

For office hours and staff information, view our medical practice page.