When to Go to the ER

Info and Directions

288 S. Ridgecrest Ave.
Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Phone: (828) 286-5000
Open 24 hours, every day

The professionals at the Emergency Room at Rutherford Regional Health System are prepared to provide care during medical emergencies. Some conditions can be treated more quickly and at a lower cost at your doctor’s office or urgent care. If you’re not sure whether your condition is an emergency, check this list, call your doctor’s office or call us at (828) 286-5000. Be prepared to describe all of the symptoms and conditions you’ve observed.

What to expect when you arrive

Every day from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., visitors are greeted by a Patient and Family Liaison, who brings patients into Triage for immediate evaluation. If Triage is occupied, the liaison tracks your arrival and ushers patients into Triage when it’s available.

Triage and Assessment

The ER does not operate on a first-come, first served basis. The most serious patients are seen first. This is determined in Triage, where a nurse will quickly assess the patient, ask for some basic information, and check vital signs such as pulse, temperature, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. You will then be escorted to a treatment room when one is available.

Patient Registration

A full bedside registration will take place in the treatment room. Even if you’ve been to Rutherford Regional Health System before, your information will need to be validated. This lets us track tests and procedures performed during your visit, and keep your health records up to date for future reference and available to your primary care physician.

Evaluation and Testing

Each Emergency Room patient is assigned a nurse who will check on your health status and take care of you during your stay. You will be examined by a physician, a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner, who may order tests to determine the exact nature of your condition. We try to expedite the testing process, but can sometimes take a few hours to complete.

Friends and Family Welcome

Friends and family can stay with the patient except during the examination by the physician, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner. You can leave the treatment room and return by notifying the Patient and Family Liaison. Don’t take food or drink to the patient without asking the nurse first.