Emergency Department (A and E)

You go to the Emergency Department (ED), which is also known as Accident & Emergency or A&E, if you have a bad accident or suddenly become very ill.

You may go straight there in an ambulance, or go by car, taxi or bus. Your mum or dad or even your teacher may bring you to be seen at the hospital. Your doctor (GP) might also ask you to come.

If an ambulance takes you, it will stop right outside the entrance doors and the crew who were looking after you will take you in to the department where a nurse will greet you. Having seen the nurse you may be advised to wait in the waiting area or, if you are really poorly or hurt, be taken straight to a room where a doctor or a Nurse will examine you.

Your mum or dad, or other grown-up, can travel with you in the ambulance and they can stay by your side the whole time you're in the ED.

If you need a wheelchair, you can find one outside the ED entrance. You will need a pound coin or a trolley coin to release it, just like with many supermarket trolleys.

When you go through the sliding doors, the waiting area is immediately in front of you. You will need to go to the reception desk first of all, where someone will take your details.

You will then have to wait to be assessed. This is where a nurse will see you. He or she will ask you questions and may need to see how hot you are or see how quick your heart is beating, and may give you some medicine if you are hurting.

You can buy snacks, such as sandwiches and crisps, coffee and cold drinks from two vending machines, which are close to the nurses' room. There are also toilets, including a disabled toilet, and a room for babies to be changed in.

How long you have to wait to see a doctor or nurse depends on what is wrong with you as well as the time of day and how many other people are waiting. Some children who arrive after you may get seen first if they are more poorly than you.

When you are called, you'll go through some doors and down a corridor to a treatment room. This is where a doctor or nurse will examine you.

There are several treatment rooms. They're quite small, but big enough to hold equipment such as machines that tell us how quick your heart is beating. We also have special torches that help us look in your ears. There is a trolley on wheels, with a mattress, where you can lie down if you would like to, or you can just sit on it if you prefer. There are two chairs where grown-ups can sit. We also have three smaller rooms where you may see a doctor or nurse if you have hurt yourself.

As well as the treatment rooms there are three resuscitation beds. This is where you are taken if you are very poorly or if we need lots of doctors and nurses to look after you.

At the end of the corridor there is a room called the "Clinical Decision Unit". This is where you will go if your GP, or a doctor or nurse from another hospital, has sent you because they're not sure what's wrong and want you to see a specialist doctor or nurse or because they think you need extra help to get better. There are five trolley beds in the unit, each with curtains around them, which you can draw to give you some privacy.

Next to this unit is an observation ward, which has six beds. You may stay here for a while if the doctors or nurses want to keep an eye on you to see if you're well enough to go home or if you need to be admitted into the main hospital.

Grown-ups can stay with you all the time, however long you're here. There are chairs next to the beds where they can sit.

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