Emergency Care

Expert Care When You Need It Most

Our Emergency Room physicians, nurses and staff see nearly 73,000 patients per year. That means when you or a loved one experiences a medical emergency, you can be confident we have the experience to handle it. 

As a Level II trauma center, we're equipped to treat even the most critically injured patients.

We know waiting for care is difficult when you or a loved one isn't feeling well. Understanding how our ER works may put your mind at ease.

Our Process

We have a three-step process: Triage, Exam, Admit or Discharge. 


We prioritize care based on  immediate needs, which means patients are not seen in the order they arrive.

We always treat people who are seriously injured or ill first. This means
people who arrived after you may receive attention first.

Additionally, people with less-critical conditions such as a sore throat,
ear pain or minor cuts may be called before you because they go to a
different area for treatment. 

Prioritized Care

When you check-in, the triage nurse will assess your condition and
place you into one of the following care categories:

  • Emergent: Severe, possibly life-threatening injury or illness
  • Urgent: Injury or illness that requires care within hours
  • Non-urgent: Minor injury or illness that is not time-sensitive

Wait Time

You may experience a long wait time when:

  • We have a high number of patients.
  • We have several seriously ill patients.
  • We have patients arriving by ambulance, which arrive unseen at our back entrance.
  • Your condition requires a special room or equipment already in use.

Leaving Before Treatment

If you must wait for care, you may feel like leaving the ED before you are seen by a doctor or nurse practitioner. Please speak with us before leaving so we can tell you about problems you may face. Leaving the ED without being seen by a healthcare professional is a serious decision that could be life threatening.


While you wait, the triage nurse may begin treating you by ordering X-rays, collecting blood or urine samples, providing ice packs or dressing a wound, as needed. Please note: We cannot give pain medication without a doctor’s orders.

Estimated Time for Tests and Results

Once you are assigned a room, you’ll change into a hospital gown for an exam. We may also conduct lab work or other testing, as needed.

  • Blood test: 2 hours
  • CT scan: 4 hours
  • Ultrasound: 2 hours
  • Urine test: 2 hours
  • X-ray: 2 hours

Because we provide personalized care to every patient, tests and lab work may take longer expected.

Admit vs. Discharge

Based on your exam and test results, we will either admit you or discharge you.


After the admitting process is complete, we’ll place you in a hospital
room as soon as possible. How soon you receive a room depends on
bed availability and the number of patients already in the hospital.


Before you leave, we’ll answer all of your questions, give you instructions for caring for yourself at home, and provide prescriptions, if required.

We encourage you to follow up with your primary care doctor in the next few days. Some test results won't be available for review during your ER visit. These results should be reviewed with your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care doctor, we can help with a referral.

Before you are discharged, make sure all of your questions have been answered. Read and keep your discharge instructions. They include important information about your follow-up care.

Where to Find Us

The Emergency Room is located on the north side of the North Kansas City Hospital campus.

View campus map

You Can Help

Medical History

Know your drug allergies and all medications, vitamins and supplements you take on a regular basis or have taken recently.

Check First

Check with the triage nurse before using the restroom in case we need a specimen.

Patient Safety

ER staff may limit your visitors to ensure patient safety, confidentiality and quality of care.

Food and Drink

Avoid eating or drinking before seeing the triage nurse. Doing so might interfere with tests and procedures and delay treatment.

Ask Us

If you have any questions about your wait or care, please ask a member of your healthcare team.