West Nipissing General Hospital

Frequently Asked Questions:

Emergency Department

The Emergency Department does not operate on a first come, first serve basis. Patients are seen according to the seriousness of their medical problem and critically ill patients are always seen first.

Cases can be classified under five different triage groups:

Level I – Resuscitation

Conditions that are threats to life or limb (or imminent risk of deterioration) requiring immediate aggressive interventions.

Level II – Emergent

Conditions that are a potential threat to life limb or function requiring rapid medical intervention or delegated acts.

Level III – Urgent

Conditions that could potentially progress to a serious problem requiring emergency intervention. May be associated with significant discomfort or affecting ability to function at work or activities of daily living.

Level IV – Less Urgent (semi-urgent)

Conditions that are related to patient age, distress, or potential for deterioration or complications would benefit from intervention or reassurance within 1-2 hours.

Level V – Non Urgent

Conditions that may be acute but non-urgent as well as conditions which may be part of a chronic problem with or without evidence of deterioration. The investigation or interventions for some of these illnesses or injuries could be delayed or even referred to other areas of the hospital or health care system.

Your treatment in the Emergency Department may take several hours depending on the following:

You may require tests.
You may have to wait for test results.
The emergency physician may need to consult with a specialist.

If admission to the hospital is required, a bed will be arranged for you. Because this is an emergency admission and not a scheduled one, a bed may not be immediately available.

The Emergency Department is staffed at all times by specially trained emergency physicians and nurses. The emergency Department is also a teaching site for Family Practice and Emergency Medicine Residents. The WNGH is affiliated with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

To help us better assess your medical history; please remember to always bring a listing of:

  • Medications you are currently taking, including all prescription, non-prescription and herbal remedies. Please indicate drug name, dosage and how often you are taking it.
  • List of known allergies (including any to medication)
  • Medical history (heart disease, diabetes, etc.)
  • If you are bringing a child in, please remember to bring along diapers and your child’s favourite toy or activity books and snacks.

Fortunately, if your problem is less urgent, there are other options available to ensure that you not only save time, but also get the care that you need.
For less urgent problems, your first choice is to call your family doctor or nurse practitioner. Make sure that you know the office hours and what plans are made for patients when the office is closed. Also, find out what you should do when your doctor is away on vacation. If you have questions about your medications, feel free to talk to your pharmacists or doctor..
If you do not presently have a family physician, you should take the time to register with Health Care Connect a program designed at finding you a family physician in your area. You can register by calling 1-800-455-1822 or online at www.ontario.ca/healthcareconnect