While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed some practices and safety guidelines in Saskatchewan’s emergency departments, you can still expect the same professional care from emergency staff.
“Whatever the reason for your visit to an emergency department, you can be assured you will be kept safe,” said Dr. James Stempien, Provincial Head of Emergency Medicine for the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
As you enter an emergency department, you will be immediately screened by a nurse asking a number of questions to determine your risk of having, or recently being exposed to, COVID-19. Based on that screening, patients are divided into separate areas within the emergency departments. If a patient is screened as potentially positive, and doesn’t require additional emergency care, they may be redirected to an Assessment Site for testing as that is the most appropriate place.
“The screening process and separation within the emergency departments are there to protect both patients and staff,” Stempien explains. “For those at risk or with diagnosed COVID-19, our staff take additional personal protective equipment (PPE) precautions.”
Patients in both areas of the emergency department can expect to be triaged, assessed and cared for by professional staff. While there is no current treatment for COVID-19, patients with the virus may need to seen for other emergencies or possibly admitted to hospital for care as there are medical interventions that can help ease some severe symptoms.
Watch the video with a message from Dr. James Stempien below: