When presented with a frightening symptom or an injured child, all but the clearest heads are likely to panic. When you suspect a medical situation is life-threatening, don't delay. Call 9-1-1, or visit the nearest emergency room immediately. And always remember that the best source of information about your health care remains your personal doctor.
Online ER Waiting Service
For non-life-threatening emergencies, we also offer InQuicker, a convenient online waiting service. It allows you to select your estimated arrival time and wait at home until then. When you’re time arrives, just check-in with the admitting nurse.
If you’re experiencing an emergency call 9-1-1 immediately.
About Our ER
We are the largest ER in San Joaquin County, serving over 90,000 patient visits per year. In 2017, we expanded our ED by 8,000 square feet, adding 23 new treatment spaces, for a total of 62 beds. The ED is staffed with Emergency Medicine Board Certified physicians, and many of the ED physicians serve as Staff Faculty for our Emergency Medicine Residency Program, bringing the latest, most up to date, evidence based care and treatments to the patients we serve. We are proud to be designated as both a STEMI (heart attack) Receiving Center, and Stroke Receiving Center, by the San Joaquin County Emergency Medical Services Agency, and our Advance Primary Stroke Center Program has been accredited through the Joint Commission.
Our ER Care Team
The Emergency Department Care Team consists of doctors, residents, advance practice clinicians, RNs, licensed psychiatric technicians, ED technicians, ED pharmacists, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, and a substance use navigator. Our ED physicians are Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, and many of our ED physicians also serve as Faculty for our Emergency Medicine Residency Program, training ER doctors for the future.
Nursing staff all have national certifications in Advance Life Support and Pediatric Advance Life Support, along with additional training in sedation management, pediatrics, stroke, heart attack management, and trauma. Many of the nursing staff have additional national certifications in Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum, Emergency Nursing Pediatric Core Curriculum, and Certified Emergency Nurse certifications.
To assist with caring for our behavioral patients, the ED has licensed psychiatric technicians who are specially trained to care for those experiencing mental health crises. The ED also has on staff, a substance use navigator, who is a Certified Substance Use Disorder Counselor. She assists patients presenting with substance use problems, helping to arrange medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction and follow up treatment, as well as connecting patients to other resources within the community for other substance use problems.
When to Seek Emergency Care
- Chest pain or intense abdominal pain
- Drug or chemical poisoning
- Excessive bleeding
- Exposure injuries threatening to life or limb
- Extreme lacerations
- Fractures or other trauma
- Loss of consciousness or severe weakness
- Severe shortness of breath
The Emergency Department and COVID19
The pandemic has changed many things, including the flow of how we see our patients. Since the beginning of the pandemic, St. Joseph’s Emergency Department has always kept your safety in the forefront. We have implemented many changes to help keep our patients safe, and reduce potential exposure to COVID19. We provide masks to patients who do not have one. There is a sanitation station in the ED lobby, so patients can sanitize their hands as often as needed. We have a designated person assigned to sanitize chairs, and high touch surfaces in our ED lobby. In addition, special partitions were deployed to help provide a physical barrier between patients in an effort to social distance, given the tight quarters in the ED. Early on, the ED designated specific areas for patients experiencing COVID symptoms, keeping them separate from the other patients seeking care, with non-COVID symptoms. We continue this practice today, and modify the space required as necessary, to keep all of our patients as safe as possible.
Since the pandemic has started, many patients have delayed receiving care. This has lead to many patients arriving in serious condition, and unfortunately resulting in unnecessary deaths outside of the hospital setting. If you are having symptoms you feel require the services of the Emergency Department, please do not hesitate to come and see us. We want you to be healthy, and we will do our best to keep you safe.
Certified Stroke Center
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of disability. But fast treatment can reduce or even prevent disability. Remember, with stroke, time is essential. When you or someone you love is having a stroke, every minute counts. We are a fully accredited Advance Primary Stroke Center, and have been designated as a Stroke Receiving Center, by the San Joaquin County Emergency Medical Services Agency. If you come in to our Emergency Room, we may be able to treat you with the clot buster drug known as tPA. It is important to know that tPA can only be given within the first three to four and a half hours after a stroke. Get to know the signs of stroke, so you can act fast, and call 911 right away.
Certified STEMI (Heart Attack) Center
We are the leading hospital for STEMI, or acute heart attack care in the community, and have been designated as a STEMI Receiving Center by the San Joaquin County Emergency Medical Services Agency. Technology implemented in the Emergency Department allows ambulances to transmit an EKG before the patient arrives to the hospital, so if you are having an acute heart attack, the STEMI Team can be activated ahead of your arrival, saving valuable time.
SJMC has 3 state of the art Cardiac Cath Labs and 1 hybrid suite that performs both as a Cath Lab and an OR to care for you in your time of need. Both the Emergency Department and Cardiac Cath Lab teams are ready to care for patients having heart attacks, whenever needed, 24/7. The national benchmark for opening a blocked heart artery is 90 minutes from arrival to the hospital, to opening of the artery. SJMC routinely achieves an arrival to hospital, to opening of the artery time of 60 minutes average. We are very proud of this achievement, being able to offer our community such a high standard of care.
Rapid Medical Examination & SuperTrack
Being treated as soon as possible is the goal of SJMC Emergency Services Team. We see over 250 patients per day, assessing each patient for severity of illness and treating each patient as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our Rapid Medical Exam area is staffed with ED Medical Providers 24/7, and is located upon entry into the emergency room, so you can be seen quickly, and have necessary medical treatments and tests started early in your visit.
Our ER also has an area we refer to as “SuperTrack”. This is an area of the ER where patients with minor medical complaints can be quickly seen and treated, so you can get back to feeling better, in the comfort of your home.
At St. Joseph’s Medical Center, our Emergency Room has specialized equipment specifically for our pediatric patients. To make the environment more child friendly, we have colorful wall murals in our pediatric areas. We recently partnered with the Raymus Foundation, and with their generous grant, we have added two more child friendly murals and Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablets, where children can play games and stream child friendly videos and music. In addition, the grant helped to fund pediatric specific nursing education, and additional pediatric equipment, including an ultrasound machine and nitrous oxide delivery system, which will assist in our efforts to provide an “ouchless” ED environment for our pediatric population requiring minor procedures.
SJMC is the only hospital in San Joaquin County, that has an inpatient pediatric unit available, to care for your child in case admission to the hospital is required. The hospital is staffed with a Pediatric Hospitalist, who is on-site 24/7, ready to care for your child, and is available to consult with ED physicians as needed, to help meet your pediatric patient’s needs.