Your Visit to the Emergency Department

When you arrive at the ED

We have a screening desk which is situated at the entrance of the Emergency Department, which is usually staffed by a Healthcare Assistant. You may be asked some general questions that will help the healthcare assistant to place you in the most appropriate location in the Emergency Department.

You will then be called to give some basic details at the desk, so we can register you. 

There is a statutory registration fee of €100 for all patients attending ED, UNLESS you have a GP letter and/or medical card. You will receive a bill in the post if this fee applies to you. This is not a local decision. It is a national fee. 

If you need special help because of a physical or mental disability, please let us know.

Assessment (Triage)

After registration, you will be seen by a senior nurse, who uses a triage system. This help us decide on the order in which patients will be treated. It is based on the relative urgency of your condition. 


If anything changes or if you begin to feel worse, let our team know right away.

Why might I need to wait to be seen by a Clinician?

Emergency Departments can become incredibly busy; especially as we move into the evening. We try to see all patients within the recommended time frames, however sometimes despite our best efforts, we can’t keep up with the ever-increasing need for our services. Sometimes there can be an extremely sick patient that our team needs to prioritise, and that might also mean you need to wait longer to be seen.

The Emergency Department is very busy, and unfortunately noise and commotion cannot be limited. We understand that these factors can make our department a challenging place to wait (and work). We ask you to respect our system, whereby the sickest people are prioritised, seen and treated first.

Treatment, Transfer and Discharge

Most people attending an Emergency Department can go home after being seen by the Emergency Team.

Some people need to stay for more tests or inpatient care. Unfortunately, due to the current inpatient bed shortage, you may have to wait in the Emergency Department until a  bed becomes available. When this happens, you may have to wait in the ED until a bed becomes available. If this happens, we will continue to care for you in the ED until your bed is ready.

We may look at continuing your treatment in other hospitals, with your best care in mind.

If you have to stay in the hospital

You may be admitted to:

  • a medical or surgical ward
  • a specialty unit, such as intensive care or coronary care
  • an isolation room, if you have an infection or contagious bug

Even if you are waiting for a bed you’ll still get the treatment you need.

We’ll make every effort to make you as comfortable as possible.

If you are being discharged:

Before you leave, ask yourself if you:

  • understand your condition and the treatment you have been given
  • know what to look out for
  • know the details of your follow-up appointment, if you have one

If you're worried or concerned while you are in the ED, ask a member of staff for help.

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