If you’re worried about going to the emergency department or one of Ochsner’s urgent care centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, please rest assured that we have added numerous safety measures to protect you, our patients, our staff and community. If you need to be treated for an emergency medical condition, such as chest pain, broken bones, severe burns or seizures, please don’t try to treat these conditions at home!
Here are a few things you can expect when visiting an Ochsner emergency department:
- Temperature check stations: The first thing you’ll notice is that we will take your temperature before entering with a touchless thermometer. You’ll also be asked about any potential symptoms of COVID-19.
- After you enter, you’ll be checked in: You’ll notice acrylic shields in front of the reception area, for the protection of yourself and our staff. After that, you’ll be sent to the triage area. If there is a wait in the triage area, you’ll be sent to the waiting room.
- Social distancing: To practice social distancing, chairs and tables will be spaced out in the waiting room, and there are directions labeled via signs and on the floors to signify proper distances. Our staff will also practice social distancing unless it is necessary to come in closer contact for patient care. Most emergency room visitors should wait outside, either in their cars or at home. Children may have a visitor, and adults who can’t speak for themselves also can have a visitor.
- After triage, if a patient is suspected of having COVID-19, that patient is separated from other patients.
- Most patients are given a private room after being assessed: Staff are wearing special copper masks, and tables have copper sheets surrounded by copper curtains. Patients are given copper gowns to wear. COVID-19 has been shown to die faster on copper surfaces than on other surfaces. Copper linens in all Ochsner emergency department have antimicrobial properties to ensure additional cleanliness and safety.
- Additional hand sanitizer available: To better accommodate the influx in hand sanitizer use by our patients and staff, we have increased the number of available stations. We encourage you to use these touchless stations before your visit, after meeting with your provider, after touching yourself or others, after using the restroom, before and after eating or drinking or after touching objects such as elevator buttons, pens or handrails.
- Regularly cleaning all public areas: While our staff is always diligent about cleaning our facilities, we have increased the number of times a day that our staff cleans all public areas. We are also undergoing facility improvements such as replacing worn-out furniture, repainting walls, replacing carpet, fixing torn or damaged wallpaper and ceiling tiles and removing outdated signage. If you believe an area is not up to the highest cleaning standards, please direct your feedback to the nearest information desk staff member to handle accordingly.
We know that when patients come to the emergency room, they are experiencing one of the most vulnerable times of their lives. We want you to know this a safe place to come, and we will continue to provide the same great care we’ve always provided.
We are honored that people choose us and we want everyone to feel safe and supported, knowing their needs will be met.
If you’re unsure about whether you medical condition is an emergency, or if it’s better suited for an urgent care location or your primary care doctor, this guide can help.