Which Is Right for You?
- EMERGENCY ROOM
- URGENT CARE
- PRIMARY CARE
Here at University of Maryland Medical System, our priority is to treat each patient in our emergency rooms (ER) as fully, safely and quickly as possible.
We want to help you better understand how emergency room visits are handled and the best way to seek the care you need.
Wait times can vary depending on factors such as:
Because these factors can change quickly, staff members may not be able to tell you how long you may be in the ER.
In our emergency departments, patients are NOT seen on a first-come, first-served basis. At all times, even when the ER isn’t crowded or busy, we prioritize patients according to how serious their conditions are.
After checking in at the Registration Desk, the triage nurse will check your condition. People with a life-threatening illness or injury (heart attack, stroke, etc.) are treated before those with less serious conditions. Rest assured that you will be seen as soon as possible.
If you have a condition that is not life-threatening, consider contacting your primary care provider or going to an urgent care center. Find an UMMS Urgent Care Center
The emergency room is not the place to get routine testing, such as that for the flu, RSV or COVID-19. Please call your primary care provider or an urgent care center to see if you need these tests and where to get them.
Learn More: When to Go to the ER, Urgent Care or Primary Care
Before You Arrive: Please visit the website of the emergency department where you are headed to learn more about what services are at this location. Find an UMMS Emergency Room
If you are seeking care for a child, before arriving at an emergency room make sure it treats children under age 18. Most of the time, you should call your pediatrician before heading to an ER. Most offices have someone to answer your call 24/7, even on holidays.
Learn More: Should I Take my Child to the ER?
To help us complete your check-in process, you should bring:
Wear comfortable clothes, as you may be asked to change into a gown for easier care. You may want to bring something to read or an activity book to help put your mind at ease. Remember to bring headphones and chargers for your phones or tablets.