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Emergency Services

We provide comprehensive care every hour of every day—our first concern is your health

Our emergency department at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital (SMGH) is located on the eastern end of the hospital, with its entrance on Memorial Drive West, off of North Highland Springs, in Banning, California.

The department is a 28-bed emergency treatment facility. It is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. In addition, there is a 5-room Rapid Care area open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day.

The emergency department provides medical evaluation and treatment to patients with varying illness and injury. The SGMH emergency department continues to provide the best care around. Physicians and highly trained nursing personnel work as a team to provide comprehensive emergency care for adults and children. Patients are cared for as expeditiously as possible, with life-threatening conditions receiving first priority.

The members of the SGMH emergency team are dedicated to always working together to create clinical excellence and exceptional patient service. This caring and compassionate clinical team is here to serve you!

The SGMH emergency department provides:

  • Rapid assessments of patients with stroke symptoms as well as the latest in clot-busting agents
  • Rapid assessments of cardiac disease and trauma
  • Expert treatment for patients of all ages—from children to older adults
  • A Rapid Care program to treat less severe emergencies
  • An expertly trained nursing staff, all certified in advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support
  • Advanced technologies, including bedside ultrasound, a 64-slice CT scanner for detailed studies, and state-of-the-art laboratory equipment

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rapid Care?

Rapid Care is an area within the emergency department that cares for patients with less serious conditions, such as cuts, fractures, flu and sprains. Patients experience a shorter wait time than if seen in the emergency department and yet have all of the resources of the emergency department. Typically, patients can be examined, treated and discharged within 90 minutes of arrival. A physician assistant and licensed vocational nurse treat Rapid Care patients. The Rapid Care area is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

What will happen when I first arrive at the emergency department?

When you walk into the emergency department lobby, go to the triage window. Everyone coming to the emergency department is triaged by a nurse.

The trained triage nurse wants to know as much about your medical complaint as possible and will ask you many questions. The more you can tell the nurse, the better we can take care of you. A nurse will begin assessing your condition by taking your vital signs, including your blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate and temperature, and asking your pain level. Based on this assessment, the decision will be made to have you seen in either Rapid Care or in the emergency department. Your care may begin immediately. Medicine for pain or fever may be given, and x-rays may be ordered. The triage process helps our emergency department staff decide which patients should be treated 1st. All of our patients are evaluated in this manner. Of course, patients with critical or life-threatening illnesses are given priority.

Everyone seen in the emergency department must be registered. If you arrive by ambulance, a registration clerk will come to your bedside to initiate the registration process; otherwise you will register at the desk. Patients will never be asked for proof of insurance or ability to pay prior to receiving emergency care.

You will have a thorough examination and tests may be ordered to help us treat your medical condition. The doctor will make a decision to admit or discharge you after treatment in the emergency department.

Where do I park?

Cars may stop in front of the emergency department to drop the patient off and check in for service. After patients are dropped off, drivers can follow the arrows down to the parking lot to the east of the building. 

How long will I have to wait?

Never assume that those who walk into the emergency department should wait their turn. While another patient may not appear to be sicker than you are, some symptoms, such as chest pain, may require that the patient be treated immediately. The emergency department staff works hard to provide prompt care; however, your wait depends upon:

  • The nature of your condition.
  • How busy the department is when you arrive.
  • The number of people requiring immediate treatment for critical or serious conditions.

Please immediately report any changes in your condition to the triage nurse.

After you have been seen by a physician or physician assistant, you may need to wait for the results of the tests.

What if I am having pain?

We will make every effort to control your pain. However, pain medicine can hide symptoms of certain illnesses. That means sometimes we have to wait to give you pain medication until after the physician or physician assistant examines you. We still want to know if you are in pain because we may be able to offer something to make you more comfortable until medication can be given. As soon as it is safe for you to receive pain medicine, it will be ready for you.

Can I have someone with me?

Visitors are allowed in the emergency department (ED) and we encourage your family to be with you. We know how helpful visitors can be for patients. If you need help to phone a family member or friend, please ask our staff or volunteers. Remember that the ED is a busy place, so the number of visitors may be limited to 1 person. Other visitors may wait in the ED lobby and take turns visiting you. Visitors should remain at your bedside and not move about the ED. For the comfort and privacy of our patients, visitors may be asked to leave during certain tests or procedures.

Will I be able to eat or drink while I am in the emergency department?

Some tests require that you do not eat or drink. Please check with your nurse before you eat or drink anything. If you are with us during mealtime, and are hungry and allowed to eat, ask your nurse for a meal to be brought to you. Our cafeteria is open every day from 8 to 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 6 p.m. It is located along the main corridor, across from the garden area.

What do I do with my belongings?

You are responsible for your belongings, including your clothing, purse or wallet, dentures, hearing aids, and glasses. You may want to give them to family or friends for safekeeping. We provide "belonging bags" for your convenience. We do not recommend that you bring any jewelry or other valuables with you to the emergency department.

What happens if I need to be admitted to SGMH?

If your primary care physician is on the SGMH medical staff, the emergency physician will contact your doctor to discuss your case. Your physician, or the physician covering for your doctor, may directly manage your care themself or may collaborate with a hospitalist on the SGMH staff.

If you do not have a primary care physician on our medical staff, a hospitalist will oversee your medical treatment during your stay.

What happens if SGMH can't provide the care I need?

San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is an acute care hospital. It is not a trauma facility; it does not provide care for all levels of illnesses. When a patient has a condition that requires a higher level of care than can be provided here, the patient is transferred to another facility. The physician in the emergency department will make the arrangements with the physician at the receiving hospital.

What happens when I'm discharged from the ED?

Your care team will discuss your discharge plans with you. You will receive specific instructions, both verbally and in writing, regarding the diagnosis given, the follow-up instructions and any needed prescriptions. It is important to follow these instructions and have the prescriptions filled as soon as possible. If you have any questions before you leave, please be sure to ask your nurse or emergency department physician.

Before you leave, make sure you have:

  • Written discharge instructions.
  • Prescription orders, if needed.
  • Your belongings.
  • All your questions answered.

How will I be charged?

No one is asked to pay before receiving emergency care. However, patients who use the services of the emergency department will get 2 or more bills depending on the treatment received. One bill will be for the SGMH emergency department (ED), including any tests you may have had when you were in the ED, such as blood tests or x-rays, medications you received, or supplies used. A second bill will also be sent for the care the doctor gave you, including what he/she had done (for example, stitching a cut or splinting a fractured bone). If x-rays were taken, a third bill will be sent to you from the radiologist who read your x-ray.

When visiting the emergency room, you will be expected to pay any co-pay or deductible that your insurance has indicated is due for the emergency room services. The amount of your specific co-pay or deductible is typically listed on your insurance card for your reference. If you do not have insurance coverage at the time of service, there will be a $150.00 deposit that will be requested.

If you have any questions about your hospital bill, please call us at 951.769.2177. You may pay your bill online.