Porterville Emergency Services

Sierra View Emergency Department

Our 24- hour Emergency Department at Sierra View Medical Center is fully equipped to handle most medical emergencies. We are the only full-service emergency department within a radius larger than 30 miles. As such, Sierra View's ED is one of the busiest in the region, with over 50,000 annual visits.

Physicians and physicians' assistants are available in the ED 24 hours a day. The department is staffed by registered nurses who are trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), trained vocational nurses, and a support staff who receive continual training in the use of live saving equipment and techniques. Staff has 24-hour access to laboratory, radiology, respiratory, and other support services.

What to Expect During Your Visit

We understand that a trip to the emergency room is a stressful experience, so we at Sierra View Medical Center want to provide you with information about what you should expect during your visit. Our goal is to provide excellent service and compassionate care to all patients, and have a highly-trained staff to ensure all of your needs are met before you leave.

When you arrive in the Emergency Department you will be greeted by a staff member who will ask for your name, date of birth, and the reason for your visit. Shortly thereafter, you will be called into a private room and evaluated by a triage nurse. The role of this nurse is to ask pertinent questions to understand your condition and evaluate its severity according to our triage levels.

Our triage level system prioritizes cases according to the following:

  • Level 1 - Immediate, life-threatening (Example: patient's heart has stopped or patient is not breathing)
  • Level 2 - Emergency, potentially life-threatening (Example: patient involved in major accident with severe injuries or patient is having difficulty breathing)
  • Level 3 - Urgent, not life-threatening (Example: patient has severe abdominal pain)
  • Level 4 - Semi-urgent, not life-threatening (Example: patient with earache or minor cut requiring sutures)
  • Level 5 - Non-urgent, needs treatment when time permits (Example: patient with minor symptoms or needing a prescription renewal)

Wait Times

Your wait time will depend on several different factors. These include how busy the department is at the time of your visit, the number of patients and the severity of their conditions, as well as the severity of your own condition. Additionally, if an ambulance arrives in the Emergency Department's ambulance bay, located at the back of the facility, and the needs of those patients are more urgent than patients in the waiting room, the ambulance patients will be seen first.

In order to expedite your visit while you are waiting for a treatment room to become available, the nurse may arrange for certain lab tests and/or x-rays to be done based on your illness or injury. This is meant to save time, as the Physician and Physician's Assistant will be able to treat you more quickly if the test results are readily available.

Why Are Patients Who Arrived After Me Being Seen Before Me?

The Emergency Department does not function on a first come, first serve basis. Our services prioritize patients with the most critical needs first. We understand that waiting can be frustrating and we appreciate your patience as we tend to individuals with critical and life-threatening conditions. Even though you may not have the most critical needs, we do understand that you require care as well and our goal is to treat everyone as quickly as possible. Please do not leave without being seen by a Physician or Physician's Assistant. Your health is important to us.

Emergency Department Extension

In order to treat semi-urgent (Level 4) and nonurgent (Level 5) patients in a more timely manner, we have a separate area designated for these patients that is open between 11 AM and 11 PM. This area is staffed with a Physician's Assistant and a nurse. As these patients typically require little to no resources, the aim of this area is to treat and discharge patients with lesser critical needs in a shorter time frame.

If you or a loved one requires immediate medical care, please visit our Emergency Department for assistance.