The Emergency Department (ED) at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance provides quality emergency care to patients with acute illnesses or injuries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week out of 2 sites: Chatham Campus and Sydenham Campus in Wallaceburg. The Chatham Campus sees approximately 120 patients per day and Sydenham Campus sees approximately 48 patients per day.
We have a team of specially trained health professionals that you may encounter on your visit to the Emergency Department. They work together to provide the best possible patient and family centred care. The team can be made up of Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Psychiatric Assessment Nurses, Lab Technologists, Diagnostic Imaging Technologists, Community Care Access (CCAC) Coordinators, Geriatric Emergency Management Nurses, and support staff.
Both Emergency Departments provide treatment for patients 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. When you arrive at the ED, you will be greeted by one of our triage nurses. These nurses are specially trained in triage, which is a system used to make sure the sickest patients are taken care of right away. The nurse will assess your condition as quickly as possible by checking your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure, and talking to you about the reasons that you came for emergency care. They will want to know your allergies and the medication that you take as well. Once you have seen the triage nurse, you may be taken immediately into the department, or asked to register and wait in the waiting room. While waiting, if you have questions or you feel your condition has become worse, please let the triage nurse know right away.
Zone E, Level 1
519.352.6400 x 6050
519.352.6400 x 8151
519.352.6401 x 5508
lhigh [at] ckha [dot] on [dot] ca
519.352.6401 x 6350
dstramacchia [at] ckha [dot] on [dot] ca
Professional Practice Leader
519.352.6400 x 5338
kstennett [at] ckha [dot] on [dot] ca
Important Things to Bring to the Emergency Department
- Your health card.
- A list of the medications that you take. If you have an accurate and up-to-date list, this will be sufficient. If you do not have time to make a list, please bring the bottles.
- Any records you may have concerning your health
Why do some people go in ahead of me when I arrived before they did?
All patients arriving in the Emergency Department, whether they arrive by ambulance or by their own transportation, will be triaged by a specially trained nurse. While you are being triaged, the nurse will ask a series of questions to help determine the severity of your illness/injury. If necessary, they will also provide initial first aid for your injury, order some bloodwork, an electrocardiogram, or an x-ray to help the healthcare provider figure out the cause for your illness, or they may give you some medication to help you feel better before you see the healthcare provider. This triage system allows patients to be seen according to the severity of their illness and ensures that the sickest patients are seen first. We appreciate your patience if you are required to wait. While waiting, if you have questions or you feel your condition has become worse, please let the triage nurse know right away.
If I take an ambulance to the Emergency Department will I be seen by a healthcare provider sooner?
Not necessarily. If you feel your illness/injury is serious and you need medical attention immediately, call 911 and get help right away but remember, all ambulance patients are triaged the same as if you came in by another means of transportation. If the triage nurse determines that your illness/injury is not of a critical nature and that you don’t require immediate medical attention, you will be asked to wait in the waiting room so that we can see the sickest patients first. While waiting, if you have questions or you feel your condition has become worse, please let the triage nurse know right away.
What are some other options for health care in the area if I don’t want to come to the Emergency Department?
If your health care provider is part of a Family Health Team, they have after hours clinics that will allow you to be seen by a healthcare provider in the evening. Please check the links below to find out when the after hours clinics are and how you can access them.
If you are a patient of the Chatham-Kent Community Health Centre, you can call to see if there are any same day appointments available to help you. A link to their services are below:
What if I don’t belong to a Family Health Team or the Community Health Centre? Where can I go to get help for my illness or injury?
If you feel your illness/injury is serious and you need medical attention immediately, call 911 and get help right away. If you need medical attention and you do not have a healthcare provider, come to the Emergency Department. We would be happy to help you.
If you are looking for a health care provider you can contact Health Care Connect and they can help you find one.
Click here to contact Health Care Connect
I ask the wait time when I call or arrive at the Emergency Department and no one will tell me how long I will have to wait. Why can’t the nurses give me this information?
The Emergency Department is a very unpredictable area. It is difficult to give you a wait time on the phone or when you speak to the triage nurse because a sick patient can arrive at any moment requiring the ED team to be very busy for a long time. We don’t like to provide estimates on the time you will wait because we don’t want to disappoint you if we can’t meet those times and we can’t predict when a sick patient will come in and cause the waits to be longer. We ask that if you need to be seen in the Emergency Department please be patient with us. We are trying to give the best possible care to the patients that are the sickest first. Please keep in mind that the wait times will fluctuate depending on the severity of the patients we are seeing in the department and depending on the ambulances that bring patients needing more immediate care. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The waiting room is practically empty and yet I still have to wait. Why do I have to wait when there is no one here?
It may appear that there are no patients waiting to be seen and yet you still have to wait. We understand that this is frustrating and hard to understand. Often times, the Emergency Department team is helping very sick patients in the department that have arrived by ambulance (an area that can’t be seen from the waiting room) or by other transportation. Please try and be patient. We will do our best to see you as quickly as we can. While waiting, if you have questions or you feel your condition has become worse, please let the triage nurse know right away.
My loved one has been brought into the Emergency Department by ambulance. How can I get in to see them?
It is a very frightening time when a loved one is brought to the Emergency Department. We are here to help. Please let the triage nurse know when you arrive that your loved one has been brought in. They will do their best to bring you back to see them right away. Sometimes this is not possible and you will be asked to wait for a few moments while the team is helping your loved one. We will bring you to see them as quickly as we can.