Information for Pediatric Patients Referred to UW Hospital and Clinics Emergency Department

Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Information for Pediatric Patients Referred to UW Hospital and Clinics Emergency Department


Parking is available in the ramp at the Emergency Department (ED) entrance. If you go through the gate, please bring your ticket inside with you.


Check in at the desk in the Emergency Department waiting room. Staff will ask for your child’s name and birthdate and will ask you questions about why your child needs to be seen in the ED.


Your child will then be seen by a triage nurse to determine the severity of your child’s illness or injury. The triage nurse will check your child’s temperature, heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure. Staff will also weigh your child. If all of the patient rooms are full in the pediatric ED, you might be asked to wait in the waiting room. Please know, even if the clinic called us to let us know you would be coming, we cannot hold a room or have staff waiting for you to arrive.

Patient Rooms

You might notice other patients being assigned to a room before your child, even if they arrived after you. We see the sickest and most injured patients first. Patients also could be arriving to the ED by ambulance and helicopter. If you have questions about the wait time, please check in at the desk. Once a room is available, staff will help you to the room. We support patient- and family-centered care and allow visitors when we are able.


You will meet several people who will help take of your child. Each room has a list of all of the care providers you might meet. Please let staff know if you have any questions. 

Length of Stay

The length of time you are in the ED will depend on the tests your child needs and whether your child needs to be seen by a specialist. An ED visit can range from 4 to 8 hours. On rare occasions, the ED visit might last longer. 

Admission or Discharge?

As we learn more about the care your child needs from the tests that are done and the staff that see him or her, we will be able to tell you if your child will need to stay in the hospital or if you will be able to go home.

If your child needs to stay in the hospital, we will help your family with any questions or concerns you have. A child life specialist, social worker or case manager may meet with you to make sure you understand the plan of care.

If you are able to go home, we will give you instructions about taking care of your child at home. You might also be given a prescription if there are any medicines we would like your child to take. We like to call all of our patients the day after their ED visit to see how they are feeling and if they have any questions.

You might also receive a survey in the mail a few weeks after your ED visit. Please fill out the survey so we can make sure we are doing the best we can for our patients.