Emergency care is the treatment of emergent medical conditions. It is generally performed in an emergency room, but can also refer to treatment in an ambulance. In addition to life-threatening conditions, emergency medicine physicians may treat patients with injuries or infections.
Emergency physicians in Tampa, Florida
Emergencies tend to happen when we least expect them, so it is vital to know where to go when you need immediate medical care.
The emergency room (ER) at HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital is open 24/7 and staffed with board-certified emergency physicians. We are dedicated to providing you and your family with the lifesaving care you need when you need it most. That's why when emergency situations arise, you can trust that we are here for you no matter the time of day or night.
Fast, expert emergency medical centers
We are proud to offer two convenient locations for emergency care: the ER on our main hospital campus and the ER at HCA Florida West Tampa Hospital.
Both of our emergency rooms are known for short average wait times, meaning you receive care faster. This ensures your time spent in the waiting room is as brief and pleasant as possible.
Our emergency department services
The emergency room at our main hospital offers 18 patient beds and allows our emergency care physicians to refer patients to all medical specialties our hospital offers, even in an emergency situation.
If you require a higher level of care, you will be admitted to our hospital. Here, you will have access to all kinds of advanced care, including an intensive care unit (ICU).
Advanced stroke treatment
Our hospital is recognized by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. This means we have received national certification for the stroke services we provide.
Should you come to our emergency room needing care for a stoke, our emergency physicians and neurologists work together to provide a swift diagnosis and expedited treatment. Because when it comes to a stroke, every second matters.
Emergency care for heart attacks
The physicians and support staff in our emergency room are trained in providing fast and responsive care to patients experiencing chest pain.
If you find yourself coming to our emergency room with this symptom or other signs of a heart attack, we immediately provide expert heart care, which can include cardiac imaging and lifesaving treatments.
Our emergency room wait times
When it comes to emergency care, our goal is to continually work toward enhancing the care you receive, while reducing our wait times. This ensures you get the care you need, when you need it most.
Our wait times are updated every 30 minutes and are available on our website and digital screens on roadside billboards throughout the region.
To find out the wait times of the HCA Florida emergency room nearest to you, check the top of our website or text "ER" to 32222.
Note: Message and data rates may apply. Emergency room wait times are approximate and provided for informational purposes only.
When to go to the emergency room
We understand it can be hard to know what type of medical care you need, like whether you should go to the emergency room or wait for your doctor’s office to open. However, we want you to feel secure about your choice for care, which is why we’ve created a list of symptoms that may indicate you need to visit the emergency room:
- Back pain, when it is unbearable or accompanied by fever, numbness, weakness, confusion, slurred speech, vision loss or loss of control over bladder or bowels
- Broken bones, when the pain is severe or there is a visible deformity
- Chest pain, when it is crushing or squeezing and accompanied by other heart attack symptoms, such as shortness of breath or nausea
- Concussion, when you have lost consciousness, even briefly, or experience amnesia, vomiting, slurred speech or a seizure
- Flu, when symptoms become severe, such as having trouble breathing, vomiting uncontrollably or becoming dehydrated
- Side pain, when it is severe and occurs in the lower right stomach, side or back or is accompanied by fever, nausea, diarrhea or blood in the urine
- Stomach pain, when accompanied by a hard or tender stomach, nausea, shortness of breath, fever or irregular heartbeat
- Trouble breathing, when breathing stops, is noisy or high-pitched and comes with pain in the chest or severe shortness of breath
If you are unsure if your symptoms require an emergency room visit, you can speak to a nurse 24/7 by calling our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (855) 245-8329.
What to expect at the emergency room
When you get to the emergency room, one of our triage nurses will assess your symptoms and vital signs. Next, a registration clerk will collect your insurance card (if available) and other information.
We medically screen, evaluate and stabilize all patients — whether or not they have insurance or are able to pay.
Anyone who has severe, life-threatening illnesses or injuries will be treated first. Everyone else will be treated in the order they arrive.
Before discharge, we encourage you to ask our emergency care teams any questions you have. It is also useful for you to keep all of your paperwork, discharge information and medicines or prescriptions together after you leave the emergency room.
After discharge, our emergency department staff will reach out to your primary care provider to ensure they are updated on your care.
What to bring to the emergency room
When coming to the emergency room, we recommend you bring:
- A list of medicines you currently take
- A list of known allergies
- Copies of results from recent medical tests, if available
- Personal care preferences and restrictions
- A responsible adult or phone number for someone to contact
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