• Emergency Medicine

  • How We Calculate Your ER Wait

    Mercy's ER wait times represent a one-hour rolling average, updated every 15 minutes. An ER wait time is defined as the time you check in at the front desk until the time you're greeted by a qualified, assigned medical professional. Patients are triaged upon arrival and seen in priority order based on presenting complaints and reason for visit. A qualified medical professional is defined as a Doctor of Medicine (MD), a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), a Physician's Assistant (PA) or an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP).

  • Trauma Care

  • The Emergency Department's goal is to provide patients with high quality, prompt, compassionate care. The department is open 24 hours a day, every day.


    A broad range of care is available in the Emergency Department. We treat patients needing everything from walk-in urgent care to complex trauma care. Mercy Regional Medical center is designated as a Level III Trauma Center. Patients who need specialized care may be seen by one of the many specialist physicians on call at Mercy Regional Medical Center. Patients can be transported directly to or from Mercy Regional Medical Center via Flight For Life Colorado's helicopter air ambulance, which is based on the hospital's helipad. Flight For Life Colorado also operates a fixed-wing air ambulance, which is based at the Durango - La Plata County Airport.

    Skilled Staff

    The Emergency Department at Mercy Regional Medical Center is staffed by skilled medical professionals including physicians, physician assistants, and nurses. All Emergency Department physicians at Mercy Medical Center are board-certified in emergency medicine. The Emergency Department staff is backed by a medical staff of more than 120 other physicians representing 32 medical specialties and sub-specialties.

    Clinical Quality

    Mercy Regional Medical Center ranks among some of the countries op hospitals in certain emergency medicine quality indicators. Our staff is dedicated to providing quality patient care in a safe, healing environment.


  • The Emergency Care Process: What to Expect

  • Triage

    Upon arrival in the Emergency Department, you will speak with a nurse about your illness or injury. The first nurse that you encounter is called the triage nurse. The triage nurse records your reason for being at the hospital and other important information about medications you take and your past medical history. This nurse will also check your vital signs by recording your heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature.

    The triage process helps us determine which patients most urgently need care. Acutely ill or seriously injured patients may receive treatment before patients with minor illnesses or lesser injuries.


    Your next step in the process is registration, at which point a registration clerk will record information about your illness or injury and personal details such as your name, address, primary care physician's name, and insurance provider information. If you are unable to provide this information because of your illness or injury, a family member may speak with one of the registration clerks on your behalf.

    The registration clerk will also ask you or your family member to sign a consent form, which gives us permission to treat you and to bill your insurance provider for the care you receive.


    The acute care section of the Emergency Department, which has fifteen different patient care areas, is located behind the doors adjacent to Emergency Department lobby. There, you will be seen by a physician or other provider such as a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner. During treatment, you will receive ongoing care from a nurse assigned to you. You also may experience some or all of the following:

    • You may have blood drawn for laboratory tests. These tests may take as long as one hour or more to be completed.
    • You may have x-rays. X-rays can be taken quickly, but they must then be reviewed by the emergency department physician and the radiology physician before the results can be shared with you.
    • You may have an EKG (heart study)

    Depending on test results, you may need:

    • Medication
    • IV fluids
    • A visit from a specialist
    • Bandages
    • Stitches
    • Splints or casts
    • Surgery
    • Admission to the hospital

    All of these things take different amounts of time. The nurse that is caring for you can give you an idea of the length of time you can expect to wait. We encourage you to ask your nurse about medications, procedures, and times.

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