Emergency Care

A middle-of-the-night illness. An accidental injury. A heart attack. Health emergencies can happen without warning. They can be frightening for the person experiencing them, as well as their loved ones. The Mary Greeley Medical Center Emergency Department is ready to help you through those emergencies with a dedicated team of highly trained and compassionate medical professionals.

We are a Level III trauma center, which means we are capable of treating almost every injury or illness on site. Certain conditions, such as high-risk trauma and burns, may require transfer to another facility by our highly trained paramedic specialists.

Mary Greeley Medical Center Opens New, Expanded Emergency Department

On Thursday, April 28, 2016, Mary Greeley Medical Center began treating patients in a new, expanded Emergency Department (ED).

Mary Greeley Medical Center’s new Emergency Department (ED) was designed with patient care and patient safety top-of-mind.

Inside the Emergency Department

Inside the Emergency Department

Take a video tour of the new Emergency Department at Mary Greeley Medical Center.

Our new ED has 23 rooms, and is 70 percent larger than our previous unit.

Our ED sees an average of 28,000 patients each year.

Here are some key features of our new ED.

  • Triage Rooms: The new ED has two triage rooms that are used to evaluate patient conditions and prioritize treatments.
  • Decontamination Room: This is where patients who have been exposed to hazardous chemicals are brought. The space has an exterior entrance to ensure the safety of the patient and others at the medical center. The room can store or “catch” water used to shower a contaminated person in a tank for evaluation if necessary.
  • Nurses Stations: Nurses stations are decentralized to ensure nurses are close to treatment areas. Four stations form a centrally located square. A medication/supply room is in the middle of nurses stations to ensure quicker access to these materials.
  • Exam & Treatment Rooms: Each room is furnished and stocked in the same way to ensure efficient delivery of care. One exam room is a negative airflow room, which is an important patient safety feature. This means that room air is constantly being drawn out and filtered and ventilated outside. This minimizes anything airborne being drafted into other areas of the ED from the room that has a patient who may be contagious. The entire ED can also go into a negative air flow mode. This could be used during an epidemic, such as pandemic flu, when the ED is treating multiple patients suffering from a contagious illness.
  • Family Waiting Room: This room is in the far corner of the ED, near the trauma rooms. It allows family members to stay close to loved ones but out of the way of medical personnel
  • Ambulance Garage: This is a drive-thru garage on the site of the former ED. Patients will be brought in near family waiting room and close to trauma rooms. Take a tour of the new ambulance garage.
  • Trauma Rooms: These are two large, brightly light rooms that are connected by a sliding glass door. This allows the physician to move freely between both rooms, because trauma situations often involve more than one patient.
  • Behavioral Health Rooms: Mary Greeley’s ED boards a Behavioral Health patient at least twice a week. This is because the need for mental health services is high and often there is a wait for beds at Mary Greeley’s Behavioral Health unit or other facilities. There are two designated behavioral health rooms, each designed with the safety of the patient in mind. Each is camera monitored and equipped with furniture designed for safety and a TV encased in plexiglass. A bathroom is provided for patients in this area.
  • Procedure Room: This rooms is to treat patients for such conditions as fractures, lumbar punctures and dislocations. The space can be used as an additional trauma room if necessary
  • Specialty Care Rooms: The ED has three rooms that are set up to treat specific emergency situations: Eye; Ear, Nose and Throat; and Pediatrics. Each space is stocked with supplies specific to the need. The pediatrics room has books and toys for young patients, as well as supplies a parent might need for their child, such as diapers. Any of these specialty rooms can be used for other situations if the need arises.
Inside the New Ambulance Garage

Inside the New Ambulance Garage

Take a video tour of the new Ambulance Garage at Mary Greeley Medical Center. Mary Greeley ambulances moved into a new garage in November 2016. The space is nearly 2,500 square feet, more than 750 square feet larger than the previous garage. The garage features four drive-thru ambulance bays. Three of the bays accommodate Mary Greeley ambulances. The fourth is for guest ambulances, which transport patients to Mary Greeley from communities throughout central Iowa. The drive-through garage is designed to enable paramedics to quickly transfer patients into the Emergency Department to get their care they need.

The Emergency Department at Mary Greeley Medical Center

At the Emergency Department at Mary Greeley Medical Center, the focus is on using the medical center’s extensive resources to provide high-level emergency care. That includes:

  • 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year staffing
  • A team of physicians specially trained in emergency care, and registered nurses with certifications in advanced cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support and trauma nursing
  • Experienced paramedics who are trained to be life-saving first responders when a health emergency arises
  • Certification as a Primary Stroke Center, recognizing our efforts to provide immediate intervention to people who may be experiencing stroke
  • 24-hour-a-day Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory for sophisticated emergency heart procedures
  • 24-hour-a-day Laboratory and Radiology departments to provide quick, state-of-the-art test results for fast diagnoses
  • 24-hour-a-day Pharmacy services that can fill prescriptions prior to discharge
  • Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) – We provide a safe, private examination room where victims of sexual assault can be examined, counseled and comforted by a specially trained forensic nurse, away from the public glare of an emergency room.
Saving Mr Borst

Patient Story: Saving Mr. Borst

An Ames man needed a medical miracle fast. Here's how he found it at Mary Greeley.

Read more.

Prepare for Your Visit

Learn more about coming to the ER, including what to bring and what to expect when you need emergency services at Mary Greeley Medical Center.

Emergency Department Waiting Times and Oversight

Our Emergency Department is under the medical direction of a board-certified physician who monitors the quality in every aspect of emergency care, enabling the entire Emergency Department and its support services to work as a team. That provides many benefits for patients, including quicker response times. The length of wait for treatment is consistently below the national average.

About our Emergency Room Wait Times

Our average ER wait times are approximate and provided for informational purposes only. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

The ER wait time represents the time it takes to see a qualified medical professional, defined as a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), Physician Assistant (PA) or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP).

ER wait times represent a one-hour average updated every 15 minutes, and is defined as the time of patient arrival until the time the patient is greeted by a qualified medical professional. Patients are triaged at arrival and are then seen by a qualified medical professional in priority order based on their presenting complaint and reason for visit.

We Can Help

First Nurse

  • First Nurse: Talk to one of our nurses 24 hours a day for free health care advice, resources and referrals! Call 515-239-6877 or 800-524-6877.