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South County Hospital Emergency Department

Emergency Department

The Emergency Department at South County Hospital is staffed by board-certified Emergency Medicine physicians and a highly skilled clinical team.

Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Hospital's Emergency Department is the third busiest in Rhode Island, averaging more than 26,000 visits each year.

Convenient Location, Easy Parking

South County Hospital’s Emergency Department is conveniently located off US Route 1 in Wakefield, RI. Parking outside the Emergency Department is close and plentiful. 

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What to expect

We continue to strive to keep our wait times to a minimum by stream-lining our intake (triage) process. Triage helps staff identify those with the most serious conditions because it is important that the sickest patients get treated first. When you first arrive in the Emergency Department, a nurse trained in triage will immediately assess your condition, assign the priority of your injury or illness, and take appropriate measures. 

After you’ve been evaluated, a registration specialist will register you using our portable computer system when you are in your private treatment room. The registration process ensures we have your name, address, and contact information without delaying the start of treatment.

How long is the wait?

With few exceptions, you will be seen by an emergency department doctor or nurse within 30 minutes of arriving in the emergency department.

All of the ED staff and physicians want to treat your illness or injury as soon as possible. If you need immediate attention, you will be taken directly into a private treatment room.

Those with less serious conditions are sometimes asked to wait in the waiting area, and then following triage, are brought into a treatment room. In all cases, however, you will be seen either by a board certified Emergency Medicine physician or a highly trained nurse, nurse practitioner or physician assistant.

Board-certified doctors

All of our patients are seen, evaluated, and treated by our staff who are highly trained in emergency medicine and emergency nursing. All of our attending physicians are board certified. When you have a medical emergency, you want to know you’ll be evaluated by physicians who are highly-trained and board certified 24/7.

A designated Primary Stroke Center

South County Hospital is a designated Primary Stroke Center, and the area’s primary medical facility for U.S. Coast Guard medical emergencies.

Pathway to Excellence

In addition, we’re the only hospital in New England awarded “Pathway to Excellence” by the ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), which recognizes nursing clinical excellence.

Our facility

Our Emergency Department has 24 private treatment rooms, including a trauma and cardiac room, advanced patient monitoring and diagnostic technology, electronic medical records, and a dedicated observation unit, all to ensure the highest quality emergency medical care. The space is equipped and designed to enhance the comfort, convenience, and privacy of patients and their families.

Personal belongings

Please safeguard your personal belongings. While we do our best to provide privacy and a safe environment for you during your difficult time, we cannot be responsible for your property. Please send valuables home with a friend or family member. If you are admitted or transferred, we will ask to inventory what we send with you when you leave the Emergency Department.


If you have a list of your current medications and allergies, please bring it to our attention so that we can provide the highest quality care and make the best medical decisions for you. If you have any medications with you, please alert our staff so that we may send these to our pharmacy for safe keeping or send them home with a friend or family member.

Leaving the Emergency Department

When it’s time for you to leave the Emergency Department, you’ll be given discharge instructions for follow-up and continuing care. A visit to the Emergency Department can be a stressful time for patients and their families, so it’s important to take your time and read this information carefully. The doctors and nurses are here to help you understand your treatment and to answer any questions you may have.

Ask questions

We encourage you to take your time looking over the discharge materials and to ask questions. We want you to fully understand your medication, diagnosis, and follow-up instructions. We know a visit to the Emergency Department can be stressful, and we want you to take the time to understand your treatment and care.