Preparing for Your Visit

North Shore Medical Center pediatric emergency medicine preparation=
Families on the North Shore turn to NSMC at some of their most vulnerable times and we take that responsibility very seriously. While we hope you don’t require our emergency services, we also want you to be prepared if an emergency occurs. The information below provides more details about what to expect during a visit to our Pediatric Emergency Department and answers some frequently asked questions.

Arriving at the Emergency Department

Upon entering through our main Emergency Department entrance, you will be greeted by our front desk staff and directed into our dedicated Pediatric Emergency Department, which is completely separate from our adult emergency room. A member of our pediatric staff will be waiting for you and your child just beyond the double doors and will escort you to where you can register with our administrative staff. You will need to provide your child’s name, address, health insurance and pediatrician’s name at this time. It is important that you provide complete information as this will help us to contact you or your child’s doctor about your child’s care.

The Pediatric Emergency Department treats all patients, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. Should you require financial assistance, our financial counselors can assist you.


Immediately after registering you will be seen by a triage nurse who will assess your child’s medical care needs. It is important that you provide complete information to the nurse so that he or she can best evaluate the severity of your child’s emergency. If your child has a life-threatening or serious illness or injury, he or she will be seen immediately by one of our board certified pediatricians. All patients will be seen as quickly as possible.

Kid-Friendly Waiting Area

After registration and triage, you may be escorted to our dedicated kid-friendly waiting area. Our waiting area is designed just for children and offers books, toys, arts and crafts supplies and movies for patients and their siblings to enjoy. The colorful and cheerful décor also assists in helping children feel at ease during their visit.

Food and Drink

Please talk with the triage nurse or your child's nurse before giving your child anything to eat or drink while at the hospital. A full stomach may delay or interfere with treatment and diagnosis. We are happy to order food for your child once the pediatrician has determined that it is safe for him or her to eat.


As quickly as possible, you and your child will be brought to an exam room where a team of pediatricians and nurses specially trained in pediatric emergency care will exam your child. Depending on your emergency, your treatment may be simple and quick, or it may take a little longer or require that your child be seen by another specialist. If your child needs blood tests, X-rays or other tests, it may take an hour or more to get the results. We will keep you informed of your child’s treatment at all times and ensure that you and your child are comfortable while you wait for results.

"Ouchless ER"

To help take the anxiety surrounding needles away, our Pediatric Emergency Department has developed its “Ouchless ER” to alleviate the pain of an unplanned trip to the hospital.  The goal of our “Ouchless ER” is to make common procedures less scary with the help of non-invasive, pain-relief methods. For more detailed information about our “Ouchless ER,” please click here.

Staying Overnight

In some cases, the pediatric physician treating your child may decide that your child needs overnight care. Your child will be admitted to our extended care area, designed for children who need a little more time in the hospital. Here, your child will continue to be cared for by our team of talented physicians, nurses and staff. For more detailed information about staying overnight, please click here.


We know how important the support of family and friends can be to your child's care. Two family members may stay with the child in the treatment room; other family members or friends may stay in the waiting area. Young children should not be left unattended in the waiting area.

Going Home

After your child has been treated, you will be given written instructions for taking your child home. These instructions include information about how to care for your child’s illness or injury at home and a plan for follow-up care.