Emergency Department

Shenandoah Medical Center
300 Pershing Avenue
Shenandoah, Iowa 51601
(712) 246-7270

24/7 Emergency Care

Emergencies by their very nature are unexpected and unpredictable. In most emergency situations, time also is of the essence.That's why the emergency department at the Shenandoah Medical Center is highly trained, well-prepared and available 24-hours a day, seven days a week - even holidays. When you arrive, we will be here and ready to help.

Our emergency service professionals are committed to providing you with rapid diagnosis and top-quality treatment for urgent health conditions. Our multidisciplinary team has access to the some of the most advanced technologies to treat patients of all ages for sudden illness or injury.

Emergency Medical Dispatch

Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) is a critical component in our community's 9-1-1 emergency system. Our detailed and pre-planned EMD process includes four vital elements:

  1. Categorical questionings implemented on each call to help quickly identify the most critical elements in every situation.
  2. Complaint-specific questioning, dictated by the nature and details of the emergency, ensures that all of the most important data is collected.
  3. Systematic pre-arrival instructions are scripted to help telecommunications provide accurate and consistent information during emergency responses; and,
  4. Protocols are established and implemented to prioritize incoming calls based on emergency level.

This systematic approach ensures that our emergency services operate at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Ultimately, these procedures make our community healthier and safer.

Inside the Emergency Department

As mentioned earlier, time is of the essence during most medical emergencies. To help you prepare and to support the care process once you are in the ER, we have outlined some helpful tips.

When You Should Go to the ER

Not every illness or injury requires a trip to the ER. For minor illness or injury, you may be able to schedule treatment at your primary care physician's office.

Certain conditions, however, necessitate an ER visit. Don't hesitate to come to the emergency department if you or a loved one experiences any of the following:

  • Significant blood loss or profuse bleeding that continues even after applying direct pressure to the injured area.
  • Obvious compound fractures and/or dislocations of bones
  • Deep cuts and severe burns.
  • Symptoms of a heart attack, including severe chest pain, sweating and shortness of breath.
  • Prolonged seizures lasting more than five minutes.
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, loss of coordination, balance or vision problems, difficulty speaking or slurred speech.
  • High fever and continuous vomiting, ongoing for several hours.
  • Intense back or neck pain.
  • Severe abdominal pain.
  • Injuries occurring from a significant accident or fall.

Upon Your Arrival

You will be asked to give consent for treatment, provide information about any allergies and share information about any medications that you are currently taking. Also, make sure you have insurance information. A nurse will evaluate your medical problem, measure your vital signs and determine the severity of your situation. Then, you will be placed on a prioritized list for further treatment.

Waiting to See the Doctor

Because emergencies are the nature of our service offerings, we continually seek new methods and procedures to reduce your wait time. Critically ill or injured patients are always seen first. Sometimes patients who need a special procedure will be seen out of order. Yet, generally speaking, emergency department care is usually provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Seeing the Doctor

The emergency physician will review your medical history with you and may contact your primary care physician. The doctor may need to order tests in the emergency department, or possible send you elsewhere for more extensive testing. You may need to be admitted into the hospital. Often, we are able to treat your condition and release you from the emergency room to return home.


Family members and/or friends who accompany you to the ER may be asked to wait in the waiting room. The physician or nurse will determine whether you may have visitors in the treatment area. We ask for the consideration of the patient that you do not bring food or drinks into the treatment room.

Emergency Department Shenandoah Medical Center

300 Pershing Avenue
Shenandoah, Iowa 51601
(712) 246-7270

Please call 9-1-1 for serious medical emergencies.