Emergency Care

Mount Nittany Medical Center's Emergency Department (ED) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, treating patients who require emergency care.

In this section, we've addressed some students' most frequently asked questions about the ED, but if you still have questions, read more about emergency medicine at the Medical Center or call us at 814.234.6110.

What should I bring with me to the ED?

The most important things to know are any current medications you are taking and any allergies you have.

If you have your health insurance card (usually under your parent's insurance for undergraduates), you can bring that along. If you do not have your insurance card, come anyway, and we will help you get that information later for billing purposes. You do not need to pay for services when you come for care.

Can I bring a friend with me?

Of course. Particularly when you are away from your family, friends offer good support and can make the experience more comfortable.

Generally, one person can accompany you to the treatment area if you wish, or that person can wait in the waiting area. If several friends accompany you, only one can be with you in the treatment area while the others wait in the waiting area.

Additionally, Penn State student volunteers and peer counselors offer support and empathy to students, assisting them with telephone calls and transportation to help limit the stress felt.

Do you help someone who has been sexually assaulted?

Most definitely. The Medical Center, in cooperation with others in the community, has a multidisciplinary team on call to assist victims of sexual assault. All nurses in the ED are sexual assault examiners.

A registered nurse, an advocate from the Women's Resource Center and a police officer work together to provide care, treatment and emotional support; they remain with the person and are available for questions while at the ED. Options are also fully explained and strict confidentiality is maintained.

There is no charge for these services, including the Medical Center and physician's usual charges. During their regular hours, University Health Services can also provide care and follow-up for students who have been sexually assaulted.

If I brought one of my friends who had too much alcohol to the Medical Center, what would happen?

If you ever feel someone has had too much to drink to the extent that they are passed out and unable to be awakened, please bring that person to the Medical Center immediately. The situation can be life-threatening.

If the person is able to get into a taxi, you can use that to get him or her to the Medical Center. (For other transportation options and information, see the information under Getting to the Medical Center.) If the person is not able to get into a taxi, call 911 for an ambulance.

The main purpose of the ED is to provide the best medical care and treatment for all people and conditions. We do not routinely call the police, and we do not call parents without the patient's permission under most circumstances.

If a patient is not responsive and their condition is critical, no matter what the cause, we call the family. Otherwise, we would encourage any patient to contact important family members as appropriate to share information and avoid worry.

What about the police?

The police are not routinely called by the ED unless required to do so by law. By law, we must contact the police if an assault has occurred.

We will assist you in any way we can with negative consequences, but please consider the health and wellbeing of yourself and others your first priority. Potential loss of life or permanent injury are far more serious than potential legal consquences. If you are in doubt, call us at 814.234.6110 or come to the ED to be safe.

Police do automatically respond to all ambulance calls in Centre County, including any university-based calls.