Guide to your emergency visit

Thank you for trusting the Children’s Emergency Center (CEC) at Greenville Memorial Hospital with your child’s care. This visit probably is unexpected, so you and your child may be anxious. Our goal is for both of you to feel cared for while we address your concerns.

We understand that waiting is difficult. Please know that we will do our best to meet your child’s medical needs as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience. Every patient is unique and requires a personalized plan of care. Below are the general steps that you and your child will take during your visit.

Children's Emergency Center

The Children’s Emergency Center (CEC) is the Upstate’s only emergency care facility specifically for children.

What To Expect On Arrival

After arriving, you and your child will be seated in a waiting room until a nurse calls you into a private exam area. (All our nurses are specially trained in pediatrics.)

  • This nurse will ask you and your child some questions, obtain vital signs and determine the urgency of your child’s condition.
  • You and your child then will be seated in the waiting room again until an appropriate treatment space becomes available.


While you are in the lobby or treatment area, someone from Patient Access/Registration will get your personal and insurance information. Note: You do NOT need medical insurance or any kind of payment to visit the CEC.


  • Your child’s safety is important to us.
  • This may be a new environment for your child, so we ask for your help to partner with us to prevent any injury or falls while in the department.

Care coordination

During your wait, please do not give your child anything to eat or drink until he or she has been seen by a medical provider and you have been told it is all right to do so.

  • Your child’s comfort is important. We provide closed caption TV, free Wi-Fi, a charging station and coloring sheets upon request.
  • Due to the changing volume and nature of the trauma center, we may not be able to give you an exact wait time, but we strive to give you regular updates on your next steps.
  • Please tell a team member if your child’s condition changes.

Why are some patients seen before others?

We know as a caregiver, you are concerned about your child’s condition. We are, too, and we will do everything we can to see each child as quickly as possible. To provide the best care to all of our patients, we may see children out of the order they arrived based on the needs of each child. Many patients do not arrive through the waiting room, but come by ambulance or helicopter.

Child Life Services

During some hours, child life specialists are available to provide education and comfort to your child and family members. They can help explain procedures or provide activities for your child during his or her visit. Ask a team member for more information.

How long do tests typically take?

  • Bloodwork: 90–120 minutes
  • X-ray: 60–120 minutes
  • Ultrasound: 90–180 minutes
  • CT: 90–180 minutes

What to expect if your child is discharged

You will get written instructions from the physician and care team. Be sure you understand and follow these instructions. Please ask a member of the care team if you have any questions.

What to expect if your child is admitted

If the care team decides your child should stay at the hospital, the care team will notify you regarding your child’s plan of care and will keep you updated throughout the process. If the hospital is full, there may be a wait to get to a room. Your care team will continue to take of you and make you comfortable.


After your visit, you may receive a survey in the mail or by email. We would love to hear from you about what we did well and where we can improve. If there is a member of your child’s treatment team you would like to recognize for providing great care, please contact a team member before you leave.