If you are experiencing severe chest pain or pressure that lasts more than a few moments, call 911 or emergency medical services. Err on the side of caution.
What to expect at the hospital
You will likely be directed to the emergency room (ER). A healthcare provider will ask you for the following information:
- Symptoms: Describe the pain – Where is it? How intense is it? How long have you felt it? What else are you feeling?
- Medications: List any medications you are taking and the dosage and length of time you have taken them.
- Medical History: Walk through any existing health issues that you know of. What treatments or tests have you undergone?
- Habits: Be honest about your habits. Do you smoke? Do you exercise? This information may help the provider diagnose and treat your pain.
When should I see a doctor
If you are at the hospital, you may interact with an emergency room doctor, a cardiologist, or a nurse. Make sure to schedule your follow-ups as instructed and feel comfortable following up with an appropriate healthcare provider whom you trust and who suits your needs.
If your symptoms are less severe or your primary care physician has referred you to a specialist, then you may not need to go to the emergency room but you can visit a doctor’s office for care. A doctor will help you ask you a series of questions in order to investigate the source of the symptoms and the appropriate follow-up care. Make sure to ask questions of the doctor as well such as:
- What are the causes of my pain?
- What is your recommended treatment and what are the next steps?
- How do I need to adjust my lifestyle?
- Should I see any other specialists?
What is the cost of diagnosis and testing
Typically, a healthcare provider will run a set of tests to diagnose the issue and the cost of these tests are often much cheaper out of a hospital rather than in a hospital.