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Extra nurses in emergency


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JHC emergency: up to three nurses will work in emergency at busy times. JHC emergency: up to three nurses will work in emergency at busy times.

EXTRA triage nurses are now on hand in the Joondalup Health Campus emergency department amid public concern over treatment waiting times.

The hospital will have up to three triage nurses working in busy periods to prioritise patients more efficiently and minimise queuing.

The change has come after the Times’ sister paper the Weekender published a story on February 21 citing concerns from Quinns Rocks resident Vanessa Vandeleur that long waits in line were difficult for sick emergency patients to endure.

The story prompted almost 20 responses from residents with similar complaints after it was published on inmycommunity.com.au.

“I also experienced this poor system when I attended Joondalup hospital emergency department with food poisoning and had to wait four hours to be seen,” user David King wrote on February 26.

“During this time, I was in a lot of pain which only got worse as time wore on.”

Ms Vandeleur suggested a number system so sick patients could sit while they waited for treatment.

Many of the residents’ comments on inmycommunity.com.au agreed with the suggestion.

In response to the comments, JHC director of emergency medicine Cameron Burrows said the hospital had considered a ticketing system but had not yet found one that met patient’s wishes and the need to prioritise treatment.

“We have previously considered installing a ticketing system, however, we have not yet found a system that meets the wishes of some patients and our need to prioritise patients,” he said.

Dr Burrows advised future patients to bring a family member or friend with them when attending the emergency department.

“They shouldn’t drive themselves to hospital if they are feeling very ill,” he said.

“If patients are feeling too unwell to stand in line they should advise the receptionist so alternative arrangements can be made.”He said the hospital was trialling the placement of a nurse in the waiting room to not only greet patients, but to start early treatment such as rehydration and pain relief.

JHC medicos treated 88,032 patients in 2012 and are expected to treat more than 90,000 in 2013.“\[Janice Teo\]In the face of such large numbers, We continually review our processes to ensure we are working as efficiently as possible\[Janice Teo\] and are listening to feedback from patients and visitors,” Dr Burrows said.

“Appointing additional nurses to triage patients is part of this process.”

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What everyone else is thinking



Triage is not perfect! A friend of mine was taken to the emergency department at Fremantle Hospital in the morning after having a fall at work. He was left there by the other employee after being told to wait by the triage nurse. Many hours later (probably at least 7 hours) he was spotted sitting there by a nurse he knew. She realised that he had not responded when his name had been called and nobody had noticed him or that he was unconscious. She arranged for him to be seen immediatly and it was found that he had a non-visible head injury. He spent three days in hospital.

On another occasion, I took my late husband to Armadale Hospital because he could not urinate. He was in great discomfort but was told to wait. After some considerable time I could see that he was in agony but not wanting to make a fuss. Another talk with the triage nurse did get attention, but only because I told him to not hide his pain. The care he then received was excellent.

Sqweaky axles get the grease.



I too spent 3 and a half hours in extreme pain min Feb this year when I had for the first time in my like a kidney stone problem.
I believe it is know to be extremely painful but I just had to wait in queue no knowing that I was going to wait 3 1/2 hours. I just felt afterwards that I should at least have been given something to help me with the pain while waiting.

Talking with the staff I was told that while this was a brand new emergency department, it was already too small in terms of beds available.

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