What to expect when you come to Emergency

A summary of what to expect when you come to one of our Emergency Departments.

Registration and triage

When you arrive, you will be asked to register with the administrative staff where you will be given your patient identifier number and you will update your personal details. Then you will be assessed by the Triage Nurse, who will ask you some questions and may briefly examine you. Your condition will be given a category level.

Should your condition change or you decide to leave, please notify the Triage Nurse. You must check with the Triage Nurse before you eat or drink.

Remember your care starts as soon as you are triaged, where you may be treated by different areas of the hospital, which correspond with your presenting condition.


Once you have been triaged, you will be directed to the waiting area.

Patients are seen in order of the urgency of their condition. A critically ill patient may require the attention of several staff members which may increase the waiting time for less urgent conditions. Patients with doctor’s letters or arriving by ambulance do not necessarily receive priority.

Should you have any concerns, speak to the streaming nurse in the waiting room who will do their best to assist.


Once you are shown to the treatment area, a nurse will often be the first person to see you to complete routine observations (pulse and blood pressure). If needed, the nurse may also take other tests and x-rays, to provide all the information required by one of our specialists. This may extend your stay by quite some time.

During this time you should also inform staff of any medications you are taking, any “Over the counter” medicines or treatments that have been self-administered, if you are aware of any drug or food allergies, if you know or suspect you are pregnant, have recently travelled overseas, and a child’s current immunisation status.


Our team of specialists will complete investigations to determine the appropriate course of action and treatment to ensure you are feeling better as soon as possible.


When investigations have been completed, results will be provided to you by your treating doctor. From there they will provide an overview of your ongoing management plan and if you are required to stay in hospital.

If you are admitted, you will be allocated a ward bed or may remain in the Emergency Department for observation. Staff will notify a nominated relative on request. If you have private health insurance, arrangements may be made for your transfer to a private hospital if a vacancy exists and your condition permits.