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Emergency Department – Information for Patients

What do I do if I become an Emergency Patient?

The role of the Emergency Department is to diagnose and treat acute and urgent illnesses and injuries. Patients are seen in order of medical urgency with non-urgent patients being seen after more acute patients. Patients with non-urgent complaints may attend their local doctor if they do not wish to wait. A local doctor is the best person to care for conditions of an ongoing nature. There are different levels or categories of urgency –

  1. Life Threatening You will be seen first because your life is in danger.
  2. Emergency You will be seen next. Illnesses such as chest pain fit in to this category.
  3. Urgent Urgent includes such conditions such as moderate asthma or some fractures.
  4. Semi-Urgent Conditions such as minor trauma.
  5. Non-Urgent (conditions that are usually managed by your general practitioner)

What do I do first?

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. Following this, you will be assessed by the Triage Nurse who is an experienced nurse especially trained in assessment. He/she will ask you some questions and may briefly examine you. Your condition will be given a category (as listed above). Once this is completed, please take a seat in the waiting area. If your condition changes 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, and you may be seen and treated in different areas of the department – these areas correspond with your presenting condition but all are staffed with Emergency Nurses and Doctors.

How long do I have to wait?

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.

What Happens Next?

Once you are shown to the treatment area, your stay could be quite lengthy as you may require:

  • Observation
  • Tests or x-rays
  • Review by a specialist

What should I tell the staff?

Please inform staff of:

  • Medications you are taking
  • “Over the counter” medicines or treatments being self-administered
  • Drug or food allergies
  • If you know or suspect you are pregnant
  • Recent overseas travel
  • Children’s current immunisation status

What happens if I am 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.

Who works in the Emergency Department?

The Emergency Department is staffed by highly trained medical staff, and doctors undertaking further training, led by the Director of Emergency Medicine. The Nurse Manager leads a team of highly trained nurses, many of whom have chosen to specialise in Emergency Care. You may also have contact with allied health professionals such as physiotherapists or social workers if required. There are also administrative and support staff to assist you.

Are visitors permitted?

You may receive visitors whilst in the Emergency Department but due to space limitations only two visitors are permitted at a time. Visitors may be asked to leave when examinations or procedures are being performed.

How do my family and friends make enquiries?

Please nominate ONE family member only, to make telephone enquiries regarding the patient’s condition and for our staff to contact. This person can then pass on information to other family members and friends. This assists staff by ensuring they are not called away from caring for your relative or friend. The correct number to call when enquiring about a patient in the Emergency Department is 9784 7777.

Where do I park?

There is a drop off and pick up area adjacent to the Main Entrance. Longer-term car parking is also available which requires you to pay for a ticket at the ticket machine. If you leave the Emergency Department after dark a security guard is available to accompany you to your car. Please ask staff at the desk to arrange this for you.

What happens to valuables?

Please give any valuables to a relative or friend. The hospital cannot accept responsibility for any valuables lost or damaged.

How do I get a certificate?

Please ask the doctor if you require a Workcover, TAC or medical certificate before you leave. These may be supplied after discharge but take approximately two weeks to process.

What other Medical Services are available close by?

Our Code of Behaviour

In order to create a friendly environment for patients, staff and visitors, Frankston Hospital has a staff Code of Behaviour to treat all patients fairly, courteously and with sensitivity. Patients also have a responsibility to be courteous and respectful of other people receiving care, visitors and members of the health care team. No acts of physical violence, intimidation or verbal abuse towards other patients, visitors or staff members will be tolerated. Security may be called and you may be asked to leave the hospital. Security Guards are present in the hospital and may be seen in and around the Emergency Department for the safety of patients, visitors and staff.