Should I come to the ED?
What does ‘busy’ mean? Is it the number of patients being treated or waiting? The short answer is ‘both’.
The image above is a guide and gives you a rough idea of how many people may be before you in the queue if you plan to come to our ED. We’re sharing these numbers so you can make an informed choice about whether you come to our ED or not.
It’s really hard to predict how long you may have to wait. The folk in the queue may be seriously injured or really sick so even though it doesn’t look like there are too many people, the wait may still be significant.
So, if our Emergency Department looks ‘busy’ and your injury or illness is not serious, the following healthcare providers may be able to help you with advice or treatment:
What we do
The Emergency Department (ED) at Latrobe Regional Health provides high level resuscitation and gives patients access to diagnostic services. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The ED also features a ‘fast track’ area to treat people with minor and low risk conditions.
The Tambo Unit supports emergency patients who need a longer stay but not admission to a medical unit.
What will happen
Our ED sees about 40,000 people a year and for many, it’s their first experience of LRH.
When you arrive at the ED you will be seen by a nurse who will carry out a clinical assessment of your condition to determine whether you should be treated immediately or after more urgent cases. This process is called triage and you will be given a category from 1 to 5. Category 1 cases are the most urgent and are treated immediately.
Reception staff will take your details, fill out the necessary forms and then ask you to take a seat.
If you are assessed by the triage nurse as needing immediate treatment you will be taken into a cubicle where a nurse and doctor will undertake a comprehensive assessment of your condition. This may require tests to help the medical team plan your treatment.
Your blood tests will be analysed by pathology located at the hospital.
You may need an x-ray. If your condition is very serious, the radiographers are able to bring a mobile x-ray machine to your bedside.
Following an assessment of your tests and general medical condition, you may either be treated, sent home with information and asked to contact your GP or if your condition requires further treatment, you may be admitted to hospital.
If you need to be admitted, your condition and required treatment will be assessed and other care teams will be called into action. For example if you need to have immediate surgery, your doctor in the ED will contact the on-call surgical team at the hospital.
Often parents or guardians may come into the ED with their sick or injured children. A hospital can be a very unfamiliar and uncomfortable place for children. Our Community Champions (volunteers) are often found in the waiting area or treatment bays supporting patients and their families.
Other options for treatment
Our Emergency Department is usually very busy and you may experience long waiting times. Please consider alternatives such as a GP or pharmacist for clinical advice and care.
You can find a GP and book appointments over the phone or online (including after hours) by going to:
health direct 1800 022 222 or www.healthdirect.gov.au/after-hours-gp-helpline
health engine healthengine.com.au/appointments/after-hours/gp/Australia/NextAvailable
Please note the information, phone numbers, links and pricing listed for services on this page is subject to change. Please check the websites carefully or call the services direct for information.