Thursday, 4 October 2012
People recovering from surgery at Portland District Health now have a comfortable new spot to stay while waiting to go home.

PDH’s new Transit Lounge is supported by volunteers and gives patients extra support while they wait for their transport home or for discharge medication.

The Transit Lounge is based on similar systems in larger hospitals and allows for better transition between patients in the surgical ward.

North Ward Nursing Unit Manager Joanne Brewster said the system was particularly useful on busy days for both patients and the hospital.

At the moment the Transit Lounge is being trialled on Mondays and Tuesdays when busy ear, nose and throat surgical procedures are carried out.

“On busy days where we have a number of new patients coming in and others waiting for dischage, it allows our environmental staff to prepare rooms for the next patients,” Ms Brewster said.

If patients are unwell they remain in their rooms for normal nursing care.

Volunteers are supporting the Transit Lounge and have gone through an orientation and training program.

They do not undertake any hands-on clinical work. “They are basically there to make sure the patients are comfortable, help with cups of tea and to have a chat to make the time go easier for patients if they are waiting for a script or to be collected by their families,” Ms Brewster said.

“It’s a new idea and patients appreciate it.”

PDH will look at expanding the Transit Lounge to other busy times if the current trial period continues to be a success.

Manager of Volunteers Carolyn Malseed said those participating in the program were enjoying the experience.

“We’ve had great feedback so far from the volunteers,” she said.

Ms Malseed said people from the existing pool of volunteers were supporting the program but new volunteers might be needed if the Transit Lounge is expanded.

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