Patients Presenting To Urgent Care Centre Asked To Be Patient

Friday, 26 May 2017
People presenting at Portland District Health’s Urgent Care Centre are being urged to remain patient while those with high priority symptoms are treated first.

All patients are initially assessed by the triage nurse who determines their level of priority for medical attention.

PDH has noticed an increase in complaints from people waiting with less serious conditions, mostly the type seen in a GP clinic.

All patients are treated as soon as possible.

Urgent Care Centre Nurse Unit Manager Deb Tozer said staff in the centre must attend to the most urgent patients first.

We have been seeing a lot of GP-type patients who attend the Urgent Care Centre, usually between 6pm and 10pm because their GP clinics aren’t open.

Staff prioritise and attend to more urgent cases; however there have been more people with less serious conditions who are not prepared to wait to see a doctor.

People attending the centre are assessed on arrival by an experienced triage nurse who then allocates the patient a priority category, the highest being for the most acutely ill such as cardiac arrest, with the lowest category being minor illness/sprains etc.

Notices in the Urgent Care Centre reflect this practice and explain that people will be seen in order of priority, not order of attendance. That’s where some people get confused.

Patients in the waiting room don’t realise the triage nurses may have deemed another person, who arrived later, to require more urgent attention and therefore may be seen before them.

If people feel their condition is deteriorating they are urged to notify the nursing staff immediately.

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