PDH Urgent Care Centre (Emergency Department)

Nursing Staff in ED
ED Triage Reception
Monday, 13 October 2014
A recent University of Sydney study found that emergency department nurses are more extroverted, agreeable and open than most people.

They are a special breed according to the researchers.

Portland District Health's Urgent Care Centre (Emergency Department) team lives up to that reputation and provides first class care for more than 7000 patients every year.

Despite its substantially smaller population, Portland deals with half as many critically ill patients as Warrnambool and treats 94 per cent of patients within government triage benchmark standards. Ninety per cent of people presenting for help are treated locally, while others are transferred to larger hospitals in a timely manner.

Emergency Nurse Unit Manager Dennyel Smith says it is challenging but rewarding work for the centre's 25-strong team.

The job attracts people who don’t like routine, Ms Smith said. It's a very unpredictable and dynamic nursing environment and you never know what might come through the door.

Emergency nurses tend to be empathetic and compassionate people, but they are also strong and resilient.

We have to be able to adapt our personalities and use different communication style for different people, Ms Smith said.

We don't have trouble talking to most people.

Helping people at times of crisis can be stressful. We work as a team and with a lot of black humour,Ms Smith said. Occasionally it does get to you but people coming to E.D. are stressed and we have to be careful not to add to their turmoil.

The team regularly debriefs to review its performance and also to talk through the stresses of the job.

The PDH Urgent Care Centre offers 24-hour coverage and is staffed by a mixture of senior and junior nurses, Hospital Medical Officers and on-call specialists.

The centre deals with a variety of complaints, ranging from farming or industrial injuries to respiratory problems and gastro. Monday tends to be the busiest day and 2.30pm-10pm the busiest time of day.

Ms Smith said feedback from consumers about care at the centre was consistently positive.

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