FV Hospital’s Accident & Emergency Department is committed to providing quality emergency care in a timely manner. Patients are seen in order of medical urgency with the more acute patients being seen first and the non-urgent patients being seen after. A critically ill patient may require the attention of several staff members which may increase the waiting time for less urgent conditions.
Upon arrival at the department you will be requested to proceed with a very short registration limited to providing your name and date of birth in order to have your electronic medical record immediately created. You will then be invited, without any delay, to the Triage Room.
The triage process determines who needs to be seen first. You will be assessed by the Triage Nurse who is an experienced nurse especially trained in determining the seriousness of your condition. She will ask you some questions including if you feel any pain, measure your vital signs and briefly examine you. Your condition will be given a category.
FV Hospital uses the Australasian Triage Scale (ATS) to determine the priority of patients’ treatment based on the clinical urgency of their condition. There are different levels or categories of urgency:
- ATS 1 – Life Threatening: you will be seen immediately by a doctor because your life is in danger.
- ATS 2 – Emergency: you will be seen within 10 minutes. Illnesses such as chest pain fit in to this category.
- ATS 3 – Urgent: it includes such conditions such as moderate asthma or some fractures. You must be seen within 30 minutes
- ATS 4 – Semi-Urgent: conditions such as minor trauma. We will do our best to see you within 45 minutes
- ATS 5 – Non-Urgent: those conditions can usually be managed by a general practitioner. We will do our best to see you within one hour
In the Triage Room you will be asked to sign a form called A&E Consent to Treatment, and you will be given an identification wrist band
If your condition is considered category 1 or 2 you will be moved immediately to the medical area. Registration will be completed later or while you are being examined if a relative or a friend accompanies you.
For other categories you will be asked to complete the registration process with the administrative staff and to take a seat in the waiting area. Please notify the Triage Nurse if your condition changes. You must check with the Triage Nurse before you eat or drink.
What Happens Next?
Within the time expected you should be asked to come to the medical area of the department where you will be examined and taken care of by a doctor.
Depending on your illness or injury, certain tests (including imaging and lab tests) may need to be performed while you are here. These studies may take time but are necessary to provide you with the best possible treatment. When the doctor has all of your test results, he will explain the findings to you. Based on your evaluation and the results of the tests, the doctor will proceed to treat you.Your stay may be extended if additional testing is necessary or if the doctor needs to consult a specialist. However the department maintains a maximum turn-around time of 4 hours per patient which means that you must be admitted or discharged if you are to stay more than 4 hours in the medical area.
Please have your relatives take unnecessary belongings (including medications) with them to prevent loss. When you have no relatives or upon request your belongings will be kept in the safe box (small items) or the safe room (bigger items) of the emergency department
Can my family visit me in the treatment area?
One family member is allowed to wait with you in the treatment room. They must stay at your bedside. There may be instances when we ask visitors to wait in the main waiting area so staff members have sufficient space to administer care to the patient. This allows the staff to meet the patient’s needs and to maintain patient privacy. The staff makes every effort to keep loved ones informed.
What happens if I am admitted?
If you need to be admitted to the hospital, the doctor will let you know and answer your questions.
Admission formalities will be done in the Emergency Department by the admitting officer. You will be asked to settle the emergency fees or to sign off on the A&E invoice. You will be explained the estimated hospitalisation costs and depending on your insurance status be requested to pay a deposit.
The admitting officer will ask your preferred choice of room (double, single or VIP room) and will make arrangements with the respective ward, note however that single rooms are not always available. In that case you will be allocated to a double room first and later transferred to a single room as soon as one is available.
Discharge from A&E
When treatment is done, you will receive discharge instructions as well as prescriptions for medications, requests for outpatient diagnostic procedures, and follow-up care as applicable. Please ask questions at this time. Most patients should follow up with their regular doctor after being treated in the emergency department.
Prescribed medications are dispensed at the outpatient pharmacy of the hospital (8am-6pm), out of regular working hours they can be dispensed within 30 minutes directly in the emergency department.
If you suffer from a condition outside the hospital’s scope of services you will be referred to another hospital. A&E doctors always determine that the receiving hospital is capable of meeting your medical and/or surgical needs prior to transfer. The transfer will be done using one of FV Hospital ambulances