Patient with Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer Jacob Nelson

Patients & Visitors

Emergency patient information

To help us treat the people who need us most and to minimise wait times, please only call 000 or visit the Emergency Department if it's an emergency.

Being in an emergency department can be stressful so it's helpful to know what to expect should you or a loved one need to attend one.

We use a system called triage to ensure that we treat the sickest patients first.

This means you may wait longer than someone who arrives after you.

If you're unwell or your condition is minor you can:

  • visit your local doctor, or a 24-hour GP clinic if it's outside normal hours
  • seek advice from a pharmacist about your general health or medications
  • contact the free Nurse On Call service on 1300 60 60 24 any time.

If you come into the Emergency Department (ED) when it is not an emergency, you could wait for a long time to be seen. 

Welcome to our Emergency Department: Your 5-step journey

1: On arrival

See the nurse first.

2: Registration

See the clerk who'll give you an identification wristband.

3: Waiting for treatment

We treat the sickest patients first. This means you may wait longer than someone who arrives after you.

Tests may be started while you're waiting.

Let the triage nurse know if your condition changes while you're waiting.

4: Treatment

There are seven different areas for treatment.

You'll be treated in the most appropriate area by one or several members of our team.

5: Outcome

Most patients will be able to go home after treatment.

Some may be admitted to hospital if further treatment is needed.

Eating and drinking

Please don't eat or drink in the Emergency Department or before being seen by a doctor.

It may impact on your treatment options, such as tests that need to be taken on an empty stomach or if you need an operation.

Things to tell staff

We may not be aware of your medical background so you'll be asked many questions. Sometimes this needs to be done by more than one health care worker.

To help us assess and treat you, please tell us about:

  • past health problems 
  • past drugs and treatments
  • allergies 
  • if you're pregnant or breastfeeding
  • any recent visits overseas
  • any other facts we should know.

Family and friends

You are welcome to have a family member or friend with you in the ED for support. for safety reasons only one or two visitors are allowed in emergency at a time. We may need to ask them to leave during some procedures. 

Enquiries about your condition

Enquiries are welcome and can be made by phoning the emergency department on 03 9496 5500. We recommend that one person is appointed as the main contact and they can relay information to family and friends. This helps limit the number of calls that come through so emergency staff can focus on caring for patients. 

Behaviour

Violence, swearing, verbal or physical threats or abuse towards others - including our staff - won't be tolerated. You'll be asked to leave.