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The Today Show visited Austin Health this morning to find out more about the preparations and work underway to care for COVID patients as demand on hospitals increases.
The Deputy Director of Austin Health’s Department of Infectious Diseases, Associate Professor Jason Trubiano, said the lessons of last year are being put into practice.
"We learnt a lot of good things last year including how to set up our amazing COVID wards to help keep our patients and our staff safe,” A/Prof Trubiano said.
“And we’re vaccinated. You have to be double vaccinated and fit tested to work in the COVID unit which is another level of protection for our staff and patients.
“It’s an amazing group of people that we work with every day. They’re strong, they’re resilient, the nurses here are amazing, and we have a good time even though it’s a hard time.
“We know a lot of patients are going to have COVID when they come into hospital so all our work now is preparing to deal with a hospital with COVID. It’s a very different landscape to what we thought we might have and I think we’re in a position to deal with that but the thing we want to avoid is huge surges and waves.
“It’s very different in Melbourne this time around. We’re seeing young patients in their 30s and 40s, very different to the aged care wave two we saw in 2020.
“But we don’t have even one double-vaccinated patient in the hospital at the moment.
“It’s a clear signal that vaccines prevent hospitalisation and prevent you going to intensive care,” he said.
Today Show reporter, Christine Ahern, also visited the Intensive Care Unit and spoke to ICU nurse, Alicia McIntosh, about what it's like to be back caring for patients with COVID.
“We don’t know what’s ahead but I am confident in the team that we’ve got and the training we’ve undergone,” Alicia said.
“If we follow the processes and guidelines and stick together as a team then I’m very confident that we’ll be OK.”
You can watch some of the footage from this morning’s Today Show on Twitter below: