Patient with Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer Jacob NelsonPatient with Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer Jacob NelsonPatient with Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer Jacob Nelson

Patients & visitors

In this section, you can find the following information:

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. 

Important changes to parking and the ED triage process due to COVID-19

To ensure we can continue to provide safe, high quality emergency care to our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin Health will be changing the access to our Emergency Department (ED) from Monday 27 April until further notice.

How can I access the Emergency Department?
  • Pedestrian and vehicle access will continue via the current Emergency entrance in Burgundy Street
  • Traffic management staff will be in place at the entrance to assist and direct you to the public drop off area
  • You must stay in your car and wait for an ED nurse
  • The ED nurse will ask you a few simple screening questions and then direct you where to go
  • There will be no short-term parking at ED so you need to be prepared to drive out of the drop-off zone as soon as the ED nurse provides your instructions.
What does this mean for all adult patients?
  • You will need a driver to drop you at ED. If the driver needs to come back into ED they will need to drive out to the car park, park and enter the ED following the signage/instructions within the hospital.
What does this mean for children or patients requiring assistance?
  • The child or patient and their parent or carer will need a driver to drop them at ED. If the driver needs to come back into ED they will need to drive out to the car park, park and enter the ED following the signage/instructions within the hospital
What if no driver is available?
  • If you don’t have another driver available in your household you may want to consider other forms of transport to ED such as taxi or ride share vehicles – these companies have precautions in place in relation to COVID-19 and are an option.

Please note: children presenting to the Emergency Department with a respiratory illness and assessed as requiring admission may need to be transferred to an alternative hospital.  The Emergency Department staff will be able to assist parents/caregivers with answering any questions that arise around this process.

Austin’s focus is on the safety, health and wellbeing of our staff and community, while ensuring patients can access quality and safe emergency care.

We will keep the community, patients and visitors updated about any changes. Questions and enquiries can be emailed to feedback@austin.org.au, via the online form on our website www.austin.org.au, or by calling 9496 3566.

Coronavirus

If you think you have coronavirus, please call our hotline on 9496 6606 for advice about what you should do. Call 000 only if it is a medical emergency.

To help reduce the spread of coronavirus, no visitors will be allowed in ED unless the patient is a child, has a disability and requires a carer, or is non-English speaking and requires translation. If the patient presenting is suspected COVID-19, no visitors will be allowed under any circumstances.

We know that this will be hard for some people, but it’s an important step in limiting the spread of coronavirus. 

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.

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.

Acknowledgement flags

Austin Health acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
We celebrate, value and include people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, cultures, bodies and abilities.