Patients & Visitors » Emergency Department » Triage

Your treatment starts as soon as you step into the Emergency Department. On arrival, you will see a specialist emergency nurse called the ‘triage nurse’. The triage nurse will assess how severe your condition is.

In Australia, the triage system is used to guide hospital staff towards seeing patients according to how sick they are. This system allows patients with life-threatening problems to be seen first.

In general, the triage system has five levels;
1.    Immediate (life threatening)
2.    Emergency (could become life-threatening)
3.    Urgent (not life-threatening)  
4.    Semi-urgent
5.    Non-urgent (needs treatment when time permits).

Waiting: After seeing the triage nurse, you may be asked to wait in the waiting room or a nominated area within the emergency department. How long you wait depends on the number of patients whose condition is more serious than yours and also how busy the department is.

You will be treated as soon as possible but someone who arrives in the Emergency Department after you may be seen before you if they need treatment more urgently.

Just because the waiting area appears quiet, this does not mean the Emergency Department is quiet.

We know that waiting can be frustrating. We will do our best to keep your wait to a minimum and make you comfortable.

While you wait, if you feel your condition changes, please let the triage nurse or staff at the nearest work-station know.


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