I’ve been the Nurse Manager at the Prince of Wales Hospital Emergency Department for five years.
When I joined the department 21 years ago, the ED was seeing around 28,000 presentations each year.
That figure has now increased to just over 59,000 presentations each year, and is growing.
Prince of Wales Hospital has one of only two public Spinal Units in the state, and has the state’s only public Hyperbaric Unit. We are also one of the few hospitals in the state that provide clot retrieval for patients with acute strokes. This treatment really is one where ‘moments matter’.
Our ED is a very busy place, especially over Christmas and New Year. During the festive season, more people are out celebrating and participating activities than might have been a good idea at the time.
Our staff are trained to deal with almost any scenario, and no one day is ever the same.
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I’ve seen it all, from a young man who sustained a spinal cord injury in a motorbike accident to a thrill-seeker who almost died in a sky-diving accident when her parachute failed.
Our ED currently has three resuscitation beds, 12 acute beds, 10 short stay beds, nine fast track chairs and nine treatment spaces in exam/consult rooms, but we’re expanding to help treat more patients.
We’re currently in the process of adding an additional eight beds to the ED, and hopefully by 2022 will have a new ED as part of the $720 million Randwick Hospitals Campus Redevelopment.
Hospitals aren’t just places where people come to be treated – many of our staff are also engaged in translational research that is leading to improved patient outcomes.