At the Emergency Department

Your Health Options


At the ED we see patients in order of how serious their illness is.

Critically ill patients are always seen before patients with less serious problems.

The National Triage Scale helps us identify the severity of your illness:

  1. Immediate Resuscitation
  2. Emergency
  3. Urgent
  4. Semi-urgent
  5. Non-urgent

We can’t predict the number of patients who may arrive at the ED each day. As a result, your waiting time may vary depending on your condition and the condition of others who need help.

If you need medical help for a medical condition that’s not an emergency, take a look at your health options. Many of these services are free and available after hours.

When you arrive

Our triage nurses assess your condition when you first arrive at the ED. This includes taking a brief history and measuring your vital signs.

We try to attend to your medical needs as soon as possible. However, sometimes the ED is busy and we need to treat those with life threatening or limb threatening conditions before we can help you.

Treatment area

You will be transferred into the treatment area as soon as it becomes available. In this area you are assessed by an emergency nurse, followed by one of our doctors.


We may need to organise blood tests, x-rays or other types of tests to define the extent of your medical problem. These tests help create your personal management plan, which may include hospital admission.

If you are admitted, you may be required to remain in the ED until a bed becomes available to you.


Your friends and relatives may be able to visit you while you are in the ED. However, we may need to limit access to visitors if the ED is too busy. This is at the discretion of the triage nurse.

No more than 2 visitors are allowed at any one time and small children must be supervised at all times.

Page last updated on: 1 Dec 2021