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Coming to Hospital

Coming to Hospital

2023-07-27 09:32:34


We hope your stay with us is comfortable. Our vision is to lead the delivery of safe, sustainable healthcare in the North West region with our diverse partners and communities.

Please read through the Welcome Booklet below for everything you need to know.

Emergency Department

Our emergency department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is no need to call first, just arrive at the department at any time.

In a health emergency

You should always call Triple Zero (000) in a genuine health emergency.

Deciding to go to the emergency department

Emergency departments are here to deal with emergencies, but for minor illness or injury, there are a range of other care options to consider.

Sometimes you may not be sure if your problem is an emergency. When in doubt, call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84). Qualified staff will advise you on what to do and if you need to go to a GP, pharmacy or emergency department.

Alternatives to the emergency department

Options for non-urgent conditions include:

  • a general practitioner—some of whom bulk bill
  • 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for non-urgent health advice from a qualified nurse
  • 1300 MH CALL (1300 64 22 55) if you are experiencing a mental health crisis
  • pharmacies
  • Find a GP, pharmacy or other health service using the National Health Service Directory
When you arrive

When you arrive at the emergency department, please go straight to the reception counter. You will be seen by a qualified nurse who assesses your condition.

Patients are treated in order of priority— people with life-threatening or critical conditions are always treated first.

It is important to let the triage nurse know any of the following information:

  • previous health problems
  • current medications
  • if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • recent overseas travel
  • housing or social concerns
  • if your pain or symptoms become worse
  • if you need an interpreter

Read more about how emergency departments work

How long will I wait?

A doctor or nurse will see you as soon as they are able. At any time, they may have to step away to treat a life-threatening condition. This will not affect your care, though it may mean a longer stay with us. Your waiting time will depend on the urgency of your condition.

Sometimes the waiting room my appear empty or quiet. If you have been waiting a while, it is because inside the emergency department doctors and nurses are busy attending to very sick patients.

If you are considering leaving the emergency department for any reason, please talk with the triage nurse first.

What can I expect once I start treatment?

Inside the emergency department, your care will often start with an emergency nurse who will monitor you and initiate some therapies such as pain relief until a doctor assesses you.

Emergency department staff work as a team and your treating team can include doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and mental health clinicians.

As part of your assessment you may need further investigations such as blood tests and x-rays. We will recommend a treatment plan for you and discuss what options are available to you.

We encourage you to ask our staff questions about your treatment if you need more information or if you don’t fully understand.

Before you leave
  • Make sure you understand your diagnosis and any follow up treatment and recommendations. Feel free to ask extra questions or seek clarification.
  • Make sure you know when to return to your doctors and the course of action if your condition does not improve.
  • Ensure you receive a discharge letter to present to your GP.
  • Let your emergency department doctor know if you need a medical certificate.
  • Don’t forget to take any belongings (including medications) home with you.
Do you need an interpreter?

We can provide a free interpreter service for patients at our emergency departments.

It is our policy to use fully accredited professional interpreters for all medical appointments. Family or friends are usually not able to accurately translate complex medical information.

If you would like an interpreter, please let us know as soon as you arrive.

Zero tolerance to violence

We all want to be safe in an emergency. At North West Hospital and health Service we have a ‘zero tolerance to violence’. This includes swearing, verbal abuse, and physical and verbal threats.

If you or you visitors display any of these behaviours, you will be asked to leave.

Preparing for your procedure/surgery

What you can do

  • Follow the pre-operative instructions given to you
  • Tell the doctors and nurses about any medication you take
  • Ensure all your details are correct
  • Tell the nurses if you have any difficulty with mobility or will need special care when you are discharged home
  • Let us know if you require a medical certificate
  • Arrange special transport home if required
  • Check and make sure you understand all the information on the consent form before you sign it
  • Ask your doctor or nurse if you are not sure about anything.
Admission to Hospital

Please bring:

  • Any letter(s) from your doctor relating to your procedure.
  • Any appropriate x-rays, scans and medical reports.
  • All medications that you are currently taking (in their original packaging) and all prescriptions.
  • Your Medicare card, pension cards and safety net cards.
  • Your health fund details or Veterans’ Affairs Entitlement Card.
  • Your credit card or other means of payment.
  • If you are having surgery, please shower and wear loose, comfortable and appropriate clothing.
  • If you are staying overnight, please bring personal items such as night attire, dressing gown, slippers, personal toiletries, reading materials and glasses.
Day procedures

If you are having a day procedure please note the following:

  • You must arrange for a responsible person to transport you home following your day procedure.
  • It is unsafe and you may not be covered legally or by insurance to drive for 24 hours after your anaesthetic.
  • Public transport is not a safe or appropriate choice for your trip home after discharge from hospital.
  • You must not sign any contracts or make important decisions for 24 hours following your procedure – these may not be legally binding.
  • You must follow any post-procedural instructions given to you and contact your doctor or present to an emergency department should you have any post procedural complications.

Please do not bring valuables or large sums of money to the hospital. The hospital cannot take responsibility for personal belongings and valuables.

If you are being admitted to hospital but not having surgery, you will be admitted directly to your ward.

Appointments (Outpatients)

When you come to hospital for a day visit, you are known as an “outpatient”.
You will usually see a specialist doctor and/or a range of other health professionals.

To make an appointment with us

Our booking centre will contact you to make an appointment via:

  • text message if you have a mobile phone
  • phone call to your home phone number
  • letter if you don’t have a contact number.

Once you receive our communication, you are expected to call our booking centre to make an appointment. You will then receive a letter with the appointment details at your home address; you will need to bring this letter with you to your appointment.

We will send you an appointment reminder via text message the day before your appointment.

When you arrive

We recommend you arrive at the outpatient clinic approximately 15 minutes before your appointment time.

When you arrive, please attend the check-in desk to let us know that you have arrived.

You can then take a seat and wait for you name to be called.

After your appointment

At the end of your appointment, please ensure you check out at reception. If you require another appointment the receptionist will book your review appointment if required.

If your doctor decides you require surgery, you may be added to the elective surgery wait list. We will send you a letter to confirm you are on the elective surgery wait list.

What do I need to bring with me for the appointment?

We will send you a letter confirming your appointment. This letter will include what documentation you will need to bring to your appointment.

Please bring the following with you to any Outpatient appointment:

  • your appointment letter
  • any relevant test results, medical reports or scans (X-rays, bone scans or ultrasounds) related to your treatment
  • a list of your current medications, including vitamins
  • your Medicare Card, Pension Card, or any other concession cards
  • your doctor’s address and phone number (if you have changed your doctor recently)
  • something to read while you wait, in case there are delays.
  • Please present to the Outpatient clinic prior to your scheduled appointment time to ensure that you can be seen as quickly as possible.
What do I do if I can no longer attend my appointment?

If your circumstances change and you are no longer able to attend a scheduled appointment you must advise the Outpatients Department as soon as possible by phoning 47 474 444. This will allow the department to not only reschedule your appointment but also provide us with the opportunity to offer the appointment which you cannot attend to another patient.

Please be aware that, if you do not attend a scheduled appointment without providing adequate prior notice, you may be removed from the Outpatient Waiting List.

If you cannot keep your appointment:

  • in some cases, the appointment can be rebooked
  • you may be removed from the waiting list, transferring care to your general practitioner. You will need a new referral to access the waitlist.
Hospital Café

The Mount Isa hospital café - Café on Camooweal – is open to the public on weekdays, selling a range of fresh sandwiches, salads, homemade burgers, hot food, snacks, and hot and cold drinks.  

Monday to Thursday: 7am to 3pm

Friday: 7am to 2.30pm