Marielle Carving Francinaldo's Ear
Creative Commons License photo credit: ReSurge International

The triage staff of the emergency departments of all hospitals, including the Sydney Hospital and the Sydney Eye Hospital, does an important task. They make sure that patients get seen according to their medical needs as quickly as possible.

In this way, someone that has a vital medical emergency will be seen before someone with a non-emergency problem, regardless of their arrival order. In other words, the triage nurse sorts patients upon arrival. You will be interviewed by the triage nurse to assess the level of the problem with your health.

This triage nurse is specially trained at assessing problems, and this system is used throughout Australia to ensure that emergency departments are operated efficiently and quickly. The first person you talk to in the emergency department will be the triage nurse. If your condition changes or worsens after you have been initially seen the tirage nurse, you need to let the nurse know that your condition has changed, and this could impact the order that you will be seen by a doctor or a nurse practitioner.

This sorting practice makes sure that the sickest patients get treated first, and that those that can wait a little bit longer without increasing their suffering often do have long wait times.