For 20 years, The Wesley Hospital Pre-admissions Clinic has been supporting patients and their families every step of the way through their surgical journey.
With just one nurse and three doctors, the Clinic launched in 2001 and since then has grown to care for more than 150 patients every week and is now known as the engine room of the hospital.
Director of Clinical Services, Cheryl Clayton, said the purpose of the Clinic is to prepare patients for their admission and surgery, and to provide much-needed support through what can be a daunting experience for many patients.
“The team do an exceptional job of preparing our patients, from support to organise any tests needed prior to admission, to identifying their support network who will care for them at home after discharge from hospital,” Cheryl said.
“Most importantly, the service helps to reduce anxiety and provides patients with the reassurance they need.
“For our elderly patients in particular, often one of the most overwhelming aspects of coming to hospital is completing all of the forms and paperwork. Our Pre-admission Clinic team are here to support them through that process.”
The nurse-led Clinic predominantly provides care and support for elderly patients and those with significant or complex medical histories, with a particular focus on patients having more complex surgery requiring an overnight stay and where our multidisciplinary team of allied health and nursing staff may also be involved.
For our regional and rural patients, the service assists with arranging accommodation for their trip to Brisbane to receive care at The Wesley.
Pre-admissions Clinical Nurse Helen Hardiker said since the Clinic began offering patients an online booking service in 2016, more than 80 per cent of patients now book their own admission online.
“For those who do need our support, it is satisfying to help them along their journey, often having met their family and reduced any fears,” Helen said.
“We play an important role for our patients by educating and informing them at every step of the process, whether that be about managing their recovery at home or providing medication or fasting instructions prior to surgery in collaboration with our pharmacy team and the patient’s doctor.
“Each of the nurses in the Clinic have different clinical backgrounds, so we work together and share knowledge. We also work closely with our doctors and have opportunities to learn from them which arms us with the best information to care for our patients.”
Throughout 2020, the service moved to a telehealth model of care as part of the hospital’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the team are happily anticipating the return of patients to the Clinic this year.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming patients back to face-to-face appointments more and more this year, while continuing telehealth appointments for our regional and remote communities. We are fortunate to be able to alter the model of care depending on the circumstances of each individual patient,” Helen said.
“We often receive lovely feedback from families who are so grateful for our support of their loved one and it reminds us of the wonderful impact we can have on our patient’s experience.”