Emergency Department Staff - Allied Health Team

Reception / Clerical Support

_MI38835.jpgThe "front door" to the ED is made a more welcoming place by the friendly, caring and very experienced reception staff. A number of the reception staff have served the department and other areas of Canterbury Health in excess of 30 years. They are the critical link in organising accurate information generated by the thousands of patients who pass through our department annually. They have a very challenging role, working at times under extreme pressure, but rewarded by the team environment within the department.

There are currently 28 Clerical Officers – 5 full time, 20 part-time and 3 casuals. They work 8 hour shifts on a rotating roster providing a 24 hour/7 day a week service to ensure the smooth running of the department and to provide clerical support to the clinical and nursing staff.

Social Work

The ED has 1.6 FTE staff, who manage the complex social issues that are common to many of our patients. The social worker is an indispensable and integral part of the ED Team.

The service is provided seven days a week 0800-1630h with an adult and child on-call arrangement outside of these hours. 

A vast array of challenges faces our staff:

  • Crisis intervention with families in cases of trauma/sudden death
  • Liaison with GPs and referral to appropriate community agencies for follow up
  • Information and referral to community services for patients with drug/alcohol dependence
  • Assessment and organisation of  home supports/short-term rest-home care for elderly patients to enable direct discharge
  • Patient advocacy
  • Assessment and referral where care and protection concerns exist for children
  • Support and information to victims of domestic violence and assault, and elder abuse
  • Education for staff on child care and protection, and domestic violence issues

Occupational Therapy

The Occupational Therapist works with the multidisciplinary team in discharge planning by identifying the functional abilities of the patient. The Occupational Therapists will assess the patient to determine the appropriate equipment and/or support services required ensuring the patient is able to cope at home with their injury/illness.

The service is provided Monday to Friday, 0800-1630h and Saturday and Sunday, 1000-1300h.

Assessments may include:

  • Home situation, the patients ability to manage within their environment
  • Functional ability prior to admission and now in their current condition
  • Cognitive perceptual skills pre/post incident
  • Functional mobility and transfers

Interventions may include:

  • Provision of equipment to help the patient manage within their home with a short or long term disability.
  • Education/retraining of techniques to manage with their condition e.g. back pain, energy conservation, and hip care precautions
  • Referrals to the Domiciliary Occupational Therapist service for a Home Visit
  • Referrals to appropriate external community services for rehab or ongoing follow up
  • Referrals to ACC for home based assistance

Kaitiaki Hauora Māori

(Kaitiaki means to be a guardian, caretaker)

Māori Health Workers in ED.jpg

This service is provided Monday to Friday, 0800-1600h.

The role is to work from a Māori perspective and expectations and to provide: 

  • A working partnership as part of Te Tiriti O Waitangi model with both Māori and staff Māori face to meet and greet (Kanohi ki te kanohi) 
  • To lessen barriers for Māori (i.e. Liaison with kaumatua, whanau, hapu and iwi to enhance the support for the Māori client and their whanau) 
  • To assist in addressing cultural issues for Māori which can be very specific at times (i.e. Karakia; Tissue return) 
  • Facilitating and coordinating on-going contact with introducing patients/whanau to the service, and explaining processes and procedures as appropriate and assist in the determining the kawa (protocol) of the whanau 
  • Participate in research and analysis of Māori health within the identified services if appropriate 
  • Assist with the promotion and coordination of clinical and cultural development and training opportunities for Māori and non-Māori staff, under the direction of the Service Managers and Kaiarahi Roopu 
  • Participate in communication, liaison and relevant regular meetings with CDHB Māori staff, external Māori stakeholders, community resources and agencies to ensure health priorities and health solutions are documented in the case notes contact and outcomes and ongoing support of patient

Front Door Physiotherapy

2006 saw the introduction of a full time physiotherapy service in the emergency department at Christchurch hospital. This service is the first of its kind in New Zealand and was modelled on established services in Australia and the United Kingdom. 

The service is provided Monday to Friday, 0800-1630h and Saturday and Sunday, 0800-1200h.

The service is designed to provide comprehensive physiotherapy assessment and treatment to patients in the emergency department. Key objectives are to:

  • Provide early intervention to ensure prompt recovery from injury/illness
  • Assist the multi-disciplinary team with discharge planning to ensure patients are safe and will cope with their injury/illness at home
  • Educates patients about how to manage their injury/illness 
  • Provide access to community based physiotherapy services
  • Patients in the following categories may benefit from this service:
  • Musculo-skeletal pain and associated soft tissue injury
  • Falls
  • Altered mobility
  • Joint dislocations and fractures
  • Acute respiratory
  • Acute neurology

Emergency Radiology

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The ED Radiology Department is situated in the middle of the ED Department. We x-ray on average 3000 patients a month, approximately 50% of all patients who present to ED.

We have two main x-ray rooms which has the capacity to do all plain film x-rays including OPGs. In addition to this we have an x-ray machine in the trauma room and a mobile machine in the corridor which enables us to x-ray sick patients in the resus bays.

The service is provided 24h a day, seven days a week. Staff MRTs are rostered through on a regular basis on all three shifts. Radiographic assistants work between 1000-2300h to assist with data entry and menial tasks. Thursday - Monday, a ward assistant works between 1230-2100 to help us transport patients to the x-ray room. The Charge Grade of this radiology department is rostered here permanently including weekends. 

St John Friends of the Emergency Department (FEDs)

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The St John Friends of ED (FEDs) are volunteers who support ED from 1000-2200 everyday, working in pairs.

The FEDs support patients and families/whanau including providing company, provide drinks and occasionally food to family/whanau and to the patient where directed by the nurses or doctors. Some FEDs will also entertain children and siblings while the adults are conferring with a clinician and occasionally walk with relatives to wards.

For more information, contact St John.

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Page last reviewed: 10 December 2013
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