How a short stay unit can reduce children’s waiting times
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How a short stay unit can reduce children’s waiting times

Constance Gray Clinical nurse educator and Michelle Hutch is nurse unit manager in the paediatric unit, Caboolture Hospital, Queensland, Australia
Martin Christensen Associate professor in the acute and critical care nursing professorial unit, Queensland University of Technology, Caboolture, Queensland, Australia

An initiative to create a short stay unit has helped to reduce the lengths of time young people wait for treatment in an Australian emergency department

Admitting children to emergency departments (EDs) often places them in an environment better suited to the treatment of adult patients. These children are often triaged and treated as adults, resulting in children being given the wrong triage categories and having their treatment delayed. EDs have problems giving drugs to children, staff are unfamiliar with children’s emergency care, and children find EDs frightening. A paediatric emergency short stay unit (PESSU) was opened at Caboolture Hospital, Queensland, Australia, in January 2014. Admission to the PESSU has significantly reduced waiting times for children arriving at the ED and enabled specialist nursing and medical care to be provided quickly. This has been supported by the development of the paediatric flow nurse role (Gray et al 2016).

Nursing Children and Young People. 28, 5, 34-39. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.28.5.34.s24


Peer review

This article has been subject to open review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 21 August 2015

Accepted: 18 September 2015