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The basics

ED terminology

Emergency Departments are fast paced environments. There are many people working in the unit and sometimes the language used can sound foreign. Below are some of the common words you may hear.

ABGArterial blood gas reading. This is a way to see what is happening in your body.  Similar to a normal blood test but in an artery, not a vein.
BP or Blood PressureA measure of how well blood circulates through your arteries, listen in the format of the systolic pressure over the diastolic pressure. Normal blood pressure is about 120/80.
CAT scan (or CT Scan)Computerized axial tomography. These scans provide more-detailed information than plain X-rays.
ECGElectrocardiogram. measures heart activity.
EEGElectroencephalogram. measures brain activity.
Emergency physiciansVery senior specialist doctors, also known as consultants.
GCSThis scale is used to quickly determine the status and degree of injury of a trauma victim to the head.
Hospital medical officersDoctors working in the emergency department, not training to be specialists
InternsDoctors in their first year of practice
MRIAbbreviation for magnetic resonance imaging. Imaging by computer using a strong magnetic field and radio frequencies.
Nurse practitionersVery senior specialist nurses who can assess and treat selected conditions
PulseA pulsating artery that gives evidence that the heart is beating, usually about 70 times per minute.
RegistrarsSenior doctors working towards becoming specialists
SepsisA very severe infection.
TriageThe system of prioritizing patients in an emergency situation in which there are a great number of injured or ill.
UltrasoundA test similar to an x-ray, but which uses sound waves

Hospital map

Maps of the PA Hospital can be found here.

Where can I charge my phone?

There are phone charges available for patient use. They are in a secure section of the Emergency Department. Please ask your nurse and they will put your phone on charge for you.

What time are meals served?

Breakfast 7am, Lunch 11am and Dinner 5pm

Where can I get food and drink? 

You can ask the Emergency Department staff for food, water, tea or coffee. Please ask your nurse if you would like something. There are also several cafes located on the PA Hospital premises. If you have a family member or carer present you can also order food via a courier service (e.g., Uber eats) and they can collect it for you.

When will the Doctors visit?

Doctors generally see their patients in the morning 8am 
Afternoon round 2pm.  Doctors always in the 

Where is the nearest pharmacy? 

PA Hospital has a pharmacy department that is open.  This pharmacy is only able to dispense prescriptions that have been written by the hospital.  There are many other pharmacies in the area. They can be searched for on the ‘Find a pharmacy’ website. The postcode for the PA Hospital is 4102.

What is the ED phone number?

Patients can be contacted via Switch – 3176 2111

Can I have visitors? Who can stay with me?

Visitors (family / carers) can attend the Emergency Department with you as long as there are no current COVID-19 restrictions. Visitor restrictions can change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For the latest update please see here.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours are generally from 10am – 8pm for the hospital.  However, these do not apply for family / carers who are staying with someone in the ED


Parking is available onsite.  Information on the drop-off zones and carparks can be found here.

Blankets / pillows

If you are cold and require additional blankets or another pillow, please ask your nurse.

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.
Last updated 7 September 2022
Last reviewed 7 September 2022