When you arrive

  • Hospitals can be a bit daunting at times and we do our best to provide a welcoming environment. Below are some of the areas and processes you will encounter on your visit to The Royal Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.   

    Concierge Desk:

    On presentation to emergency the child and their carer are first seen by our clerical staff who will check them in and ask a series of screening questions before being directed to wait for a triage nurse.  


    A triage nurse has advanced training to determine the urgency of the child’s problem and how quickly they need to be seen by an emergency clinician. The nurse will conduct an initial assessment of the child and discuss the presenting problem and concerns. This assessment may involve taking the child's temperature, weighing them and administering simple analgesia.  All patients are triaged the same way, regardless if they arrive via ambulance or walk in the front door.

    Depending on how sick or injured the child is, they may receive immediate treatment or need to wait a number of hours; the most seriously ill and critically injured children will always be seen immediately.

    Personal Details:

    After the triage nurse, a clerical staff member will then take Medicare and demographic details from the carer. These details ensure the correct patient identification processes are followed and assist with arranging any ongoing care. The family will then be directed to the relevant waiting or treatment area.  

    Waiting Areas:

    The Emergency Department can become very busy which can result in lengthy wait times. If a child is acutely unwell or injured they will be seen as a priority, children with less urgent healthcare needs will be asked to wait in one of the designated waiting areas.

    There are various waiting areas within the ED, it is important that you follow the directions given to ensure we can find you when it is your child’s turn to be seen by one of the staff in a consulting area.

    A waiting room team may assist in organising the child’s treatment whilst they are waiting to be seen; this ED team member can organise any necessary medication or x-rays that may be required. This is to assist in streamlining the child’s care plan and minimising the amount of time they need to spend in the department. The patient will then be called and directed to a consulting area to be seen by one of the Emergency Department staff.

      The waiting room can get very busy at times, below are some tips to keep it enjoyable for everyone:

    • If using a phone or tablet for entertainment, please keep the volume to a minimum as to not disturb other patients.
    • Under no circumstances is filming or photographing patients or staff allowed at any time.
    • Safety is our priority, please ensure children are not climbing on furniture or running in the waiting areas.
    • Please keep your belongings on you at all times and refrain from leaving them on chairs to ensure there is enough seating for all patients and carers. 

    If you feel your child is deteriorating or getting sicker whilst waiting to be seen, please let the waiting room nurse or clerical desk know.

    Code of Behaviour

    We aim to make The RCH a safe, professional and friendly environment, so please respect the rights of all those around you. Patients, relatives and staff all want to be safe in the ED. We have zero tolerance of aggressive or threatening behaviour. Anyone who is violent, abusive or disrespectful will be asked to leave by staff, security or police.