The conversations of life

‘Nurse of the Year’ developing mobile emergency department for aged care residents


The Western NSW Local Health District’s 2019 Nurse of the Year, Melissa Hanson, says she wants to save residents from “unwanted and unavoidable” visits to the emergency department – so she’s making one that comes to them.

Ms Hanson says visits to the ED are an upheaval for aged care residents, while their nursing home is “where they feel safe”.

“For example, I am hoping I will be able to start infusions for women and men who have cellulitis”, she told The Daily Liberal.

“Or if they were to fall and perhaps have a fracture . . . we could take them in our little transport van for an X-ray and then take them straight back to the nursing home. Then we liaise with consultants outside instead of them sitting in an emergency department bed waiting.”

Ms Hanson is collaborating with Dubbo Hospital’s Emergency Department and the health district’s Patient Flow Transport Unit, and hopes to have the mobile system up and running in two years.

She’s also set to visit New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital on a scholarship to gain greater knowledge of the model of care which she says is being applied in “quite a few places” in Australia.

Fantastic work.

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