PAC celebrates 25 years of excellenceSep 25, 2020
Port Macquarie Base Hospital’s Pre-Admission Clinic (PAC) is celebrating a remarkable 25 years of service … and it all started with one Registered Nurse.
While Seal’s Kiss from a Rose was top of the charts, Registered Nurse Colleen Baillon was hard at work establishing a PAC, intent on reducing risks for patients about to undergo elective surgery.
Her first clinic was held on 25 September 1995. Two-and-a-half decades later, the Nurse Unit Manager is justifiably proud of PAC’s patient-focused service and her remarkable team.
“The clinic has always focused on improving the quality of care for the hospital’s elective surgery patients, identifying the risks they might face before their procedure and addressing those risks through behavior modification or referring them to other specialists,” Colleen said.
“Our team is determined to change our patients’ journey by making them comfortable about what lies ahead.
“The documents for every patient added to the waiting list are triaged to decide whether they need to attend PAC and approximately 80 per cent of elective surgical patients will attend for pre-op assessment. Every patient attending PAC sees a rostered anaesthetist and we ensure every patient has a say in their treatment.”
PAC’s first year saw Colleen making appointments, performing assessments and following up – everything from answering the phone to reading cardiographs, from triaging patients to completing the paper work in a pre-computer era.
A year later, Colleen had a work colleague, a clerk to help with the paperwork, and another year on, an EN joined the team.
Today, PAC’s team has expanded to keep pace with a rapidly growing population, with clinics operating every day, and two clinics operating Wednesdays and Thursdays. Their clients include Day Only, General Surgery, Orthopaedic, ENT, Vascular, Paediatric, Dentals, Gynaecology and Urology patients.
The team works closely with anaesthetists, medical specialists and their teams, the Acute Pain Service, pathology, radiographers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other Allied Health professionals.
It’s a team effort, based on compassion and professionalism, with a little bit of humour to brighten the patients’ day.
“The PAC team is committed to quality care. They are hard-working, amazing people,” Colleen said.
“They always step up and our patients always come first.
“I’m very proud of my staff.”
Port Macquarie Base Hospital Deputy Director of Nursing, Division of Surgery, Women’s and Children’s Services, Orinda Jones, had high praise for the PAC team.
“From its humble beginnings, the PAC has grown from seeing general surgery patients to day surgery patients and now includes general surgery, orthopaedics, dental, vascular, gynaecology, urology and ear, nose and throat surgery,” Ms Jones said.
“From approximately 500 patients seen in the clinic in 1995, this had expanded to 3500 patients two decades later, which is testament to the success of the service and the team.”