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Advanced scope of physio helps emergency patients

19 July 2019

Rockhampton Hospital has a specially qualified Emergency Physiotherapy Practitioner helping patients be seen quickly in the Emergency Department.

Campbell Murfin is ensuring the right patient care is delivered in the right place at the right time. He has post-graduate qualifications to be first point of contact for patients with soft tissue sprains and strains, fractures, back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries.

A range of medical conditions can commonly present to the Emergency Department that appear like musculoskeletal injuries, and it takes an experienced and well qualified clinician to be able to assess and decide when further investigation or treatment is required.

Campbell has developed skills that mean he can apply plasters and splinting, undertake simple joint reductions of fractures and dislocations and provide treatment and advice on injury management and what patients can expect during their injury.

He can independently see a range of musculoskeletal injuries, freeing up doctors and nurse practitioners to see other patients, and he sees about 2000 patients a year.

Part of his role is also to be part of the multidisciplinary team; involving doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and other allied health professionals to assess, treat and coordinate the care of patients. This ultimately leads to better outcomes for patients and timely management of their health conditions.

“Not everybody needs to be admitted to a hospital or see a doctor when they present to Emergency, especially if they have back pain, sprains, strains or fractures,” Campbell said. “Sometimes it can be assessed, diagnosed and treated by an Emergency Physiotherapy Practitioner and follow-up arranged with their GP, medical specialist or private physiotherapist.

“Physiotherapy in the Emergency Department is a new frontier and rather than being reactive (when getting a referral when a patient has already been in hospital for a few days), we can be there from the beginning and be part of the decision-making process,” he said.

Campbell and his boss, Director of Physiotherapy Tyrone Kolbe, have been named finalists in the Clinical Excellence Award in CQ Health’s 2019 Staff Recognition Awards. The award winners will be named at a presentation in Rockhampton next week (July 25).

Campbell is honoured to be named a finalist.

“It’s recognition for a lot of work done over the past five years with my studies, and it shows that CQ Health is looking at different models, so we can meet the needs of the people in Central Queensland,” he said.

Latest data shows 4104 patients visited the Rockhampton ED in June 2019, with an average wait time to treatment of just 13 minutes.

Data from June 2019 for the whole of CQHHS:

  • Number of ED presentations: 10,945
  • Average wait time: 10 minutes
  • 54 Category 1 (most sick, seriously injured) patients, all seen on time
  • 83% of patients whose ED stay was within 4 hours (target is 80%)
  • 467 patients had elective surgery (99.4% seen on time)

of Emergency Physiotheraphy Practitioner Campbell Murfin (left) and Director of Physiotherapy Tyrone Kolbe, finalists in the 2019 CQ Health Staff Recognition Awards

Last updated: 1 August 2019

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Phone (07) 4920 6711

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