The culmination of a weekend of excess creates one of the busiest periods for staff at Ballarat Base Hospital’s Emergency Department.
However the nurses and doctors who will work through the four-day weekend will do so with Christmas cheer and a smile on their faces.
Unlike other services, which partially shut or close for the Christmas week, the hospital’s Emergency Department will continue to operate at full capacity.
Nurse unit manager Kirsty McLean said although the morning of December 25 can see the day start quietly, things will start to pick up in the evening and through Boxing Day.
“The ailments people had all day will see them come in for things like a sore chest,” she said.
“Or they might have injuries or falls from children’s toys – which includes adults using their kids presents.”
Scooters and trampolines were two of the usual suspect when it came to holiday injuries. However Ms McLean also said food was a big driver if illness, with people leaving it out for too long before they go back for seconds.
For those who do find the need to visit the hospital, there will be Christmas decorations and possibly a visit from Santa during the day.
Emergency Department director Dr Pauline Chapman said no one loved working Christmas, but it was all part of the job.
“We dress up and staff have their Christmas scrubs or Santa hats,” she said.
“We have to be here, so you can either be miserable or pop on a Santa hat and have fun.”
Both Dr Chapman and Ms McLean will be working through the holidays this year, however the pair said they have only one request of patients – be patient if it gets busy.
“Remember we are available, we are a 24-hour service with regular staffing,” Ms McLean said.
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