Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Aneurin Bevan Health Board has two Minor Injury Units in Ystrad Mynach and Ebbw Vale...
A growing number of nurses are now being trained as Emergency Nurse Practitioners or ENPs and their expertise is crucial in both the treatment of minor injuries and the reassurance and direction of patients that need more specialist treatment.
Both Minor Injuries Units have excellent access to X-Ray and diagnostic facilities.
Kim Knight is an ENP based in the Minor Injuries Unit in Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan in Ebbw Vale and is enjoying the challenges that her new role provides.
The skill of the ENP is not only treating minor injuries, but also identifying when a patient needs onward referral in cases where the condition is thought to be more serious.
“ENPs are highly trained enabling them to make clinical judgements regarding patient treatments and how care should be managed. These skills include knowing when patients require more specialist treatment. We provide a courteous, prompt and professional treatment and diagnostic service. In cases where we have to refer a patient for specialist management reassurance and guidance is given. This can be equally as important to them as any treatment we give.” Kim explains.
Whilst Accident and Emergency Departments continue to provide care for the most serious conditions, e.g. people with, for instance, crushing chest pain, shortness of breath, signs of stroke or acute abdominal pain, the role of our Minor Injuries Units is vital in providing emergency healthcare locally for range of minor injuries.
Waiting times in both Minor Injuries Units will be significantly less than in busy main Accident and Emergency Departments.
Remember to Choose Well this Winter.
“We need to inform the public more about the services that Minor Injuries Units provide and encourage people to use them more. The bigger Accident and Emergency Departments are increasingly busy with more serious cases so people with a minor injury will be seen much more promptly by nurses with high levels of skill in these units."
The unit in Ebbw Vale is developing fast, and is currently staffed by an ENP, supported by 4 minor injury practitioners and a health care assistant.
Currently the ENP is able to examine, interpret x-rays, diagnose and treat injuries sustained to hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles and feet and the list is expanding all the time.
Simple pain relief can be given and all nurses are trained in emergency plaster application.
Minor Injuries Units can treat the following -
- Minor head injuries where there has been no loss of consciousness, no vomiting, no blurred vision, no headache, no nausea no dizziness.
- Minor wounds
- Limb injuries
- Minor eye problems
- Animal bites and stings
People with, for instance, crushing chest pain, shortness of breath, signs of stroke or acute abdominal pain should go to their nearest Accident and Emergency department based at either Nevill Hall hospital, Abergavenny, Prince Charles hospital Merthyr Tydfil or the Royal Gwent hospital, Newport.
If in doubt whether to attend, or for reassurance please call
(01443) 802248 - Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr (24 hours and open all bank holidays)
(01495) 363318 - Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan (Opening times below)
Currently the unit is open 9am – 6pm Monday – Friday.
9am – 1pm Saturday
Closed Sunday and all Bank Holidays.
The unit has access to x-ray between the hours of 09.30am – 16.30pm Monday to Friday when an ENP is available.
When a condition is assessed as being more serious or needs the attention of a doctor, patients will be redirected to the most appropriate person or service to meet their needs.
Despite close links with local GP surgeries and primary care services in the community Minor Injury Units do not treat minor illness.