Inside look at how hospital fever clinic operates

THE fever clinic set up at Ipswich Hospital was seeing up to 100 people a day during its busiest period and has tested more than 4500 residents for coronavirus so far.

It was established on March 8 as one of five clinics across the West Moreton Health region.

The clinic is set up in the Jubilee Building, which is just off to the side of the hospital's emergency department.

West Moreton Health is urging anyone with even mild symptoms to get tested to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

All 39 confirmed cases in West Moreton have recovered with no current active cases.

Medicine division nursing director Donna Clausen encouraged anyone who has a slight cough, sore throat or a runny nose to get tested.

West Moreton Health medicine division nursing director Donna Clausen and clinical transitions nursing director Jo Johnson at the Ipswich Hospital fever clinic set up in the Jubilee Building.
West Moreton Health medicine division nursing director Donna Clausen and clinical transitions nursing director Jo Johnson at the Ipswich Hospital fever clinic set up in the Jubilee Building.

"Patients are provided with a mask when they arrive," she said.

"Admin officers bring the person into the clinic. They then take their details and register them in the system. Then they're met by a nurse in the waiting room.

"The nurse then does the screening criteria which asks them about their signs and symptoms. "They do a set of observations to make sure the patient is stable as well.

"They then take them into one of our clinic rooms where they actually perform the test.

"The test is a swab so they put a swab up the patient's nose and also swab at the back of the patient's throat."

The Ipswich Hospital clinic is staffed by three nurses and an assistant nurse, who assists with keeping everything clean.

Another nurse is available if it is a particularly busy day and it is open seven days a week from 11am to 5.30pm.

All staff are in personal protective equipment - mask, goggles, apron and gloves - and patients are required to wear a mask at all times.

"When we first set up we were having some very big numbers through," Ms Clausen said.

"Sine days we were having 100 people through. That's when our international borders were open.

"Our numbers have started to increase again."

Ms Clausen said anyone who gets a test can expect to get a result back between 24 and 48 hours.

"All the testing goes to Brisbane," she said.

"It's usually on average 24 hours.

"We want anyone who even has the mildest symptoms to come forward and be tested. The procedure is a little bit uncomfortable but it's not an invasive procedure."