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Meet Cabrini’s detective squad


If you’re booked in for a planned operation at Cabrini, chances are the first people you’ll hear from are Julie-Anne Gale and her group of nurses.

The team of 21 “detective nurses” contact all of Cabrini’s pre-operative patients – getting a thorough rundown of their medical background prior to admission.

“We contact patients 24-48 hours in advance of their admission and go through a complete background with them before they come in. This includes things like their medical history,” Julie-Anne said.

The team typically interview over 140 patients each day – gathering all the essential information to make each patient’s admission as seamless as possible.

“Sometimes you have to be a detective to extract all the information you need. If you have a list of all the patient’s medications, you can often deduce a lot about their medical history.

“For example someone might tell you they don’t have any medical conditions, but the list says they’re on a number of cardiac medications, which requires further investigation.”

The team often have to go even further to make sure the information they’re gathering is all accurate.

“Patients often have pill storage boxes and they’re not familiar with what’s in them, so sometimes we have to contact pharmacies or doctors’ rooms to get a list of each patient’s medications to make sure we’ve got correct information.

“It’s hugely vital. We have to be so careful that the information we have is right.”

To ensure that the information is right, the team make sure all bases are covered.

“It’s not just about their medical history – if they have complex care needs, we need to be on top of that too and make sure there’s access to things like wheelchairs.

“We also make sure they know exactly where they’re going and provide information on how to get here, transport options, and make sure they have their information on when they should be fasting, all those sorts of things too.

“We’re mostly the first point of contact for patients coming in – so it’s really important we make a good impression, get a comprehensive background, and get their Cabrini experience off to a positive start.”