Monash Health: United by Stroke

This National Stroke Week, the theme is ‘United by Stroke’. This serves as a reminder that stroke care at Monash Health is provided by a large multidisciplinary team, who work together to provide the best care for stroke patients.

The service spans across many treatment and support areas including:

  • Neurology
  • Emergency medicine
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • NeuroInterventional radiology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Anaesthetics
  • Intensive care
  • Acute inpatient care
  • Allied health
  • Pharmacy
  • Clinical research
  • Subacute services.

Jodie Rabaut is a Stroke Clinical Nurse Consultant whose role includes providing support and education to patients and families.

“Stroke Clinical Nurse Consultants are unique in that they follow the patient’s journey from the emergency department attending stroke codes through to discharge. Clinically, we support and provide education to nursing staff and other disciplines, and we also support discharge planning”.

Jodie highlighted that stroke patients are treated by a large team consisting of nurses, allied health, radiology, and a neuro nurse educator. All of these disciplines are crucial in providing care and management of the patient’s condition.

Andy Lim is an Emergency Physician at Monash Medical Centre and represents the emergency department as the stroke liaison.  The emergency department is the first point of treatment for a stroke patient.

“Our team receives the patient from Ambulance Victoria or as a walk-in, calls a Stroke Code to activate the hyperacute team, and supports the stroke team in taking care of the patient during their initial part of the journey”.

Andy said “stroke is a complex disease process, and the evaluation and management of such a condition draws upon expertise from many fields. By working together as one team, precious lives from our community can be protected from harm.”

The theme ‘United by Stroke’ also calls for the community to be aware of the signs of a stroke by learning the F.A.S.T. (Face. Arms. Speech. Time) Test.

F.A.S.T.  is an easy way to remember and identify the most common signs of a stroke. The F.A.S.T.  Test involves asking the following questions:

  • Face – Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms – Can they lift both arms?
  • Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time – Is critical. If you see these signs, call 000 straight away.

(The Stroke Nurse team displaying the F.A.S.T. Test. Please note: this photo was taken pre-COVID-19 restrictions.)

Andy said, “the F.A.S.T. stroke test is easy to apply and has the potential to make an incredible difference to the affected person”.

Jodie added, “awareness of F.A.S.T. is essential in recognising a stroke. Early recognition of these signs should alert the community to call Ambulance Victoria immediately to get to hospital rapidly”.

Well done to the entire stroke team, who continue to provide exceptional care to patients at Monash Health.