A nurse who performs triage via telephone has a challenging job.
Nursing training teaches nurses to assess the patient from the second they see it.
The head to toe assessment is based on the initial presentation and the look of the patient.
During triage, nurses identify whether the patient is awake, their skin tone, and if there are symptoms of distress.
Often experiences nurses operate off their gut feelings, and when their experience tells them that something is wrong or might go wrong in a short time.
When doing a telephone triage, a nurse cannot perform all previous stress.
The initial telephone communication between a patient and triage nurse includes talking about the main complaint.
Once the nurse gets information about it, he or she asks various questions to find the cues which will point out other health issues and possible complications.
For example, a patient might call to complain about fatigue and shortness of breath, which can be a sign of cardiac issues or breathing issues as well.
The nurse must assess the patient and ask specific questions to determine the appropriate further actions.
How does a nurse who does telephone triage get all the needed clinical information?
In many organizations, there is an established telephone triage protocol.
The protocols are developed to ensure that none of the assessment prices are missed.
Clinical staff, physicians, nurses, administrators, and others, are in charge of protocols development.
They review and update protocols regularly to meet the latest findings from current evidence-based practice.
Another critical factor that ensures that the best triage is responsible for reporting.
All safety issues and adverse patient outcomes are subject to review and should be used as experience for improvement.
Nurses are basically patient advocates, and they must report any safety and patient care concerns.
Ongoing nursing education is also important for ensuring the best triage and patient care.
In ideal terms, nurses and other medical staff should be familiar with the latest research and results from the case studies.
Didactic teaching should be part of regular staff education.
Telephone triage nurses are very important in healthcare.
They are on the front line and often have initial contact with patients.
They can help patients avoid unnecessary ER visits, so physicians can focus on other patients.
Telephone triage nurses must keep track of the latest finding in healthcare and keep improving to ensure positive patient outcomes.