so a quick run down. just wanted opinions.
59 yr old male patient in ESRF comes into the ER. wife signs him in and describes that he is "finishing dialysis (home hemodialysis), rapid heart rate, feeling of fist in throat and constant burping." (that is exactly what she wrote down). two nurses are behind the window, one seems concerned and the other says, "well we will get to you we can". in a not so nice tone. there was about 3 other people waiting to be seen in the waiting room, 3 in peds waiting. and nobody was in the back being seen by triage. he waited for 15 minutes before being seen. I am still a student, and have not had experience in triage, but wouldn't they be a bit more urgent and concerned with him? again, i know it all depends on whatever else they have, but their attitude just really kind of sucked. (well the one nurse). anyhoo, turns out he was in afib. his HR was all over the place but seemed to be fond of the high 170s.
my father is the said patient.
Sep 19, '12
by NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator
Your father was experencing an urgent change in condition, not necesarily a critical sitution in which seconds count.
Critical seen immediately is chest pain, knife stabbing, gunshot wound, severe motor vehicle accident or trauma. A 15 min to 30 min wait in person not struggling to breathe with these symptoms to be seen by triage RN is about average --in larger jamm packed ER's wait may be longer.
Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Sep 19, '12
The one thing that patients do not see is the triage nurse informing the charge that "This person needs a room now." The charge then needs to FIND a room appropriate (available suction, cardiac monitoring, whatever) and then get that patient back. If you take this into account, waiting in an ER for only 15 minutes IS immediate attention. I can guarantee someone was watching on the cameras in case they needed to run out and help him.
Wait times in the emergency room are a major contention point for patients. I usually introduce myself and tell them right away about wait times. "You're blood's been drawn, EKG is looking good, and Xray needs to be developed. I know it's going to feel like we are ignoring you but we really aren't. We are checking you every time we walk by and are watching your heart from the desk at the same time. So now it's all waiting until we get your results back. I know this is the worst part for patients so bear with us, it can take around 2 hours."
So far it's only failed me maybe 10% of the time. As long as people know why they're waiting and that we aren't ignoring them they're pretty ok with it. Patient personalities are a totally different ballgame.
Last edit by NurseOnAMotorcycle on Sep 19, '12
: Reason: spelling