LTC/Rehab nurse transitioning into outpatient clinic as Advice Nurse

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    I have only worked for less than a year and am looking into transitioning to be an advice nurse. The eligibility for this position the experience is not needed. Experienced triage nurses what are your thoughts? Has anyone gone through this transition? How was it like? What do you recommend in preparation? What are the pros/cons? I am curious with the liability I'll have to take on giving medical advices over the phone and trying to prepare myself as much as possible before accepting a job. Any information would be of appreciation!!! Thank you in advance.

    :spin:
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    ttt-n- I am not quite "experienced" yet, as I have been doing telephone triage not even 1 year yet. But I can offer my 2 cents. I would ask about what kind of training they offer, and what does it entail? What type of system do they have in place as far as decision making tools, i.e. standardized protocols to help guide you. How are calls documented? Do you write on paper forms for triage or in computer, or are they recorded as well? Is there QA done on calls? What kind of resources/help will you have for difficult calls? Are there metrics (call handling time, etc)? Are there interpreters (if your caller can't speak English well)? Do you have standardized advice references for common conditions?

    Pros and cons- Pros-I like dealing with one person at a time. It is interesting to say the least. You do feel you are helping others. You do have to learn to be clear in communication both to and from the caller. It is nice to be working "clean" and not working with body fluids and infectious diseases. You do have to do critical thinking. You do draw on your real life nursing experience. Cons-There are expectations for call length/handle time, which can be difficult to meet. It can be difficult to get a clear picture of what is going on sometimes, and this can be stressful.Some calls are very complex and high risk. It can be rough if the call volume is high, as you don't get much "down" time, and take call after call after call. It can be difficult to give advice on subjects that you may have little experience with.

    I would read posts on this forum, and there are also telephone triage websites to look at, too.
    This is one I like:
    http://telephone-triage.com - Home

    Good luck! I am glad I made the transition, even though I am not feeling like a pro at this yet. It is stressful, too, for different reasons. It is different than bedside nursing. You might find you like it. I wish you well!
    ttt-n likes this.
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    Thank you soooooo much for taking the time to share with me! Those are great questions as I am not exposed to this area. The pros you mention is what is definitely reeling me in to this career. Yes I keep thinking about no down time, but to think of it I rarely have downtime where I work. I'm always running once I hit the floor. If I have downtime its a miracle! I will keep you update on my decision. Yes I understand each job has its stress and that is going to be any job. =)

    One thing I am looking forward to this job if I get a offer is honing on my critical thinking and assessment skills. This is the challenge I am looking forward to.

    Do you work for a clinic or for a hospital? Do you keep a bedside job as PRN?


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