qualifications for telephone triage

  1. I am 43 years old. I am a recent widow and have a 14 year old son. After my husband died {cancer} I quit my job as telephone triage nurse for a large medical school. I've been an LPN for 26 years and 17 as the triage nurse. I am returning to college in January and hope to go on and obtain a degree as a physicans assistant. Obviously I need to suopport myself and my son. I am looking into starting a homebased telephone triage service for a few local family practices. I am gathering information about grants etc...to get started.
    According to the guidlines from the NC board of nursing this role appears to be within the scope of LPN's. I never had anyone question that during my 17 years at the medical center. However reading all of these posts makes me wonder. I don't see any from LPN's. Could anyone shed any light on this for me? I am very enthused and excited about starting this new venture, but sure don't want to find out that LPN's are not qualified to practice this! Please help!
    Thanks for any feedback you can offer.
    Sincerely, Kim Osborne
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   tchgeechie
    Originally posted by Kimmlind:
    I am 43 years old. I am a recent widow and have a 14 year old son. After my husband died {cancer} I quit my job as telephone triage nurse for a large medical school. I've been an LPN for 26 years and 17 as the triage nurse. I am returning to college in January and hope to go on and obtain a degree as a physicans assistant. Obviously I need to suopport myself and my son. I am looking into starting a homebased telephone triage service for a few local family practices. I am gathering information about grants etc...to get started.
    According to the guidlines from the NC board of nursing this role appears to be within the scope of LPN's. I never had anyone question that during my 17 years at the medical center. However reading all of these posts makes me wonder. I don't see any from LPN's. Could anyone shed any light on this for me? I am very enthused and excited about starting this new venture, but sure don't want to find out that LPN's are not qualified to practice this! Please help!
    Thanks for any feedback you can offer.
    Sincerely, Kim Osborne
  4. by   tchgeechie
    HI
    I am sorry to hear about your husband.
    I am not sure about the rational but I currently work in a pediatric call center and I have been a pedi RN for 9.5 years. LVN's hav enot worked in many of the ER's only a very few who have lots of experience as you do but I have not seen any of those LVN"s triage patients. Essentially that is what telephone assessment is....... triage.
    It may be best for you to check with your board of nursing.
    I am not sure if I have helped but I do understand the desire to work from home.
    Good luck to you
    TCH


    Originally posted by Kimmlind:
    I am 43 years old. I am a recent widow and have a 14 year old son. After my husband died {cancer} I quit my job as telephone triage nurse for a large medical school. I've been an LPN for 26 years and 17 as the triage nurse. I am returning to college in January and hope to go on and obtain a degree as a physicans assistant. Obviously I need to suopport myself and my son. I am looking into starting a homebased telephone triage service for a few local family practices. I am gathering information about grants etc...to get started.
    According to the guidlines from the NC board of nursing this role appears to be within the scope of LPN's. I never had anyone question that during my 17 years at the medical center. However reading all of these posts makes me wonder. I don't see any from LPN's. Could anyone shed any light on this for me? I am very enthused and excited about starting this new venture, but sure don't want to find out that LPN's are not qualified to practice this! Please help!
    Thanks for any feedback you can offer.
    Sincerely, Kim Osborne
  5. by   nancym
    Originally posted by Kimmlind:
    I am 43 years old. I am a recent widow and have a 14 year old son. After my husband died {cancer} I quit my job as telephone triage nurse for a large medical school. I've been an LPN for 26 years and 17 as the triage nurse. I am returning to college in January and hope to go on and obtain a degree as a physicans assistant. Obviously I need to suopport myself and my son. I am looking into starting a homebased telephone triage service for a few local family practices. I am gathering information about grants etc...to get started.
    According to the guidlines from the NC board of nursing this role appears to be within the scope of LPN's. I never had anyone question that during my 17 years at the medical center. However reading all of these posts makes me wonder. I don't see any from LPN's. Could anyone shed any light on this for me? I am very enthused and excited about starting this new venture, but sure don't want to find out that LPN's are not qualified to practice this! Please help!
    Thanks for any feedback you can offer.
    Sincerely, Kim Osborne
    According to some resources from Carol Rutenberg & Sheila Wheeler (gurus in telephone triage) RN's are licensed to do independent assessment, and generally have the experience (ER, OB, Peds) to perform triage. Again, this can be up for debate. You must carefully investigate what your state board of nursing says.
    Hope this is helpful.
  6. by   SHERCAT
    I can only tell you of the requirements of my employer-
    1- at least 3 years clinical experience
    2- Registerd Nurse
    3- previous experience in one of the following- ER, CARDIAC CARE, CRITICAL CARE OR INTENSIVE CARE
    4- No previous experience in telephone triage necessary- training provided.
  7. by   KidzRN
    Kim-

    I work at a pediatric call center doing calls for a large health department and 170+ private pediatric physicians. We only hire RN's, and althout not exactly sure why, (we follow protocols either from triage book or from software program), we do have a list of approved medications that can be called in for various illnesses and conditions. I was LPN many years ago and was unable to phone in medications at that time, but that may be different now.
    We hire new graduates, although they prefer some type of ED, PEDS or critical care experience. Extensive training prepares even a new grad for the job.

    We share a room with a Regional Poison Control center and they too hire only RN's, and prefer BSN's.

    Hope this helps!
  8. by   HDJRD1
    I am a Manager of a Home based Triage Company in NC. I checked with our board of nursing when we decided to hire LPNs to triage calls. The board said there was no set rule, however if we did hire LPNs they would have to be closely supervisor by an RN and an RN would have to agree with and countersign their assessments as is regulation in NC. Hope this helps. HDJRD1
  9. by   eltrip
    The requirements in our office, when I applied for the position 2 years ago included the following:

    1. RN, BSN
    2. At least 3 years of experience
    3. Computer literate
    4. VERY comfortable with the internet

    Now that I've been here for a while, I realize another very important skill: keeping your voice on an even keel when you just want to ROLTFL!
  10. by   HDJRD1
    This is definitely true!!
  11. by   Enabled
    I know here in Floridia an RN has to do the assessment in the hospital once every 24 hours even though LPNs do it in the interim. As others have suggested check with your Board. This could be a fine line and you might be just a bit out of scope of your license. In the previous employer they would ultimately take the heat if you had made an error as well as yourself. Be sure you have liability coverage as you give one wrong answer and that is the end of everything. I know many LPNs that I would trust over RNs because of their experience but in Florida an LPN must work under the direct supervision of a physician, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse. Triage is not a part of an LPNs training where the RN is suppose to have more extensive assessment skills and critical thinking.
    Good luck in your endeavors as a PA is a difficult program to get into but let us know when you do.
  12. by   RNConnieF
    I did telephone triage for 6 years as an LPN but it was in a doctor's office and we had a written procedure manual.
  13. by   Enabled
    Having a protocol is fine as that is similar to having standing orders on a floor. Those are no longer in existance where I work. My question is if doing it from home there is no access to a physican and let's face it as it is an educated guess as to what is going on. That scenario is what MDs go to school for and gain experience at long before they hang out the shingle. Doing this from home opens up a can of worms so to speak. Doing it from home with or without protocol basis what the patient is telling them and is thus diagnosing and treating. Many times it still means a trip to the docs office anyway. For example, if someone calls and says they haven't had a BM in 3 days it could be simple constipation or a small bowel obstruction and by suggesting any type of laxative can be devastating as to consequences.
  14. by   Going80INA55
    I too can only tell you the qualifications for my job.

    RN, with at least 4 years experience in a clinical setting. Preferably ER, ICU/CCU, cardiac

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qualifications for telephone triage