Does my ER actually triage?

Specialties Emergency


I just don't understand... is my ER actually "triaging" people.. or are we just taking their vitals and writing down their chief complaint?

Everything at my ER is first come first served. doesnt make sense to me.. here's a scenario:

Patient #1 arrived at 1100

Complaint: Suture Removal

Patient #2 arrived at 1101

Complaint: Very painful and swollen leg, hx of DVT and PE

Should patient #1 really be brought to the first available bed, while patient #2 is still in the waiting room, who knows when the next bed will open.....

Sure, the suture removal will not take long, its just the only example I can think of... but I still don't see how this makes sense!!


197 Posts

Specializes in ER, education, mgmt.

Since the word triage literally means "to sort" then I would say, no- that is not triage. Triage is designed for limited resources (which we all deal with). If one bed is open, then by triaging the patients you as triage nurse determines who gets it.

Larry77, RN

1,158 Posts

Specializes in Trauma/ED.

With the scenario you mentioned in my dept we would send the suture removal either to "fast-track" for an ARNP or keep them in triage and remove them ourselves (if they had an order). The r/o DVT would go to main and be seen in the order of arrival of level 3's...

Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

3 Articles; 6,621 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health.

I guess the best question is what separates a great hospital from a mediocre one?

One big indicator is ---> ER triage practices.

A hospital's reputation and known practice of service provision are presented here first at the ER....a direct reflection of hospital and medical its best or worst.

The ER...where the "appropriate" buck starts or stops...right at the door.

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