"telephone triage" - page 2

Hey, looking for some info here. What is your ER policy for "telephone triage" or advice? I always tell nurses to tell them what they are comfortable with but always tell them that they may come to... Read More

  1. by   JBudd
    Your hospital should have a policy for answering advice calls. If they don't, you and the hospital are totally liable for bad advice. Our hospital's official policy is no advice may be given whatsoever, there is even a "dialogue" sheet that we can read so we get the wording right. ie: your health is important to us, blah blah blah. Most people accept it when I say I'm not allowed to give advice by hospital policy, but that their doctor can, or we see anyone who comes through our door. I even give out the anwering service numbers. The exception is if they had been seen here, and had a question about something we had told them or prescribed for them.
  2. by   JBudd
    Originally posted by nrw350
    Tonight I had a call that really bothered me. I can not really classify it as a drug-seeker or what. But I recieved a call from a person wanting their primary care doctor to prescribe a "nerve-pill" because they were having a hard time dealing with the death of their daughter.

    I AM NOT TRYING TO BE COLD HERE PLEASE KNOW THAT. But I have hard time understanding why drugs would be prescribed for situations like this. Because to me I would thinkt they would do more harm than good. Dont know how to describe it though. Please help. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Sometimes when you hurt so bad you can't stand it, you get into a vicious cycle of guilt, blame, hurt, sorrow & grief. A temporary break in the cycle, even just one or two good nights of drug induced sleep can get you back on track to coping. Most people have a period of numbness after a death that lets you put some distance between you and the event, but without it, a "nerve pill" can help. Wouldn't do it long term though. After my husband died, that numbness let me deal with buying a cemetary plot, arranging the funeral, supporting his family, and most importantly, be there for our 3 preteen children without breaking down all the time. Didn't need pills, but can surely understand the request.
  3. by   debbyed
    We are not alowed to give any medical advice over the phone and we never give the phone to a doc.

    Depending on what the patient wants our answers are generally:

    Hang up and call 911

    Call you doctors office, the answering service will direct you on how to reach the doctor........Yes there is aways a doctor on call

    Since you question is about medication, please call your pharmacist, or the pharmacist at _________ which is open 24 hours. They have the up-to-date information about your medicine,

    Hang up and call poison control at ___________.

    The wait is currently 5-6 hours ( no matter what the wait is) (Don't tell anybody I said that):angel2: Honest boss, I would never say that.................
  4. by   sandgroper
    We get a lot of calls in our ED. Most people want advice eg how do I get my child's temp down? I have a cut on my hand do I need a tetanus shot? What are the symptoms of meningococcal meningitis? etc etc

    For all of these and a wide range of queries, we can give information but always ends with an invitation or advice to see their doc.

    All details of the call are recorded on a triage form which has a section for follow-up. I quite often call back the person to see if my advice was useful or not.

    And yes, we get the calls asking us if we are busy right now and would it be OK to come in and have their sore toe looked at. Stock answer..."come when it is convenient for you (politeness always stuns them) if you are the most seriously ill person in the waiting room then you won't have to wait long"