The good, bad, and ugly of telephone triage nurse

  1. As I have posted earlier, I'll be having an interview for a telephone triage nursing position some time this week. Would some one please post the good and the bad of the nature of this job? TIA.
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    Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 51; Likes: 8


  3. by   Almabella
    I would also like to see responses to this, but the telephone triage forum doesn't get much traffic so I don't have much hope.

    Just curious, where are you applying to? I applied for a job with Optumhealth (a division of United Health Group). My main motivation was to find an evening and w/e only position to avoid daycare for my little one. I found out during the interview that after 90 days I could work from home. Woo hoo! :hatparty:

    From my experience in a clinic setting doing phone triage, you really have to make sure you're asking the right questions and do a lot of reading between the lines. Patients don't always know what is the most important info to share. For instance, one pregnant pt called once c/o back pain. Ok, everyone has back pain when they're pregnant. And?

    Well, after some probing and asking her how she was managing the pain (by lying in bed all day), she then mentioned how her leg was "swollen and kind of purple. Is that normal?" Eeeek! She ended up having a huge DVT.

    I could see the down side as missing the face to face interaction. I like that, usually, and I know I'd miss it. On the other hand, you get to do lots of education and preventative care, which is good if that's what you like to do. You'd really get to bone up on your assessment skills and probably learn a lot. Your hands-on skills would get rusty.

    A lot depends on who you'd be triaging for. A clinic, hospital, insurance company, etc...Anyway, I hope you get some more responses here!

  4. by   webbiedebbie
    I will respond. I have been doing Telephone Triage for 2 yrs now. The good is that I don't have to work 12-hr shifts anymore, don't have to walk the hard floors, don't have the hospital or office politics, I can flex my hrs as needed, and I can take this job with me where ever I move.

    My specialty since 1989 has been OB/GYN. When I interviewed for this job, I didn't think I was qualified, but during the phone interview, I was given about 5 different sx scenes and did well. Most of what the company is looking for is Critical Thinking skills and Time Management. Basic Nursing knowledge is also conducive.

    We are never on our own during calls...we do have resource and the calls are guided by algorythms. Working from home is another incentive.

    The one thing I miss the most is not being around my collegues. I started working in a call center which I think is excellent training, but the training can be done from home as well.

    Telephone Triage is an excellent alternative for those who have medical/chronic issues.

    Please feel free to PM me for any questions.