Techs Triaging

Specialties Emergency



I wanted to see if you guys use techs for triaging patients. I was working in triage last weekend and came back from a bathroom break to find a tech triaging patients. She was marking the man as non-urgent and writting a note about him. I asked her to stop thinking this was something a nurse should do. I asked one of the other RNs in the department and she said they are allowed to do this sometimes.

It seems like a really bad idea.

Is this legal?



159 Posts

Hmmm, Sounds crazy to me. Maybe your hospital should let the janitors do it also. I have done critical care for 10+ years, and still today some of the decisions i have to make in triage scare me. Maybe ignorance is bliss :chuckle


174 Posts

Specializes in ER.

I am an RN in a busy ER we only use techs at triage to get vital signs, not really sure why, since I still have to assess them myself. I do not feel this is a good. Triage needs to be done only by experienced nurses since the story and complaint usually changes several times before seen by MD. Techs should NOT be triaging anyone.

mommatrauma, RN

470 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Our techs are used as meeter-greeters...They can get name, birthday, cc, vs, they are not allowed to right a note, and they are not allowed to level a patient.


237 Posts

Specializes in emergency nursing-ENPC, CATN, CEN.

ENA standards of practice and guidelines has specific recommendations on the qualifications of a triage person. I guess if your hospital has no specific policy or guidelines on who may triage it's "legal"..... but may not be safe practice. I know some hospitals use EMTPs, PA/NPs and pysicians as well- these groups however usually have training regarding triage process.

I would make sure your hospital has checked JHACO guidelines as well regarding specifics on who can triage. We have to go through triage orientation and then every year we are "reassessed" on our ability to continue to meet standards of practice of triage through competencies, etc. These competencies also include yearly Hazmat Awareness Update classes per OSHA.



97 Posts

It won't happen where I work. Not even is an LVN allowed to triage patients. One otherwise very good lvn was recently terminated for triaging 3 patients because the RN's were "too busy". As recently as 2yrs ago it became a hospital policy that only RN's could triage. Before then LVN's were allowed to. But once this mandate came out, we were told it would be strictly enforced, and it is. Shoot.....I enjoyed "sharing" triage with all the nurses!


97 Posts

Oh yea...And only RN's who have taken a triage course can do triage. And the course becomes available to you after 2yrs of ER experience. I guess I understand develope a 6th sense and KNOW which patients need to be seen NOW.


20 Posts

The Medics and Nurses Triage in our ER. Then again we have identical job discriptions, other than we can do all the precedures and whatever the Doctor tells us to do.


54 Posts

CNa's gather the information when we are insanely busy, and a nurse checks the info and signs the form afterwards, but only in dire crazy emergencies, and the boss pretends to not notice.


27 Posts

techs are invaluable in our triage in assisting with vital signs, getting ekg's on chest pain patients (all get an ekg in triage - regardless of the bed status in the department) and in taking patients back to rooms. they do not elicit information regarding chief complaint or ever level a patient! :uhoh21:

only rn's in our department can "triage" a patient (although a lvn can take report from ems/ambulance patients who are placed immediately in a room - they don't have to decide who will be brought back first). we have had a couple techs who wanted to do triage, started to ask the questions, and had to be reined in very quickly! these techs tended to also be the ones who didn't want to splint, ambulate or clean up patients - preferred to start iv's, ask about pain level, etc (nurse wanna-be stuff). i think techs are great, can make my job easier if they know their role - but can make my life difficult when they keep trying to do my job..... :nono:


4 Posts

tracelane wrote..."I asked her to stop thinking this was something a nurse should do." Did you mean that only nurses should think?

mommatrauma, RN

470 Posts

Specializes in ER.
tracelane wrote..."I asked her to stop thinking this was something a nurse should do." Did you mean that only nurses should think?

I think it was a punctuation "I asked her to stop, (insert comma) thinking this was something a nurse should do."

I don't think it was meant that only nurses should think..

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