Telephone Triage . . . I'm Hesitant.


I've been considering seeking a position at a doctor's office for some time now . . . I guess my motivation is to get away for the unrealistic expectations I feel like I've been experiencing most of my time as an RN (maybe it's just the reality of a career in healthcare these days?) Anywho . . .

My background. . . RN, BSN.

Nursing Home for 2 years. MedSurgTele 2 years. Hemodialysis Outpatient 1 year currently.

Nursing Home: sucked.

MedSurgTele: good knowledge base/experience, but I wanted a specialty and better work/life balance.

Hemodialsis: I feel like I'm just running a production line and I hate the whole wake up at 4 am and work for 14-15hours. And of course, unrealistic expectations.

I want to try the Monday-Friday 9-5, no holidays/weekends/nights. No life or death situations. Develop a rapport with physicians and patients. I've perused the threads here. Seems like I'm getting a pretty similar sequence here of rooming the patient, vital signs, chief complaint, lab work, prior authorizations (?), and telephone triage.

My concerns: Prior Authorizations (I don't know what these are but I'm going to assume) Is this basically filling out paperwork in order for the doctor order medications? Like, proof that it's medically necessary in order for insurance to cover it? If that's the case, does it make you feel like glorified secretaries? (I mean no offense here. Please. I just want real, honest feedback. Emphasis on "feel like.")

Telephone Triage: This may be my weakness. I'm so used to just saying: "I don't know. Let me ask the doctor." Like, how available are the doctors in the offices? I feel like your critical thinking has to be strong here. How was it for you starting out in a doctor's office and a patient called with a medical concern? How confident were you in handling that situation?

Any feedback would be great here. Thanks!

Has 13 years experience.

It's like any nursing role. You will learn as you gain experience. RN's have many options in an outpatient setting. In my clinic they can work as hospital liaisons (follow up our patients who were inpatient), they run the Coumadin clinic - titrating doses and providing education, in the cardiac clinic the round with the providers at the hospital, in surgery - they do surgery. There are some that work primary care and they primarily do triage, prior auths, patient education, and rooming with providers. They will do point of care testing, give medications, give vaccines, etc.

Your options are only limited by the positions available and your willingness to learn.


4 Posts

Thank you! That's very helpful.