What is?


I'm gonna keep posting questions about these different types of nursing until I know it by heart. What exactly is telephone triage nursing?


128 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 8 years experience.

Telephone Triage is just what it says. Triaging pts over the phone. I work in a very large pediatric practice. In our practice only RNs can do phone triage. Some offices have LPNs do phone triage.

When a pt is sick they call us and we "triage" them-in other words, assess them over the phone. Using our "astute nursing knowledge" (& a protocol book by Barton Schmidt,MD),we determine from their s/s if they can take care of them at home, need to be seen by a Dr/NP or if its something that needs to be treated in the Emergency Dept. The book is indexed by s/s. For example, a mom calls in because her 3 yo has vomited. There are a series of questions we ask Mom to determine if the child needs to be seen or not. Questions like, How long has he been vomiting? How many times? Is he able to keep anything down at all? Does he have a fever? (if yes to this, then ask the Fever questions too). When was his last void?

I really enjoy TT but couldn't do it 40hrs a week. In our office, we rotate between TT and direct pt care. I don't want to lose my (practical) skills.

I hope this helps!



73 Posts

Another form of Telephone Triage nursing is the on-call RN, who "triages" questions and decides from symptoms told and questions asked/answered what course of action to take. The course of action can be ER, home visit (I've come from a hospice background), physician call, but solid experience and trust in your judgement really comes in. This is not said in attempt to sway you in any way.

TT triage nursing 'calls' require prioritizing of patient needs.

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