Who is a triage nurse?
The term “triage” is derived from “trier” which is a French word, which means to choose or to sort out something. The main responsibility of a triage nurse is to check the severity of the conditions of the patients. If the person’s condition is very bad, then they will be given priority over those whose conditions are a little better and stable. Because it depends, upon these nurses whether the patients would be able to see the doctor quickly or not, it is very important for them to be trained and experienced in the work that they do. There might also be a telephonic triage nurse. The duty of this nurse is to listen to the problems of the patients through the telephone and then determine whether they need to approach the hospital immediately or not.
Different tasks performed by a triage nurse?
When a person approaches a triage nurse, they will make sure that the patient is scheduled with the correct doctor. There are a lot of patients in the emergency room and their need to visit the doctor may differ from another person. This nurse is required to use their experience, knowledge and thinking to decide which one of the patients is in most critical condition. This is because the number of doctors are limited as compared to the number of patients who visit the hospitals hence it is important to know which patient needs an emergency treatment.
One method to determine the condition of the patient is through the ESI, which is the Emergency Severity Index, and it helps the triage nurse to give an approximate evaluation of the situation of the patient. Moreover, one of their tasks is to make sure that if a patient arrives in a critical condition, they are required to try to stabilize their condition by making use of I.V. fluids and other methods to protect their lives. Additional work comprise of taking phone calls and scheduling the appointments of patients with their respective doctors so that the patient is able to find out if he or she is suffering from any severe problem that needs urgent treatment or not.
Why should triage nurses be experienced and well aware of their tasks and job responsibilities?
A triage nurse is the first experienced person that a patient might meet in an emergency room and this nurse identifies whether the patient is stable enough to wait before getting a treatment or not. Because it is the job of this nurse to identify the condition of the patient, they have to be very cautious about it because one little can cost them the life of their patient. They should also be aware of the doctor who will be responsible to treat the patient who approaches them. This depends on the type of treatment that the person needs and all these jobs require these nurses to be extra attentive and experienced in their work so that the probability of making any sort of mistake is minimized.