A Triage Nurse is a registered nurse positioned in an emergency room (ER) or facility; responsible for assessing patients and determining their level of need for medical assistance. The criteria used to evaluate a patient include the type of injury or illness, its severity, symptoms, patient explanation of emergency, and vital signs. A Triage Nurse is typically the first point of clinical contact for patients visiting an ER.
Responsibilities of a Triage Nurse include :
- Perform patient assessment
- Reassess patients who are waiting
- Initiate emergency treatment if necessary
- Manage and communicate with patients in waiting room
- Provide education to patients and families when necessary
- Sort patients into priority groups according to guidelines
- Transport patients to appropriate treatment areas
- Communicate status of patients to doctors and nurses
In situations when a patient’s condition is life-threatening, Triage Nurses are tasked with providing immediate medical treatment. In some facilities they answer patient phone calls and offer medical assistance.
Qualifications for a Triage Nurse
A Triage Nurse is an experienced registered nurse capable of demonstrating medical expertise in emergency settings. They should complete a triage education course to prepare them for the complexities of their role. Triage Nurses must also be able to multitask and make decisions when information is limited.