Phone Triage Nursing

Phone triage nursing, also referred to as telephone triage nursing, involves providing support, advice, and consultations by phone with customers, patients, and clients in order to cut out unnecessary visits to a clinic or emergency room. A phone triage nurse uses the telephone to determine what type of care is necessary and can then refer patients to health care providers instead of the emergency room or a clinic.

Similar to triage nursing, phone triage nursing involves the care of many patients that exceed the hospital or medical facility’s resources in that decisions have to be made on whose injuries need to be addressed first. Telephone triage nurses use their independent judgment and protocols to provide the best patient education possible via the phone to patients of every age with every diagnosis. Then, they rank patients in the order they need the most urgent care and direct them to further health care professionals if necessary. The goal of phone triage nursing is to reduce the number of unnecessary trips to the physician’s office or emergency room.

Phone triage nursing requires an active registered nurse license and typically are reached through a patient’s health plan, physician’s office, HMO, or advice center. The job has a varied caseload and regular hours, and it is not physically stressful, which could be beneficial to many people looking into this field of nursing. However, there is no face-to-face patient contact, along with spending a lot of time on the phone and having little chance to follow up with patients you advise.

Since nursing is growing as a profession as a whole, phone triage nursing could grow quite quickly within the next ten years, and there is a need for expertise in this field. A staple in the nursing field, phone triage nursing has been called the forerunner of telemedicine, or the use of radio, wire, visual, and other information technologies that supply clinical care to patients from a distance.

Want to become involved in phone triage nursing? You will need an advanced nursing degree, RN to BSN degree, or LPN to BSN degree. Or you can learn more about these programs from the University of Phoenix:
» Bachelor of Science in Nursing
» Master of Science in Nursing

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