Before discussing the requirements and other descriptions for the job of triage nurse you must know what triage nursing is. The definition of this career given here will help in this respect. The jobs of triage nursing are among the most important jobs in the medical field as the first assessment of any patient admitted to the emergency ward is done by them. So the job of nursing triage can be defined as the process of early evaluation of the patient by a trained nurse in accident and emergency department to ensure that the patient is provided suitable attention at proper location as per his emergency requirements. This assessment includes the evaluation of mental and physical condition of the patient.
- Responsibilities of Emergency Nurses
- Telephone Triage Nursing
- Requirements of Education and Certification for Emergency Nursing Job
- Duties of a Triage Nurse
- Possible Salary
These nurses are responsible for taking quick decisions while deciding for the treatments required by the patient in an emergency room according to the severity of his condition. This job is not as easy as it appears to be as sometimes the situation becomes more chaotic and daunting in and around the emergency room. In such situation, the trained nurse has to complete the task perfectly and efficiently on the basis of her experience.
Some registered nurses interested in the job of nursing triage also go for telephone triage nursing jobs where they have to assess the problems of their patients on the phone. Such nurses either work as full-time nurse at call centres and do no other nursing work or do the nursing job along with working at telephone triage units at the emergency room at the office of a doctor or hospital. One must have the skills of careful listening, making good clinical decisions, assessment and critical thinking to be successful in this career field.
In order to help nursing triage professionals, telephone nurses should make effective decisions quickly on the basis of limited information available. Telephone Triage Protocols for Nurses can be used as readily accessible resource. They get over 200 triage protocols in this book which help them in evaluating the symptoms of the patients through telephone. In this book, several questions about each symptom have been listed in various groups according to the level of urgency so that the availability of the care to the patient can be decided and instructions for home care can be provided immediately.
In order to make a career in the field of triage nursing, one must have some basic education even if they are preparing for some other field of career. No specific education is required for this career field. Suppose one wants to appear for Bachelor and Master Degree in medicine after earning the degree of Associate in medicine even then he can work as a triage nurse to have hands on experience. A higher education can help you in earning a better salary than others.
One can start his career in this field through various ways:
- Diploma in nursing program from a hospital: It is the easiest way to get into triage nursing career. You can apply for this job after earning the degree of an Associate in medicine but if you apply after earning the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing then your chances will be brighter in this field.
- Certificate of National Council Licensure Examination: After graduating any of the nursing degrees one has to earn this certification to earn the licence of nursing to allow you to practice in this field after obtaining the state licence.
- Certificate of Certified Emergency Nurse: The trained nurses opting for nursing triage are also recommended to earn this certification which will help in determining the level of your skills along with upgrading your resume. The Board of Certification in Emergency Nursing conducts the exam to provide this certification to successful candidates.
You can apply for triage nursing jobs after earning any degree in nursing and having practical experience and knowledge of nursing in emergency conditions to help in the future. The primary duties of an emergency nurse include:
- Understanding the triage nursing definition in real sense
- Prioritizing the injuries according to their needs
- Assessment of physical and mental status of the patient
- Management of time in making quick and correct decisions about the line of treatment
The basic responsibility in triage nurse job description is that the registered nurse has to assess the patient, identify his medical issues, prepare his medical history, note down the information about his allergies and other metrics including height, weight, heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure within a short period of time. Sometimes they also have to perform the duties of bandaging the wounds after cleaning them, provide medication and take blood samples of the patients and maintaining the stock of medical supplies. They have to fix the priorities while assessing and sorting the patients in an emergency situation. Though the trained nurse triage determines the priority on the basis of her experience but the injuries on the chest, face, cardiovascular region and neck or considered as of highest priority.
The expected triage nurse salary depends upon the medical setting he/she works in as they can apply to an emergency centre in a hospital as well as independent emergency centres. Usually, cruise ships and prisons also hire the services of emergency nurses to take care of their clients or prisoners being transported to far off destinations. Thus, the starting salary in this field of career depends on various factors including the education of the professional nurse, types of medical setup and level of emergency conditions. You can get higher paying jobs to earn more salary if your education level is higher than an Associate nurse along with the number of years of your experience in this field. Your salary can also vary in various states in the US. The salary of an emergency nurse in the US can range between $54,000 and $82,000 per years and an average expected salary of an experienced emergency nurse can be near about $68,000.
Thus, the information provided in this write-up about the career of a triage nurse will help you to make a right decision in this regard.