Telephone Triage Nurses

Many hospitals around the country, particularly those that are running non profit, are finding themselves in a fiscal bind. With more Americans than ever living without health insurance, the burden is getting stronger on clinics and hospitals to provide care to people who cannot afford to pay for the services they receive. Today, there have been some new preventative measures taken to help release some of that burden. Telephone triage nurses are one way that many hospitals are trying to prevent “unnecessary patients.” These telephone triage nurses are there to help people who are uncertain whether or not they should seek more serious medical care, or if the problem can simply be treated at home with either over the counter medication or some other form of do it yourself treatment. Patients simply call one of the telephone triage nurses, describe their problems, give a brief description of themselves and answer a few questions. The nurse then makes a determination based on this information as to what the caller should do next.

Of course, this medical advice is not fool proof, but all telephone triage nurses must be educated and highly trained, and real nurses that do not just work on the phone. They are informative and helpful and if there is any doubt, the nurse is usually advised to seek a doctor to assist them or recommend that the patient come in personally. On the other hand, telephone triage nurses are a great help to our overcrowded health care system. By providing advice and information to people who otherwise would immediately go to the hospital or doctor’s office, they are saving medical care facilities millions of dollars per year in care that may not be needed. In today’s busy world, it’s nice that people can have someone to talk to and get medical answers from without having to make a set appointment or sit in a waiting room for hours.

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