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Connecting top talent with today’s healthcare leaders.

Triage Telephone

Reports To: Clinical Services Manager 

Job Summary: This position is responsible for providing triage (sorting/prioritizing patients) telephone service to ensure prompt identification of patients with high-risk conditions. 

Primary Job Responsibilities:
  1. Talks directly to patients on the telephone and then directs them to emergency rooms (ERs), urgent care centers, or to see their physician during office hours.
  2. Performs short evaluation of the patient situation to estimate severity of illness and/or injury including learning about chief complaint and, as possible, obtaining vital sign and mental status information.
  3. Determines urgency of seeing the patient based on brief assessment and on familiarity with a patient’s condition and history. 
  4. Uses computerized medical information database including algorithms that closely imitate physician logic and thought patterns, as guide. 
  5. Sends patients with high-risk chief complaints such as chest pain, abdominal pain, or severe headaches to ER immediately or arranges for ambulance. 
  6. Provides appropriate home health advice to patients who do not need to go directly to the ER.
  7. Ensures accurate notes of all consultations and treatments are recorded in the patients’ record via the clinical computer system.
  8. Arranges appointments for patients who do not need to go to ER but need to see a physician. Consults with physician as needed.
  9. Acts, when designated, in “Ask a Nurse” capacity, handling routine information requests from patients, e.g., “Do I need a flu shot every year? When are you giving these shots?”
  10. Performs other duties as assigned.
Education: RN degree; BSN or MSN degree preferred. On-the-job training in triage.

Experience: Minimum five years of experience as RN; one to two years of telephone triage experience, preferably in medical practice setting.

Other Requirements: 
  1. Current state RN license 
  2. Current CPR certificate
  1. Knowledge of telephone-based clinical assessment techniques.
  2. Knowledge of medical practice telephone triage protocols.
  3. Knowledge of medical terminology.
  4. Knowledge of appropriate home health information for patients to follow until physician appointment. 
  1. Skill in using electronic medical records to check patient history.
  2. Skill in using computerized medical information database during evaluation as guide to appropriate decision.
  3. Skill in making triage decisions and responding quickly and calmly in emergency situations such as calling 911 and arranging for ambulance.
  1. Ability to communicate clearly and calmly with patient.
  2. Ability to elicit information needed to make brief evaluation.
  3. Ability to work closely with physicians and other clinicians as needed.
  4. Ability to competently use Microsoft Office and appropriate practice management software. 
Equipment Operated: Telephone system at medical practice or contractor office. Computer hardware/software for access to patient history and medical information databases.

Work Environment: Office setting, well lighted, good air quality. Rare direct contact with patients.

Physical Requirements: Must possess the physical and mental abilities to perform the tasks normally associated with a Triage Telephone Nurse that is mostly a sedentary job. Hand/arm injury possible from repetitive movements. Requires hearing to normal range. Stress generated from high volume of calls and emergencies.
Disclaimer: Please note that this sample job description is intended to serve only as a guide.  It is important to note that state laws may vary regarding requirements concerning scope of practice, care, and/or service across different settings.  Prior to using this document, you should consult the appropriate state agency for any applicable state rules and regulations.

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