Triage Licensed Practical Nurse
Posted On: 09/03/2019
Responsible for providing triage (sorting/prioritizing patients) telephone service to ensure prompt identification of patients with high-risk conditions.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Talks directly to patients on the telephone and then directs them to emergency rooms (ERs)or urgent care centers or to see their physician during office hours.
- 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.
- Determines urgency of seeing the patient based on brief assessment and on familiarity with a patient’s condition and history. May use computerized medical information database, which uses algorithms that closely imitate physician logic and thought patterns, as guide. Confers with physician as needed.
- Sends those with high-risk chief complaints such as chest pain, abdominal pain, or severe headaches to ER immediately or arranges for ambulance. May provide appropriate home health advice to those patients who do not need to go directly to the ER.
- Sets up appointment for patients who do not need to go to ER but need to see a physician or arranges for an appointment scheduler to make the appointment.
- 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?”
- Other duties as assigned may include but are not limited to:
- Fulfills patient care responsibilities as assigned that may include checking schedules and organizing patient flow; accompanying patients to exam/procedure room; assisting patients as needed with walking transfers, dressing, collecting specimens, preparing for exam, etc. collecting patient history; performing screenings per provider guidelines; assisting physicians/nurses with various procedures; charting; relaying instructions to patients/families; answering calls, and providing pertinent information.
- Fulfills clerical responsibilities as assigned that may include sending/receiving patient medical records; obtaining lab, hospital notes, referral information, etc.; completing forms/requisitions as needed; scheduling appointments; verifying insurance coverage and patient demographics; managing and updating charts to ensure that information is complete and filed appropriately.
- Fulfills environmental responsibilities as assigned that may include setting up instruments and equipment according to department protocols; cleaning exam/procedure rooms, instruments, and equipment between patient visits to maintain infection control; cleaning sterilizer according to scheduled maintenance program and keeping appropriate records; ordering, sorting, storing supplies; and restocking exam/procedure rooms.
- Fulfills organizational responsibilities as assigned including respecting/promoting patient rights; responding appropriately to emergency codes; sharing problems relating to patients and/or staff with immediate supervisor.
Education: Graduation from an approved practical nursing program. On-the-job training in triage.
Experience: Minimum five years of experience as LPN; one to two years of telephone triage experience, preferably in medical practice setting.
Other Requirements: LPN Board Certification required. Current CPR certificate.
- Knowledge of telephone-based clinical assessment techniques.
- Knowledge of medical practice telephone triage protocols.
- Knowledge of appropriate home health information for patients to follow until visit with physician, if they do not need an immediate ER visit.
- Skill in using electronic medical records to check patient history.
- Skill in using computerized medical information database during evaluation as guide to appropriate decision.
- Skill in making triage decisions and responding quickly and calmly in emergency situations such as calling 911 and arranging for ambulance.
- Ability to communicate clearly and calmly with patient.
- Ability to elicit information needed to make brief evaluation.
- Ability to work closely with physicians and other clinicians as needed.
Equipment Operated: Telephone system at medical practice or contractor office. Computer hardware/software for access to patient history and medical information databases. EHR required – NextGen preferred. MS Office including Excel and Word.
Work Environment: Office setting, well lighted, good air quality.
Mental/Physical Requirements: Mostly sedentary position. Hand/arm injury possible from repetitive movements. Stress generated if high volume of calls and emergencies.