How Telephone Nurse Triage Operates

Nurse working on computer

You must be wondering how telephone triage operates. Knowing how telephone nursing works will help determine if this kind of service suits your healthcare needs. But first, let’s talk about what nurse triage services are.

What Is Phone Triage?

Phone Nurse Triage is a service many hospitals and urgent care centers offer. Nurse triage call answering services allow patients to call the hospital and speak to a nurse about their health concerns. The nurse will evaluate the symptoms, advise, and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

How Does Phone Triage Work?

When a patient calls triage services with a medical complaint or question, they will speak with a licensed healthcare professional who will determine if they need to see their doctor immediately or if they can wait until their next appointment or follow-up visit. The professional will also offer advice on how best to manage their condition until they revisit their doctor.

If the patient’s condition requires immediate attention, they may be advised to go directly to an urgent care facility or local emergency room to receive treatment. When appropriate, this information can be sent electronically directly from the call center to the hospital so that staff members are prepared before the patient arrives at the facility.

Who Calls a Nurse Phone Triage Line?

Nurse triage call service is intended for non-urgent medical issues. Emergencies should always be handled by calling 911 or going directly to the nearest emergency room. Triage services can be sought by anyone with a medical concern, including those experiencing symptoms of a disease such as diabetes or heart disease. Nurse triage call service may also be used by people who want to confirm that their symptoms are not severe enough to warrant a trip to an emergency room.

How Are Nurses Trained for Phone Triage?

Nurses can be trained for phone triage in several different ways including certification programs. Certified Nurse Specialist in Telephone Triage (CNST) or Certified Telemedicine Nurse (CTN) provide standardized training in telephone triage protocols, communication skills, ethics and legal issues surrounding telemedicine, and clinical knowledge specific to outpatient management of common medical problems. These programs are voluntary and require continuing education units (CEUs) annually to maintain certification.

Many nurses who want to become certified take online courses designed specifically for this purpose and obtain CEUs through local continuing education providers or online classes offered by professional organizations such as American Telemedicine Association (ATA).

Do You Have to Pay to Talk on the Phone With a Nurse?

It depends on your state and whether your insurance covers nurse triage call answering.

In most states, including Texas, California, and New York, nurses must provide free assistance to patients with health issues or questions. This is especially important during the winter when many people are sick and are worried about their symptoms.

Health insurance companies usually cover this service as part of their package plans. If you don’t have health insurance, or if you’re on Medicare, there are still ways to get help from a nurse without paying anything.

Call 4 Health provides nurses on call 24 hours a day to answer questions about your health and give advice regarding medical issues. If you want to talk to a nurse regarding your health, contact Call 4 Health today for help.