Telephone Triage FAQ

FAQ About Our Phone Nurse Triage Services

(TTN) What is a Telephone Triage Nurse?

A telephone triage nurse is a nurse who assists doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities by answering patient’s questions via a telephone call or a video chat and communicating with physicians on the patient’s behalf as necessary. They are sometimes called telehealth nurses or TTNs for short. TTNs function is to determine a probable level of care a patient may require. The recommended level can be used in determining if the patient requires emergency treatment, requires an appointment with a physician or if the patient might be able to treat themselves.

How Does Call 4 Health Ensure That Call Times Are Fast?

Our telephone nurse triage operations are located in central facilities we maintain around the country, rather than where the physician actually practices or the hospital’s actual location. Our nurses send triage messages directly to the doctor. After the doctor makes a recommendation, they send the message back to the TTN. The triage nurse will then contact the patient and provide any instructions from the doctor to the patient.

When is Telephone Triage Available?

Our service is available around the clock every day of the week.

Where is the Service Available?

Telephone triage is commonly found useful in a variety of healthcare facilities including busy physician offices such as pediatricians, hospitals, trauma centers, crisis hotlines, outpatient care facilities and poison control centers. We service clients from California to South Carolina, Florida
to New York, Tennessee to Texas and throughout the USA.

How Do Telephone Triage Nurses Assess a Patient’s Condition and Advise Them?

TTNs are taught specific questions to ask patients. Those questions help the nurses to accurately determine the patient’s condition and refer the patient to a suitable physician or other health care professional. TTNs are trained and given tools to access the caller’s health history profile and any relevant patient charts. This information allows the TTNs to help patients remotely.

Benefits of Using Phone Nurse Triage for Patients?

There are many benefits for patients to utilize a nurse triage service like ours. They include situations where a patient has to travel far distances to get to an appropriate doctor’s office, a hospital or a local clinic. The service also benefits those who might not be able to pay for services. TTNs are also useful in assisting physicians to reduce their workload by working with minor problems remotely and saving the patient an expensive and time consuming trip to a healthcare facility. Working remotely with patients is also important in reducing exposure to the coronavirus and reducing wait times that are often experienced in emergency facilities.

What Does It Take to Become a Phone Triage Nurse?

TTNs require outstanding communication skills, the ability to think and react under the pressure of dealing with a medical emergency. They are required to listen to the caller, quickly assess their situation and determine the proper level of care the caller needs. Because most triage call centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, TTNs need to be flexible in their work schedules which may require them to work night shifts and other odd hours.

What Education and Certifications Do Telephone Triage Nurses Require?

TTN nurses must first study and receive either a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from a four year college or a two year Associate’s Degree in Nursing. Once they have a proper degree, a potential phone triage nurse needs to pass the Nursing Council Licensure Examination. Only after that can they contact the appropriate state licensing agency to become a registered nurse. TTNs are advised to receive a certification as an ambulatory care nurse offered by the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing. To receive this certification requires a minimum of 2,000 hours experience as a nurse in a clinical environment.

A study by the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing determined the percentage of calls to a TTN that required a physician’s advice was about 30% of all calls.

What protocols Are Followed at Call 4 Health?

At Call 4 Health we use the Gold Standard protocols as offered by Dr. Barton Schmitt (Pediatrics) and Dr. David Thompson (Adult). Those protocols provide general and specialty specific protocols. We have combined these protocols into our triage software. The Gold Standard telephone triage guidelines are utilized by over 90% of all North American medical triage call centers.