Telephone triage has become an increasingly helpful way of improving the care patients need, particularly in fast diagnosis. However, because each patient’s symptoms and needs are different, triage nurses are constantly adapting their skills and knowledge to keep up.
Telephone triage nurses need to have a broad range of clinical and general skills as all their patients receive from them will be entirely by phone. This means that their initial greeting may well set the tone of the conversation that comes afterwards. Triage staff will need to therefore make an excellent first impression, to gain the trust of the patient and to help them feel relaxed in talking about their worries. Only then can a healthcare professional signpost the caller effectively in where to turn next.
It’s important to remember as well that when patients are ill they feel vulnerable, which is again why it’s so important to stay friendly, professional and positive. They want to feel like the person on the end of the phone is taking the time to triage them properly, and that they really care. After all, those seeking medical help are likely to be anxious, stressed or in pain.
Finally, don’t forget that a warm tone and empathetic way can really help your patients, and smiles are infectious (even over the phone!). After all, the more comfortable the caller feels, the more easily you can extract information from them that can help with their care.
Are you looking to update your triage skills?
If so, you may well find our excellent scheduled course Telephone triage refresh & refine extremely helpful. Ideal for nurses, doctors, health visitors and other allied health professionals, this interactive study day is aimed at the experienced telephone triage practitioner. It provides participants with a review of basic skills and looks at more challenging issues.
The course is held at Hamilton House in London on the 6th May 2020 and is a one-day course offering 7 hours of CPD. Alternatively, there’s also our Telephone triage: core skills in-house course, a highly flexible way of learning that means we come to you. Ideal for training larger groups, our in-house courses are tailored exactly to your requirements.
Whichever course you choose, all materials, certificates and refreshments will be provided. However, they’re always very popular and spaces are limited so book up now!