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book_pageturner_anim.gif (2175 bytes)Review
by Tom Trimble, RN
Quick Reference to Triage
by Valerie G.A. Grossman, RN BSN CEN CCRN
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This new book, by an experienced nurse, can be a valuable resource in the orientation and mentorship of Emergency Nurses to the critical role of performing safe and successful Triage.  No task is as critical to patient safety and smooth running of the department as astute triage.  This person is literally "the point man" who first encounters the patient and must accurately prioritize the caring response.

The expertise to accomplish this requires skillful observation, sharp clinical judgment, excellent verbal skills, cultural sensitivity, and the projection of a humane caring which is empathetic and sympathetic. This book helps organize the development or review of these skills, and does so clearly, concisely, and conveniently.

The process of triage is outlined.  Guidelines for the assessment and documentation of many conditions with appropriate interventions are suggested.  "Pearls of Triage Wisdom" is as near as one can come to "instant experience."  "Beyond Triage" concerns addressed include. customer service, Cross-Cultural Empathy (the brief descriptions of beliefs and practices from other cultures here is especially useful), getting the most benefit from an interpreter, a library of Spanish language questions for triage. a sample protocol for telephone triage.

A post-test is included for self-assessment or as part of an orientation program.

Even greatly experienced triage nurses will have their knowledge refined and expanded, their approach better organized, and their outlook broadened. With the current evolution of concerns regarding medical screening examinations, and the pressure of demand for services, no triage nurse or orientation program should be without this book.

Tips from Quick Reference to Triage
If the triage nurse suspects the possibility of child or elder abuse, ask the parents or caretaker at various times throughout the patient's stay in the ED: "Tell me again, how did this happen?" --the ED staff will often be able to pick up inconsistencies in the history if abuse has occurred.
When caring for a pediatric patient, the triage nurse should also "care" for the parent or guardian of that child . . .If the parent is anxious, the child will be too."
(Of geriatric patients)
The  triage nurse must continually assess not only the patient's physical and emotional condition, but also how well the patient understands the triage questions.
"Be careful  not to overlook other physical injuries or illnesses in the psychiatric patient."
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Valerie Grossman has 17 years of experience as a clinical nurse, head nurse and manager, educator & consultant, and quality improvement coordinator.  --She still works in "the front line" in upstate
New York
John F. Aarne is not only the artist for the book but the author's father as well.
Related URL:
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