Author(s): Gransson KE, von Rosen A
Emergency department triage is a prerequisite for the rapid identification of critically ill patients and for allocation of the correct acuity level which is pivotal for medical safety. The patient's first encounter with a medical professional in the emergency department is often with the triage nurse.
OBJECTIVES: To identify patient experience of the triage encounter.
METHODS: A questionnaire focusing on the patient-triage nurse relationship in terms of satisfaction with the medical and administrative information, privacy and confidentiality in the triage area as well as triage nurse competence and attitude was answered by 146 participating patients.
RESULTS: The majority of patients perceived that while they were triaged immediately upon arrival to the emergency department, they were often given limited information about the waiting time. Although almost a quarter of the patients did not wish to have information about their medical condition from the triage nurse, 97% of the patients considered the triage nurse to be medically competent for the triage task.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients were generally satisfied with the reception and care given by the triage nurses, but less satisfied about information about expected waiting time. We suggest therefore, that patients should be routinely informed about their estimated waiting time to be seen by the doctor in addition to their triage level.Research & Reviews: Journal of Nursing and Health Sciences