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Assessing Over the Phone: Triage Nursing from Home

  •  10-15-2012, 4:09 AM

    Assessing Over the Phone: Triage Nursing from Home

    I recently started a new job in triage that allows me to work from home. It was a very tough decision to leave the hospital where I had worked for the previous five years, but so far, I haven't regretted my decision yet. I got offered a raise, they pay for my cable bill, no commute, less miles put on the car, and the list goes on and on. Although, I desparately miss the kids I used to take care of- the ones I watched grow up over the years. I also miss labs and IV's... yes, I'm a good stick and proud of it! But, I have found that the hardest adjustment from hospital to home has been the lack of tangency with my patients. Do you know how hard it is to assess a patient over the phone? It takes deep critical thinking skills and a heap of creativity to pull it off. I am certified in ped's and I must say that talking to a child over the phone rather than in person is a lot scarier- for me! It is so hard to not be able to lay eyes on the patients, read their body language, figure out if it's this or that based on a generic description of the problem. However, I am learning as I go, and I think I now know what it means to have that "sixth sense" of a nurse... kind of like the way you just know your bag of fluids is about to run dry, how high your kid's temp is without checking, and how busy your night is going to be based on the looks on they day shift nurses' faces :)
    Nolin Morgan, RN, CPN
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