In Emergency Departments, triage is undertaken by an expert emergency nurse who performs an initial patient assessment on arrival.
Triage requires the ED nurse to have an extensive knowledge base and effective prioritisation skills in order to determine the urgency and complexity of the patient’s condition.
Following a brief history of the presenting complaint, general appearance and the collection and interpretation of physiological data, decisions are made to establish clinical risk.
The Australian Triage Scale (ATS) is used as a tool to guide the process of triage and allows for the allocation of one of five categories to specify clinical urgency. For nursing students attending a clinical placement in the ED it is important to have an understanding of the process, role of the triage nurse and the use and application of the ATS.
The resources within this module will enhance knowledge of the triage process.