- CATEGORIES: Case Studies,Marci Lawing, RN, BSN,Nurse Learning Center,Nurses,Ravi Raheja, MD,Short Videos,Video
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Active listening when assessing patients over the phone – Heart Health Awareness month
Introduction By Ravi Raheja, MD
Video by Marci Lawing, RN
Listening to the patient while picking up on verbal as well as non-verbal cues is critical to triaging a patient effectively and safely. As this short case scenario demonstrates, the triage nurse had to listen carefully and pay attention to several aspects of the caller in order to figure out the proper symptom to assess. The nurse realized that the caller was reluctant to talk. This led her to ask more questions and pay more attention to any other non-verbal signs. A good history revealed that the patient had a stent within the last two days. As such, it was possible that the patient was suffering from a cardiac related issue. Finally, the patient sounded short of breath, which led to a heightened awareness on the part of the nurse. Listen to this short video blog to see how listening and paying attention is critical for good triage. Without careful attention, the triage nurse may fail to elicit serious symptoms and relevant details of the history.
Heart Health Awareness Month: The Importance of Active Listening Over the Phone
Marci Lawing, a nurse manager at Triage Logic, describes a scenario in which active listening allowed a triage nurse to properly help a patient in need:
The patient was a 75-year-old man. He was not used to contacting a triage nurse, and his stoicism didn’t allow him to be very forthcoming about his past medical history. He was also a poor historian when it came to describing the medication that he was taking. These factors created an incredible challenge for the triage nurse. She actively listened and allowed the man to talk. While he spoke, she found out that he had received the telephone triage number after being discharged from the hospital. He had received a stent procedure two days earlier, and he was instructed to call the number if he experienced any subsequent chest pain. As the nurse continued to listen, she made sure to pay close attention to his words and his inflection. By doing so, she realized that he seemed moderately short of breath, and that he was wincing whenever he changed position. He then informed her that he was home alone, but his wife would be home within an hour. After receiving all of this necessary information, the nurse was able to choose the proper protocols that allowed her to help the man. She decided that the chest pain protocols were appropriate for his case.
About the TriageLogic Online Learning Center
TriageLogic’s Online Learning Center is available free of charge to telephone triage nurses and health providers as an educational resource and practical training guide.
If you are a call center or practice manager looking to sign up your team, TriageLogic’s Online Learning Center can be leveraged to track training and progress of new nurses. Encourage your team to become TriageLogic Certified telephone triage nurses by contacting us to set up your group today!