Stories From the Field: Triage Nurses Tell All
The TriageLogic Group is staffed by a team of talented and well-rounded nurses. We are thankful for their expertise in triage and compassion for patients. While our nurses maintain a high level of professionalism they have their own inspirational and funny stories to share. We have compiled a few stories from our nurses that will remind everyone that nursing is more than a job, but a calling.
A Cry in the Night
Late one night I got a call from a Dad of a 3 week old baby who was crying and the poor dad was so tired and frustrated. He wanted to know if this was what colic was like and should he change the formula or do something else. I explained the Happiest baby on the block principles and he said yah yah! but what do I do NOW. I talked him through the “five S’s” (See: https://happiestbaby.com/five-simple-steps-to-calm-your-babys-fussies/ ) and by the time we got to the 5th the baby was quiet and falling asleep. He was astounded and thanked me profusely promising to get to dvd in the morning to fine tune it. I will never forget the appreciation and relief in his voice. -Kay
*Five S’s by Dr. Harvey Karp- Swaddling, Side or stomach position, Shushing, Swinging, Sucking Daddy Day Care
Not long ago I had a Dad call who was home alone with his toddler who was vomiting. He was getting ready to rush out the door to the ER and was so panicked when I made contact with him that he put the phone on speaker for me to hear the child vomiting. By the end of the call, we had a ‘game plan’ and he was so grateful to have someone patiently walk him through what to do and what to watch for. I was glad this anxious Dad could not see me smile when he put me on speaker phone to listen to the vomiting. One of the perks of teletriage! But it was SO rewarding to help him move from panic to confidence in his ability to care for his child in one phone call. I avoided an unnecessary ER visit.
A more difficult call I had a few weeks ago was with a woman who called about her medications. But as I triaged, it became clear that she had just been a victim of domestic abuse. When the police escorted her husband from the home, he stole all of her medication. She was bruised physically and emotionally and what started as a simple “Rx call” became a powerful moment to offer compassion and practical care. – Chelsea
“Mother Going to Gas Chamber”
On the funnier side, I remember seeing a call in a queue who’s chief complaint was “Mother going to gas chamber, wants to know if it’s ok to breastfeed”! Maybe I watch too many “Crime Shows” on TV because when I called this parent back it was not what I was expecting to hear~ her concern was that she was in the military and as part of her training, they were being exposed to chemical gases! Another lesson in “never to assume”! -Marci
Recently, I had an elderly man call. We were going through his past medical history and I was inquiring about past surgeries. He seemed hesitant to tell me what surgeries he had. Finally, he said he had surgery on his testicles but assured me everything was fine in that area and that he had a girlfriend 25 years younger than him and they were both very happy. He kept on and on telling me she was very happy in that department. I had to work real hard not to laugh out loud! – Jessica
As a telephone triage nurse, you never know what to expect. One phone call can be serious and the next hilarious, but all patients need time, compassion, and care. Patients are comforted knowing that a medical professional is available 24/7 to help them with issues.
Happy New Year from TriageLogic!