The 10 Critical Steps of Taking a Triage Call

This short video introduces the key steps in for a triage nurse to take a patient phone triage call. The goal of every triage call is to make a patient feel comfortable and heard, while at the same time collect the critical information from the patient and get them to the appropriate level of care based on their symptoms. Triage Nurses are good clinicians, critical thinkers, and ensure patient safety while providing empathy and nurse advice.



“Let’s start by outlining the 10 critical steps to taking a triage call. As a starting point you can incorporate these 10 steps into your practice of triage and to get further into detail about the appropriate protocols.”

“So as you go back and continue doing a great job at triage, remember the 10 critical steps.”

  1. “When you introduce yourself, create a relationship.”
  2. “Collect the correct demographic information so it can be put in the appropriate chart and followed up.”
  3. “Get a brief medical history so you do not miss any important surgeries, medications, or relevant medical information from the recent months or years.”
  4. “Let the patient talk, so you can hear what their symptoms are, what they are concerned about.”
  5. “Pick the right protocol based on the symptoms of the patient.”
  6. “Get them to the right level of care based on the protocol.”
  7. “Triage the patient into an appropriate disposition.”
  8. “Give them care advice based on their symptom to help them out and take care of themselves.”
  9. “Make sure you give them good follow-up instructions.”
  10. “And finally, always reassure them that you are there to help.”

“You can’t underestimate the power of empathy. Over 80 percent of people who call in to their doctor’s office may not need urgent care, but they all urgently need empathy, someone to listen, and someone to care. That’s the role of the triage nurse. In addition to being a good clinician, a critical thinker, and making sure everybody stays safe, you are also there to provide empathy and care advice and offer patients a helping hand.”

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