by. Kayla Broadrick and Charu Raheja, Phd.
Telephone medicine has experienced tremendous growth over the last ten years. Telephone nurse triage centers are expanding and the demand for remote teletriage nurses is increasing. This is of course, great news for nurses. Here are some quick tips for nurses who want to join the remote telephone medicine workforce.
10. Be sure to always be expanding your knowledge of nursing and telemedicine.
Continuing education is essential as new innovations are being made each and every day. Staying in touch with nursing as well as technology will help a nurse be more valuable and provide better care for patients.
9. Though you may work from home, find a way to separate your work and home life.
Many nurse triage centers allow nurses to work remotely. Personal life issues can be distracting and stressful when trying to work with patients. In order to provide top level advice and care, remote teletriage nurses need to set up clear boundaries when working from home. Inform other family members that you are getting ready to work. Take a few minutes to transition into your work environement at home and get in the right mindframe.
8. Be a part of a team!
Working remotely can seem lonely and disconnected at times. Take advantage of team-bulding opportunities such as skype chats and social media interaction. Having people who understand your work and care for you are invaluable treasures.
7. Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Always consider opportunities to jump on the phones and help out during busy weeks and shifts. If your schedule will allow it, it makes for a great way to show the other nurses you work with that you care. After all, wouldn’t you want help if your shift was overwhelmed with calls?
6. Always be prepared.
Every shift on the phones is different. An old adage says, “Plan for the worst, hope for the best”. Obviously some shifts will be tougher than others. Preparation of mind is important to patient care and lowered nurse stress levels,
5. Speak with confidence.
Patients call you, the professional for professional advice. When you follow your protocols, do not be afraid to be firm and clear in your instructions. But always keep in mind that nursing judgement is critical and don’t be afraid to use it within the scope of nursing,
4. Laughter is the best medicine
Patients are calling you in the midst of their emergencies and stressful situation. Keep in mind that good conversation can change the whole mood of the call. Remaining calm and engaging each patient personally will help ensure patients feel loved and cared for.
3. Mistakes Happen.
We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. Accept your mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow and then move on. Mistakes are a perfect time to lean into team members to get help for the next time this situation comes up.
2. Repeat information that you are unsure of.
No need to skim over details if you are not quite sure what a patient said. Always clarify what is being said and repeat information you are hearing back to the patient to make sure you fully understand. The patient will feel like you are listening to them, and details make all the difference.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Telephone triage nursing has many different quirks. Review your protocols often, play with the system, make test calls, and never be afraid to ask questions. Your managers and team members are always here to help and guide you when something doesn’t seem to be working right.