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Triage: Nursing’s Most Challenging Job

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Course Description

Triage has been described as one of the most challenging jobs a Registered Nurse must perform. It requires a plethora of skills including keen assessment skills, exceptional customer service skills, tremendous organizational skills and in-depth critical thinking skills. The question becomes, how does one master the art of triage?

This course is designed to provide participants with the foundational stones for triage. Participants will learn not only the foundational stones of this challenging skill, but also tips and tricks for dealing with difficult situations and figuring out challenging triage scenarios. The course is a mixture of didactic information, coupled with numerous challenging triage case studies that will require application of information learned and an abundance of triage “tips and tricks”—everything from dealing with drug-seeking behavior to gathering information from a non-compliant patient.

Nurses new to triage as well as nurses with years of experience in triage will find this course challenging and educational.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program prepares the learner to:

  • Understand the process of triage.
  • Assign an appropriate triage prioritization to various complaints at the triage desk.
  • Verbalize how triage levels change based on patient age.
  • Describe emergency interventions which are appropriate for various conditions at triage.


Sign-in begins at 7:30 am. Each day includes a one-hour lunch (on your own), as well as a morning and afternoon break of 15 minutes each. The order of lectures presented and break times may vary according to speaker preference.

Day 1, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

  • Fundamentals of Triage
    Goals of Effective Triage | History of Triage | Types of Triage | The Nine Steps of Triage
  • Triaging Patients with Chest Pain and Respiratory Difficulties
    Chest Pain | Breathing Difficulties | Cough
  • Triaging Patients with Abdominal Pain
    Suspected Diagnosis by Location of Pain | Questions to Ask Patients with Abdominal Pain | Other Symptoms Associated with Abdominal Pain | Objective Findings
  • Triaging Patients with Genitourinary Complaints
    Urine Characteristics | Suspected Diagnosis by Characteristic of Pain | Problems Specific to Males | Problems Specific to Females

Day 2, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

  • Triaging Patients with Neurological Complaints
    Headaches | Head Trauma | Stroke Symptoms | Seizures
  • Triaging Patients with Ocular Emergencies
    Subjective Ocular Findings | Objective Ocular Findings | Case Studies
  • Triaging Patients with Nasal and Ear Complaints
    Nasal Complaints | Dizziness | Infections | Non-Auricular Findings that Point to Ear Disorders | Case Studies
  • Triaging Patients with Mouth, Nose and Throat Complaints
    Dental Emergencies | Facial Trauma | Infections of the Throat | Neck Complaints
  • Triaging Patients with Wound and Orthopedic Injuries
    Wounds | Animal Injuries | Joint Injuries | Orthopedic Assessments | Lower Back Pain
  • Triaging Special Patient Populations
    Pediatric Patients | Geriatric Patients | Pregnant Patients