My view behind the triage desk

emergency room volunteer triage nursing student
So today I volunteered at the hospital, and it happened to be a busy shift with a bunch of babies coming in. I normally sit behind the triage desk and get to see the patients when they first come in, and also tune into how the nurse triage’s each patient. I pay special attention to the questions they ask, the patient/families response, and start to try and make sense of it all.

As a nursing student, this really helps to see how actual nurses triage, and address family concerns when they are in a high stress situation. Sadly, this also means that I sit there and feel helpless when a child starts crying from pain, or a mom breaks down because she is concerned about her child.

As a volunteer, I just look and give them a face of sympathy. I go and look for blankets, coloring books, or anything else that can make the wait for the children go faster.

As the families come in, I have noticed that a lot of children come to the ER days after certain things happen i.e. coming to the ER having had a fever for 7 days. It makes me sad that the child has not been feeling well for that long. I know things get in the way, but still I feel for the sick kids.

Lastly, today I saw a child who had high ketones, which happens to fall right into what my simulation at school was all about it. I was happy to see her brought in, and the mom aware of what to look for in her diabetic child. She is well aware of her daughter’s condition, and knew when to come see a doctor to prevent a crisis, and get her daughters glucose under control.

Anyways, that is all for today. Now to go study for Med Surge Exam 1. (I’m very nervous about it. Only 4 more days until the exam.)