Factors that affect nurses’ triage decisions in the emergency department: a literature review
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Factors that affect nurses’ triage decisions in the emergency department: a literature review

Hugh Gorick Assistant practitioner, acute medical unit, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To be aware of recent studies on factors that influence emergency department (ED) nurses’ triage decisions

  • To explore why there may be significant differences between triage algorithms’ results and nurses’ decisions

  • To better understand what may negatively affect nurses’ ability to accurately triage patients in ED

Accurate triaging of patients in emergency departments (EDs) is crucial, since triage determines how quickly patients are assessed and treated. Understanding the factors that influence ED nurses’ triage decisions is important to ensure that patients are prioritised appropriately and cared for in a timely manner. This article reports and discusses the findings of a literature review on the factors that affect nurses’ triage decisions in the ED. Triage decisions by nurses in EDs are influenced by several factors relating to the patient, the nurse, the triage algorithm and the environment where triage takes place. Nurses’ ability to triage patients accurately is negatively affected by high patient numbers, inadequate staffing levels, lack of privacy and lack of training.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2022.e2123

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@HughGorick

Correspondence

hugh.gorrick@nnuh.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Gorick H (2022) Factors that affect nurses’ triage decisions in the emergency department: a literature review. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2022.e2123

Published online: 28 February 2022

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