A triage nurse is a registered nurse with a post in the emergency room of a hospital. They are in charge of assessing patients that come into the ER and determining their level of need for medical attention, which is the process known as triage. To do this, they use a set of criteria, which includes the patient's injury or illness, the severity, the symptoms, and the vital signs of the patient. Apart from conducting initial assessments of patients, a triage nurse is also responsible for reassessing patients in the waiting room, initiating emergency treatment if needed, and directing patients to treatment areas.
A triage nurse must be a registered nurse, which is a position acquired with a bachelor's degree in nursing and a subsequent licensure examination. They must also have experience in handling emergencies, as well as proven expertise in triaging, which may be attained through training. Moreover, a triage nurse must be able to perform well under pressure, react immediately to sudden emergencies, and provide professional advice to patients in the ER.
The average salary of a triage nurse is $70,000. But for this type of salary, a triage nurse may have to work long hours and shift schedules.