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Improve your triage competency, online

15 Feb 2022

CRANAplus recently launched Triage Emergency Care Online, a scheduled online course that makes triage competency attainable to remote health professionals who are affected by COVID-19 restrictions or wanting to save on face-to-face course attendance.

Pho­to: manon­va­nos — stock​.adobe​.com

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful release of the Men­tal Health Emer­gen­cies (MHE) Online Course, CRANAplus has com­menced its very first Triage Emer­gency Care (TEC) Online course this March.

TEC Online is a sched­uled course held over a peri­od of eight weeks across set dates. It fea­tures the same con­tent as our tra­di­tion­al face-to-face triage cours­es but is deliv­ered ful­ly online.

With COVID-19 affect­ing the deliv­ery of some CRANAplus cours­es in 2021, par­tic­u­lar­ly due to bor­der restric­tions, we gave some thought to what cours­es could poten­tial­ly go to a pure­ly online for­mat,” CRANAplus Remote Clin­i­cal Edu­ca­tor Nicole Smith explains.

Deliv­er­ing a course online coun­ter­acts some of the asso­ci­at­ed costs, such as trav­el and accom­mo­da­tion, and you can pret­ty much guar­an­tee it will be delivered.

The triage course def­i­nite­ly fits the brief for online deliv­ery. We’re not assess­ing clin­i­cal skills which are best deliv­ered with face to face demon­stra­tions and access to equip­ment. It’s a knowl­edge-based course; it’s about using your assess­ment skills to gath­er the infor­ma­tion and assign your triage cat­e­go­ry, while also being mind­ful of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, safe­ty and what’s going on around you.

With­in the course, we give you the links and the tools to then make your own deci­sions about whether you need to upskill [through some­thing hands-on] or through oth­er online cours­es. For exam­ple, there are ref­er­ences to the Remote Emer­gency Care (REC) Course if you need to bet­ter under­stand how to do a pri­ma­ry survey.”

The con­tent is based on the Emer­gency Triage Edu­ca­tion Kit as devel­oped by the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment, but like all CRANAplus cours­es, it is tai­lored to the rur­al and remote context.

CRANAplus Remote Clin­i­cal Edu­ca­tor Nicole Smith

Basi­cal­ly, what we’re giv­ing you is an under­stand­ing of the Aus­tralasian Triage Scale and how to apply that to every per­son that presents to your clin­ic, whether it’s region­al, rur­al, remote or iso­lat­ed,” Nicole says.

A lot of the sce­nar­ios are based in the rur­al and remote con­text. We refer to the facil­i­ty as a clin­ic rather than an ED. We base sce­nar­ios on the fact you may not always be triag­ing in a clin­ic – you might triage out in community.

We also incor­po­rate some teach­ings from the REC, because, of course, remote and rur­al prac­ti­tion­ers are not always just a triage nurse. After triage, they may then have to con­tin­ue treat­ing and man­ag­ing the patient.

If you’ve got clients com­ing in to vis­it the GP, because it’s GP vis­it­ing day, or you’ve got preg­nant women com­ing in to see the mid­wife because the mid­wife is vis­it­ing, but then you’ve got a sick patient who wan­ders into your clin­ic… This course is about help­ing that triage nurse, or nurse, to quick­ly dis­tin­guish who needs to be seen first.”

The TEC Online course con­sists of five self-direct­ed online learn­ing mod­ules, three online Zoom ses­sions, and an online dis­cus­sion board for activ­i­ties and reflec­tion between Zoom sessions.

The Zoom ses­sions involve face-to-face ques­tions and dis­cus­sion about mod­ule con­tent and group work on reflec­tive activities/​case sce­nar­ios about triag­ing and allo­cat­ing a triage category.

Nicole says that group work always helps with peo­ple being able to throw ideas around and to ask each oth­er why they may do some­thing as opposed to why they haven’t.”

Nicole acknowl­edges the vital con­tri­bu­tions of the MEC and REC teams as well as the Men­tal Health teams in mak­ing this new learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty a reality.

Hav­ing start­ed with CRANAplus in 2021, Nicole brings a recent qual­i­ty care back­ground that has been influ­en­tial in TEC Online’s development.

Part of my pre­vi­ous job was review­ing inci­dents and com­plaints, a lot of which were from and/​or relat­ed to emer­gency depart­ments,” Nicole says.

Many com­plaints relat­ed to how clients are treat­ed, triaged, assessed and/​or com­mu­ni­cat­ed with. That’s cer­tain­ly made me very con­scious of the course con­tent and how we have gone about putting this course together.

It’s essen­tial the client gets time­ly access to care based on the triage assess­ment, and that they don’t leave feel­ing like they weren’t heard, lis­tened to, assessed and most impor­tant­ly, com­mu­ni­cat­ed with.

If we always strive to do the best that we can with the knowl­edge, skills and resources that we have, we can only hope for the best outcome.”