NCPD Article

Empowering the Radiation Oncology Triage Nurse Role: A Single-Center Analysis

Benjamin W. Weber

Grace C. Blitzer

Colin M. Harari

Shari L. Ruesga

Karol J. Huenerberg

Bethany Anderson

Jessica M. Schuster

nursing triage, interprofessional practice, quality improvement
CJON 2023, 27(6), 637-643. DOI: 10.1188/23.CJON.637-643

Background: Triage nurses play a crucial role in addressing patient telephone calls. However, topics that radiation oncology (RO) triage nurses encounter have not been thoroughly investigated.

Objectives: This project established baseline patient issues addressed via telephone by RO triage nurses in a clinically busy academic RO department; identified themes and potential areas for workflow improvement; and evaluated interprofessional perceptions of RO triage from nurses, physicians, and radiation therapists.

Methods: This two-part study was conducted from September through November 2021 using a retrospective chart review that analyzed patient communications to the RO nurse triage line. Physicians, nurses, and radiation therapists completed an online survey about their experiences with nurse triage.

Findings: Analysis revealed 13 message themes, with scheduling questions being the most common theme. Survey results indicated that average provider satisfaction with the effectiveness of triage was 3 of 5, perceived triage nurse preparedness to resolve encounters was 3 of 5, and perception of the triage program by physicians was 2.4 of 5.

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