Core Concepts to ED Triage


ED Triage Course

Course Description: There is a difference between physical assessment skills and the principles of triage.  Appropriate performance of triage has been shown to decrease mortality, decrease patient complications and wait time, improve inter-professional communication, and improve staff satisfaction.  The application of evidence-based triage scales is not a skill set taught in nursing curricula or general emergency department orientation. Triage and Point-of-entry processes and skills remain inconsistent throughout the industry as evidenced in the literature and practice environment observations. This narrated course is intended to direct the ability to implement a standardized triage position, process skills and competency through education and promotion by professional standards of practice and recommended guidelines. The course includes a workbook and in-course exercises.


  1. Identify professional, institutional and federal mandates affecting emergency care point-of-entry processes.
  2. Distinguish the elements of the concept of triage complexity and its relationship to emergency department processes.
  3. Explain the Emergency Nurses Association principles of triage and the Triage First, Inc. philosophy.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of evidence-based best practice related to chief complaints.
  5. Relate the concept of worst-case scenario to prevention of mistriage.
  6. Use assessment tools in the triage decision-making process.
  7. Describe systematic approach to management of patients and visitors in the lobby.
  8. Recommend methodologies to decrease wait times throughout the triage and registration process.
  9. Utilize appropriate nurse initiated interventions during the triage process.
  10. Employ a systematic approach for the collection and recording of necessary triage data in the patient medical record.
  11. Distinguish elements required for meeting best practice in triage documentation.
  12. Promote the consistent use of an evidence-based pain assessment tool in conjunction with regulatory mandates related to the assessment and management of pain.






Education Disclosure There are no relevant financial relationships by any planner or content authors that affect the planning, implementation, or evaluation of these activities. These activities are successfully completed by: logging in, participation in all exercises included, satisfactory performance on the post-test (80% or higher), and completion of the participant feedback tool. Seats are purchased for a term of twelve months. Learners have 30 days to complete the activity once assigned a seat. Triage First is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. The ANCC Accreditation Program and ANCC Accredited Organization are trademarks of the American Nurses Credentialing Center. All Rights Reserved.