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Running head: EMERGENCY TRIAGE1Emergency Triage: Opportunities for ImprovementKimberly D. KennedyCapella UniversityPolicy, Law, Ethics, and RegulationsMoral Dilemmas and Ethical DecisionsDecember, 2017
EMERGENCY TRIAGE2Emergency Triage: Opportunities for ImprovementEnsuring positive patient outcomes and satisfaction is a goal and expectation at this facility. During triage in the emergency room, every effort should be made to prioritize treatments to ensure positive patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. Many times, the emergency room (ER) is overcrowded with several serious injuries and illnesses. This creates a dilemma for the triage nurse and emergency department staff. Recently, an area hospital treated patients from an industrial accident. The staff provided treatment to two individuals arriving with inhalation injuries. Both men received essential treatments and care, but the ER received negative feedback regarding the triage and treatment of these two individuals.I have been asked to provide a brief educational summary for the ER staff to provide a reminder for triage best practices, review healthcare policies and protocols that direct triage care,explain how health care disparities can impact treatment decisions, identify health care policies that are in place that direct care for uninsured individuals, and describe the moral and ethical challenges ER nurses can face when following hospital policies and protocols. We have a uniqueopportunity to improve our awareness of triage practices to ensure positive patient outcomes and increased patient satisfaction in the ER. Policies and Protocols Directing TriageAll patients treated in this ER are triaged utilizing the emergency severity index (ESI). The ESI is an algorithm broken into 5 groups. The groups range from level 1 (most urgent) to level 5 (least urgent). Level 1 and level 2 patients have the highest priority necessitating assessment and treatment by ER staff immediately. These patients include unresponsive, apneic, and myocardial infarction (MI) patients.
EMERGENCY TRIAGE3Hospital protocol dictates that any patient transported to the ER via ambulance must be triaged within 5 minutes of arrival to the department. The patient’s condition, not the mode of transportation, should command triage level and proper department placement (Domagala, & Vets, 2015, p. 4). Our ER is not a trauma facility, so any trauma patients are quickly stabilized and mobilized to a trauma facility nearby.

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