What does the Triage Nurse do?
Kay Searfoss, MS, RD, CD, CDE
Lac Courte Oreilles Community Health Center
The LCO Health Center Triage nurses evaluate patients' vital signs and ask questions about their medical history, symptoms and reasons for visiting the LCO Health Center. Based on the information gathered, the triage nurse then evaluates the urgency of a patient's needs and determines if the signs and symptoms you are reporting today warrant a visit by the provider immediately, if you can wait for the next available appointment, if your symptoms can be treated with home remedies or through self-care medication at the pharmacy.
The LCO Health Center does not have walk in appointments and we do not have walk in providers at this time. Appointment space is limited and this is the reason for triaging patients, but we do have some same day appointments available for the triaged patients.
We appreciate our patients that schedule and show up for their appointments and we strive to keep our providers on time so we do not keep you waiting. If you come in as a triage patient, you may be instructed in home remedies, be directed to the pharmacy for self-care medications, you may need to see a provider when one becomes available or you may be referred out for a higher level of care.
Coming in to see the triage nurse does not guarantee that you will be seeing a provider that day, get a written prescription, or get an appointment any sooner than you would by setting up an appointment with your primary provider. While we would like to accommodate as many patients as we can, appointment space is limited.
The LCO Health Center encourages our patients to be proactive in their health care by scheduling their annual exams, follow up appointments and medication management appointments as soon as they can. If you are unable to keep those scheduled appointments please call to cancel them as soon as you can, so we can schedule someone else into that time slot.