Nurses’ and doctors perceptions regarding the implementation of a triage system in an emergency unit in South Africa
AbstractTriage assessment of patients on arrival at an emergency unit is an essential function in quality emergency care provision, and is a cost-effective and time saving venture. This study investigated nurses’ and doctors’ perceptions about the implementation of the Cape Triage Score in one emergency unit. The challenges encountered prior to the implementation of the Cape Triage Score and the roles and core competencies of the triage nurse were addressed as well as the strengths
and weaknesses of the Cape Triage Score. In this descriptive, quantitative and exploratory study, 15 nurses and doctors completed questionnaires. The challenges decreased and the sorting of patients improved after the implementation of the Cape Triage Score. Other strengths of this
system included that the triage nurse prioritised patients, as opposed to the receptionist or the administrative staff; and nurses could undertake preliminary investigations without waiting for doctors’ orders to do so. The weaknesses of the implemented Cape Triage Score included that it was
not fully functional 100% of the time, and that it was diffi cult to maintain during peak admission periods due to a shortage of nurses. The recommendations included that management should be convinced of the system’s benefi ts; nurses should perform the triage function on a rotation basis; more nurses should be available during peak periods; and that the administrative and reception staff should also be orientated about the triage system.
The author(s) retain copyright on work published by AOSIS unless specified otherwise.
Licensing and publication rights
Author(s) of work published by AOSIS are required to grant AOSIS the unlimited rights to publish the definitive work in any format, language and medium, for any lawful purpose. AOSIS requires journal authors to publish their work in open access under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.
The authors retain the non-exclusive right to do anything they wish with the published article(s), provided attribution is given to the applicable journal with details of the original publication, as set out in the official citation of the article published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the article on the authors’ or their institution’s websites or in institutional repositories.
Previously published work may have been published under a different licence. We advise the community that if they would like to reuse the work to consult the applicable licence at article level.
Note: If you need to comply with your funding body policy, you can apply for the CC BY license after your manuscript is accepted for publication.