Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Welcome to the Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment workshop. We will start by learning our ABCs. A is for airway, B is for breathing, C is for circulation, oh, and coma and convusions and then comes D for dehydration.

If you get stuck on one of these letters with your patient, it’s an emergency and you must rush to the emergency room to get ABC and D stabilized first. However, if ABC and D are fine we will proceed to 3TPR and MOB. Proceed to what you ask? To the priority signs.

Three Ts, three Ps, Three Rs and M and O and B. Tiny infant, Temperature, Trauma. Pallor, Pain, Poison. Restless, Respiratory Distress, Referral. Malnutrition, Oedema, Burns.

If any of 3TPR and MOB is positive, your patient is a priority case and must go to the beginning of the line. If ABCD & 3TPR+MOB is fine, then you are dealing with a routine case and they must wait in line.

This is the gist of what was taught on Monday to 20 nurses taking the course. It may sound very simple, however, when actually going through cases and scenarios it can become a little more complicated. Or, maybe it just seems more complicated because in reality, it’s always a matter of going back to the basics. The ABCs.

Along with the theory came the practical sessions, which today were relatively simple, focusing on checking vital signs, calculating doses for antipyretic medication like paracetamol and weighing and measuring patients. Although these are actions the nurses perform on a daily basis it is still important to review and make sure all staff is working in the same way. Throughout the week we will continue to build on their theoretical knowledge, introduce more scenarios and focus on more practicalities such as inserting guedel airways, using a bag and mask to ventilate a child, doing chest compressions, giving iv diazepam, inserting intraosseous needles, giving fluids to a patient in shock, checking a blood sugar and more. These are all crucial aspects of nursing care and very important for nurses to learn, specifically those who work in triage, outpatients and the emergency room.

These nurses have the potential to help reduce the child mortality rate at the hospital and we really hope they are encouraged to work at the highest standard possible. Hopefully they will implement what they are being taught to ensure appropriate care for the children. And maybe even those children who come in critically ill will have a better chance at survival due to emergency measures being taking more quickly. I am very hopeful and ready for Day 2 of the workshop.

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