Hospital and Telephone Triage

89 videos, 4 hours and 22 minutes

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Health and Wellbeing in the triage workplace

Video 7 of 89
1 min 59 sec
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So I can imagine and based on my own experience with face-to-face triage, there must be some pretty, not distressing, but upsetting calls that you take. What kind of support is there for practitioners when they experience this sort of phone call?

Okay. So if I give you an example, Mark, I think one of the most probably distressing calls which takes a lot of sort of mental energy up is if you are dealing with palliative patient end of life. Okay, you could be dealing on the phone with a relative who is very anxious, needs some support and you are discussing a very emotive subject. And at the end of that, you are then disconnecting from that patient and that patient will be dealt with by another service, probably by somebody going out and physically visiting that patient face to face. However, you have still got the burden of that patient's details. You know all about that patient and you probably know what the outcome is going to be for that patient in their last stage of life.

What I would say to you is if you are feeling that you need some support, your line manager is always available. What I would say straightaway is if you are having a particularly busy shift or you have had a particularly distressing call, just speak to someone and get some downtime. There is always a supervisor around within the triage centre to allow you some downtime. We have also got some people available, they are known as mental health first-aiders. However, they have got counselling skills and they can discuss things with you. And if you need some proper formal support, we can go down the employee advisory programme, which is linked to counselling, etcetera. But do not ever think you are sitting in isolation if you are dealing with difficult calls.