Tele-Nurse Triage Program Always Available for Veterans - VA North Texas Health Care System
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VA North Texas Health Care System

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Tele-Nurse Triage Program Always Available for Veterans

Carlene Lee, RN, assists a Veteran on the Tele-Nurse Triage line.
Friday, August 24, 2012

Life does not always happen with convenience. Our busy lives often take on various priorities and that issue you were going to speak to your doctor about may have been put on the back burner.

So what do you do if you have a concern that can't wait?
What if there was a help line where you could speak to a real person about your health questions? VA North Texas Health Care System has a Tele-Nurse Triage program that does just that. Phones are staffed by nurses who listen to your concerns and determine the best action for your symptoms. They triage your condition based on the severity of the problem to provide guidance over the phone or determine if immediate attention is necessary.

Tele-Nurses can connect with your primary care provider or other health professional for specific health-related issues. They can also leave a message for your doctor to call you back.
Do you need information about appointments? The Tele-Nurse Triage program can tell you the dates, times and locations of your future VA appointments.

Nurses are also able to describe medications, their side effects and any adverse reactions you may be experiencing. They can let you know how to get medication refills and how many refills you have left.

There are 13 registered nurses in the program who provide medical advice. The tele-nurse does not diagnose, but is prepared to direct to the appropriate emergency service or suggest further health guidance.

The program is effective to provide fast medical advice so you can make an informed decision about your symptoms. Your call can determine if a trip to the emergency room is necessary or if your condition can be addressed during your next scheduled appointment.
JiJi Joseph, RN, nurse manager of the Tele-Nurse Triage call center, recalls a recent call from a Veteran's wife. Her husband was experiencing chest pain, but he was reluctant to come to the hospital for treatment. The nurse spoke to both the Veteran and his wife and convinced them to come to the ER. "These kinds of calls happen all the time where the triage program helped save a life," Joseph said.
Don't let a health issue linger until normal business hours. Call the Tele-Nurse Triage line at 1-800-677-8289 and get the help you need right away.


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