Telephone Triage and Advice Nurse

Does your back constantly ache after so many years at the bedside? Have you dreamed of being a telephonic triage and advice nurse? Let’s see what is involved.

What does a telephone triage advice RN do?  They sort out patient problems using careful listening, critical thinking, assessment skills, and good clinical judgement.

They use excellent decision-making skills to promote appropriate utilization of emergency services. They help the patient understand the actual urgency of care needed. You can see more detail at .

Who hires telephone triage / advice nurses? According to , doctors’ offices, insurance companies, hospitals, clinics, and telephone triage and advice centers hire RN’s for this position.

Typical work surroundings for a telephone triage advice nurse? The work is performed at a desk – using a computer and telephone – and some telephone nurses work from home.

Some organizations hire nurses to be responsible to monitor, on a schedule, only those patients in their caseload. Other organizations hire emergency telephone advice nurses to triage and advise all participants who call them on their shift.

There are also other similar positions. The university student advice nurse gives appropriate advice to university students regarding their health. There are Hospice telephonic triage RN, appointment/advice call center nurses at Kaiser Permanente. and Advice Prescription Refill Nurse – to name a few.

What makes this work different? A typical telephone triage advice RN generally works regular hours, has short-term patient relationships, uses written protocols, receives specific training, and experiences a wide assortment of types of calls.

How to qualify? The RN should have excellent critical thinking skills, possess good telephone manners, typing and computer skills, and have prior triage experience – such as in an emergency department. Generally, a minimum of five years clinical experience is required.

Wild Iris offers an accredited 3 CEU course on telephone triage advice nursing for $24.00 through at this link.

How much do telephone nurses get paid? According to , the range is from $57,709 to $76,613, with a median yearly salary of $64,479. Although this may be less pay than you are used to, it also has innumerable side benefits that money cannot buy.

What cities tend to pay better? Cities who tend to pay more for telephone triage advice nurses include: Chicago IL, Minneapolis MN, Fresno CA, Washington DC, and Nashua NH – according to .

What other information should a telephone triage advice nurse know? They should know locations and phone numbers of physicians that are on call, which hospitals are on drive-by status, be able to submit prescriptions to pharmacies per physician’s orders, utilize patients’ emr’s to help connect reported symptoms to known conditions when applicable, and more – according to the job description listed at .

It is an autonomous and very responsible position, protected by protocols, but is also very closely inter-related with the other disciplines.

If this helps, or if you have additional information to add, please share in the comments section. Your contribution is very valuable.


Be a Diabetes Educator

Want an office of your own? Want to be consulted by the doctors? How about becoming a Diabetes Educator – AKA Diabetes Self-Management Educator (DSME)?

What are the five main functions of the Diabetes Educator? Assess the patient’s specific educational needs, identify their goals, educate, evaluate, and document. Rinse and repeat as needed.

The Diabetes Educator may be consulted to provide education on all needed aspects of diabetes and treatments to both adults and children.

Diabetes Educators bill insurance companies for their services just like doctors do. They normally work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, home health, clinics, and with wellness programs.

When looking for specialized training in this field, be sure your selected program for Diabetes Education is an Accredited Program and meets the national standards for diabetes self-management education. Look for the letters: DEAP.

American Association of Diabetic Educators offers guidance and recommended, approved resources – including information on becoming certified.

Not all DSME’s are nurses. Some of the other professions that may become diabetes self-management educators include: clinical psychologist, optometrist, occupational therapist,  physical therapist, MD, DO, podiatrist, pharmacist, dietitian, physician’s assistant, as well as quite a few other professions. (See for a longer list.)

How long is the training? As most of the courses are online and self-paced, how long it takes to complete the work depends greatly on the individual. Here are a few of the courses available:

Capella University advertises self-paced online training.

Teachers College Columbia University offers totally online MS courses designed for the working person.

The University of Phoenix, and others, may also be good options.

Expected pay? $115,500 – $145,500 is advertised for a Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist in San Francisco according to Clinical Management Consultants , per Indeed.

A starting hourly rate of $31.39 is offered for a Certified Diabetes Educator with BS in Nursing (or) BS in Nutrition  in Oregon according to Peace Health (also per Indeed.)

USA Jobs is advertising a Diabetic Education Nurse position for the salary of $68,398.00 to $83,788.00 / per year.

Since the pay varies so much, from job to job, one must consider the qualifications required for each position. Obviously, to command a six figure income in this field, one must possess higher qualifications.

However, there is no shame in starting off at the pay normally offered to nurses since you will be functioning in an elevated capacity and gaining valuable experience.

Once you are qualified, Endocrine Society offers a place to post your resume to be seen by employers across the country.

As part of one’s preparation for this field, one should strongly consider learning the Spanish language fluently. Diabetes is increasing dramatically among the Hispanic population.

After 1000 hours (at least 40% of which are earned in the most recent year of application for certification) clinical experience working in the field, one may apply to become certified. Earning your CDE brings greater earning potential and many other benefits.

Additional resources are: and

If this information sparked your motivational juices, please let me know in the comment section!


Autonomy of a Wound Care Nurse

tiny flowers 001What motivates a nurse to specialize in wound care? Salary is reported to range from $44,190 to $95,130. Work hours tend to be daytime with weekends and holidays off. And there is very rarely a wound care emergency.

The wound care management niche is greatly appreciated, since not all nurses possess the skills or knowledge to fulfill this vital role.

With the aging population, namely the baby boomers, demand for wound care nurses is expected to rise.

Wound care nursing is unique in that it is the nurse who creates the treatment plans for patients for whom they have been consulted. So there is that added responsibility and prestige.

Within the healthcare industry, wound care nurses are considered leaders, educators, and consultants.

What education and training is available? With certification as the goal, a nurse should have their bachelor’s degree and their current RN license.

Plus, in order to qualify to certification, they should either: successfully complete an accredited wound care program, earn a graduate level nursing degree that includes clinical work, or finish 50 wound care CE hours recently.

Wound care education programs that prepare nurses for certification usually last about two to three months.

In what settings do we usually find wound care nurses? Wound and ostomy care nursestiny flowers 003 normally work in hospitals, nursing homes, wound care centers, long term care facilities, hospice, public health, and/or home health settings. And there can be cross-overs for some.

Is there career advancement for wound care nurses? Yes. Wound care nurses may move up to advanced practice nurses, researchers, supervisors, administrators, educators, or expert consultants.

In a wound care center, opportunities for advancement might be greater than other work environments.

Are there positions available for travel wound care nurses? Yes, indeed. There are many RN wound care travel nurse jobs offered online.

The wound care nurse who used to come to assist with patients at my previous hospital had her master’s degree in wound care nursing. She worked quite independently. She educated patients, families, and even hospital staff.

She was mainly a home health wound care nurse, but she was the one the doctors consulted for complex wounds or new ostomies in our hospital’s patients.

I asked her how she liked her work, and she said she loved it. She said she particularly enjoyed the independence. But she admitted that being able to focus on just one aspect of patient care was also very freeing.

She told me she enjoyed great job satisfaction when she could actually see the rewards of her work and watch wounds healing. That was a big motivator for her.

Does this sound like something you might enjoy? If so, I hope you investigate it further while you are thinking about it.






Best Nurse Job EVER! (Wish I Could Have a Do-Over)

Do you consider yourself a humanitarian, impartial, neutral, independent, care more about voluntarily serving than self-promotion, in favor of unity, and universally minded?

If so, then helping the vulnerable by working, or volunteering, for the American Red Cross might be right for you.red_cross_white_background

Who is the American Red Cross? The American Red Cross ( and is a member of The Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), at (

The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian organization. Their goals are to alleviate suffering and promote human dignity.

What kinds of things does the American Red Cross do? They are global humanitarians. They respond to nearly 70,000 disasters a year. Besides that, they educate and prepare the American public to prevent and respond to disasters and personal injuries.

In addition, they teach CPR and first aid to the public. Over 40% of our blood supply is collected and distributed by the American Red Cross.

Where are the American Red Cross locations? They have a network of local chapters across the nation and have job openings around the world. IFRC is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

How much travel is involved in the job? That would depend a lot on the position accepted. Some jobs involve more field work, while others are more stationary. Locations and requirements are posted for each open position.

How much do they pay? Their pay is performance-based and non-discriminatory. Their benefits package is better than I have seen anywhere. Some perks may be specific to certain duty stations, but overall, they look significantly superior to what most of us are used to.

What does the American Red Cross expect from its nurses? They should live by their 7 fundamental principles, listed up on paragraph one, which IFRC wholeheartedly embraces.

What is the biggest reason to consider working for the American Red Cross? This quote is one of their “10 Reasons to Join IFRC” from their website: “To work in a place where proactive individuals have the possibility to make a difference”.

Isn’t that what you have always wanted to do in your nursing as a career? If you go to their website and read their “10 Reasons to Join the IFRC”, you will be reaching for a pen with which to sign up!

What about additional training? They offer a variety of certificate as well as graduate degree programs. They have internship programs and all kinds of personal development opportunities.

How can you get started? The fastest way to get your foot in the door of this awesome organization is to begin as a volunteer. You could teach a Red Cross CPR class in your local area.

Their website gives instructions on how to start. Once you have worked with some of their people, and listened to their adventures, you will start getting a feel for whether the American Red Cross service thrills you to the bones (or would at least be a good fit.)

If its right for you, you should get involved today! I wish I had given this worthy organization serious consideration early in my nursing career!

Information for this post was obtained from and .

Cheers! And happy New Year!

Legal Nurse Consultant Job $$$

002Are you fascinated with the legality of health care? Have you encountered wrong-site surgeries or other poor outcomes related to wrong doctor orders?

A friend cared for a patient who died from too much phosphorus in her TPN. I made home visits for one who had had bilateral above hip amputations. The first one was a medical mistake. He had to scoot around like a seal.

Do you sometimes question the legal-ethical aspects of some of your job duties and some doctors’ orders? Is justice very important to you? Then maybe a career in Legal Nurse Consulting is right for you.

What does a legal nurse consultant earn? reports earnings of nearly $3000.00 per case. At that rate, if you worked an average of one case per week, that income would probably at least double what you are earning as a clinical nurse now.

However, your earnings depend on many factors – including your motivation to secure clients and serve them well and your determination to get great training for your new career.

To investigate online education and certification, I visited American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants ( They indicate the best way to begin learning is to start working, as a trainee, in a legal office that handles medical cases.

Their site says that the requirements to begin as a legal nurse consultant (in-training) is an active RN license and five years clinical nursing experience.

So you would find an existing firm that could use your help and be willing to train you – and start there.

A good online Legal Nurse Consultant course, along with your apprentice work, will prepare you to sit for the LNC certification exam and grow your career as a LNC.

How long should it take to complete an online course in LNC? AALNC says that to complete all of their modules it takes most students an average of 70 hours. So calculate that according to your schedule.

What will prepare you for the LLNC certification exam? The online course offered by may give you all of the factual information you need – but will not totally prepare you.

They say that in order to sit for the LLNC certification exam, you will have to have completed 2000 hours working as a LNC within the past five years. And you will, obviously, need to keep your RN license current.

What is the quickest way for a nurse become a legal nurse consultant? If you are a fast learner, visit , and you will see the Vickie Milazzo Institute that that offers a six-day live or online seminar that they say will jump start your career.

Vickie Milazzo is famous for being the mother of legal nurse consulting. Even Oprah endorses Vickie Milazo. Also find her on FaceBook and Amazon.

If you love legal stuff, you love learning, and you have had it with 12 hour shifts, give legal nurse consulting some consideration. Maybe your career change will coincide with your New Year’s Resolutions!


Nursing Job – Observation Unit – HA!

Do not believe it! Hospitals are trying to recruit nurses by saying they have an opening in their “Observation Unit”. But their “Observation Unit” is just another med-surg unit. Do not get sucked in!

roses and plants apr 2013 007What is a true Observation Unit? This is an out-patient unit, sometimes called a “CDU – Clinical Decision Unit”, where stable patients are intended to – like a rose -“just be here for a little while” and then either get admitted, dismissed, or transferred in under 24-48 hours.

The most perfect observation unit I’ve seen (where I used to work in MS) had 10-15 cubicles around the perimeter of the big room/unit, each having a curtain for privacy; and the nurses’ station was in the center.

The furnishings were basic and sparse. Supplies were limited. The TV’s were small. Patients had to share a bathroom. The nurses were cheerful, sharp, and very attentive.

Our documentation was minimal. Care concentrated on achieving diagnosis and watching for patients to meet criteria to be either dismissed or admitted fast. Official observation, in-patient, and discharge criteria had to be handy at the nurses’ station.

Ideal patients for an observation unit include:  stable, non-isolation medical, trauma, or surgical adults that can be discharged or moved in under 24-48 hours.

The majority of our patients came to be prepped for, and to recover from, procedures. They were alert, usually ambulatory, and anxious to meet criteria to be dismissed. The few patients who got admitted upstairs were truly sick. That obs unit justified itself financially and medically, and had a stellar reputation.

Here are a few reasons many hospitals lose money on observation patients: admin mixes obs and in-patients on same unit, greater than allotted 48 hours stay, obs patients neglect to bring their home meds, insurance pays less for obs and does not cover home meds – resulting in a large, unpaid hospital bill.

Obs patients need to nicely educated that the insurance industry has determined that they are not sick enough to be admitted as an in-patient – so they will be in the observation unit. Patients who understand their actual status, and are treated respectfully with a positive cheerful attitude, are generally more satisfied with treatment and motivated to go home sooner – especially if the hospital has a pro-obs admin.

There absolutely is a valuable place for Observation Units in hospitals, if they are run effectively. If done right, they could make at least as much money for hospitals as the regular medical floors by rapid patient turnaround. And they should increase patient satisfaction.

So if any hospital calls and tells you they have an opening in their “Observation Unit”, do not believe them without getting ample proof. Take a tour. Ask a lot of questions. After all, it you wanted another med-surg job, you could find one easily enough.

Observation unit nursing takes a special skill-set and is fast-paced and focused. If you are an obs nurse, you deserve to work in a REAL observation unit. Its fun and rewarding. Hold out for the real deal!


Nurses Needed in Saudi Arabia

Why consider a nursing job in Saudi Arabia? Tax-free salary, free furnished accommodationsislamic hijab black and blue and utilities, two-ten weeks of annual paid vacation, free relocation transportation, free medical coverage, free work insurance, free uniforms and laundry, and some hospitals offer substantial sign-on bonus.

Length of contract? The typical contract is for one or two years, and is often renewable with a bonus. You go on “single status”, and only senior-level personnel can bring their spouses. Your family can visit, at private expense, for up to 90 days at a time.

How much do they pay? SA hospitals base their salary and benefit package on the applicant’s country-of-origin’s prevailing rate.

Work hours? Nurses work an average of 44 hours per week – rotating between day and night shifts.

Are there many jobs open to “foreigners”? There are dozens and dozens of Saudi jobs listed for nurses, physicians, and ancillary health care professionals online.

What are the requirements? Saudi Arabia hospitals require a valid three-year or four year RN degree, a valid nursing license in the country of origin, possess at least two years of recent nursing work in the type of nursing for which the nurse is applying, and fluent English.

Language? English is the working language. Arabic is what most of your patients speak. Arabic classes are taught in hospitals and are encouraged for foreigners.

Is there a culture shock? YES! LOL – and get this! In SA, the patients tell the nurses when its time to do assessments and administer meds! Wow! Crazy! This is especially true of the Royal Family when they are admitted. They bring their own servants and private nurse.

There is apparently a lot of racial prejudice – and SA eagerly seeks White nurses from America. They do not aggressively seek Americans of any ethnicity other than Caucasian.

The internet tells us that the Royals live such a pampered life style that they become unhealthy at an early age. However, nurses are required to allow, and even facilitate, their self-sabotaging behaviors while they are hospitalized.

What about the burka? Yes, when women are out in public, they are safer if covered from head to toe. Sharia Law is the law of the land. You should become very familiar with all that this entails for you well before deciding to go.

The free housing (possibly shared with another same-gender person) is in a complex/compound, which is huge and offers all the amenities of a small city inside. Burkas are not required inside the compound, and Americans, Canadians, Europeans, etc. can be free to relax inside there.

Gender segregation is a big deal in Saudi Arabia, so you might need to adjust your thinking and habits.

An interesting tidbit, from an American nurse who worked in SA for three years, said that the hardest working nurses in Saudi Arabian hospitals are the foreigners. So, will it be worth it? Only you can answer that for yourself.

I hope this is helpful. Please leave a comment if you have more input.



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