Triage is a way to describe how nurses decide what gets done first. It is based on ASSESSMENT - yours and that of other nurses. When do you perform triage? ALL THE TIME.
As a new nurse, a great time to learn how to triage is during orientation with your preceptor. Ask your preceptor to verbalize her triage process, or “think out loud.” Why is she doing that first? Why is she seeing this patient rather than that patient? Why is she choosing to do paperwork before more patient care? Let her know you want to “pick her brains” rather than question her judgement.