There are different triage systems that can be used. What they share is a five-level system that guides the nurse in deciding who needs to be seen first and who can wait. The scales go from 1 [a patient who needs to be seen immediately, be resuscitated, or is in crucial condition] to a 5 [a patient who can wait a long time, has minor injury or illness, and is classified as nonurgent.] Most of the time patients 1 & 5 are easy to identify. It is the patients in between who are the most difficult to sort out. Similarly, you may have a very sick patient, an about-to-be-discharged patient, and 3 “middle” patients in your unit.
SO, back to Maslow!
A great way to set priorities is to use Maslow. The base starts with physiological needs like food, air, and water - which correspond to the ABCs of nursing, airway, breathing, and circulation. It moves upward to safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization - needs that are important but ones that come after the patient has an airway, is breathing, and is perfusing well. Similarly, the patient who needs case management gets in line behind the patient with no BP, no matter who is yelling louder.

There are different triage systems that can be used. What they share is a five-level system that guides the nurse in deciding who needs to be seen first and who can wait. The scales go from 1 [a patient who needs to be seen immediately, be resuscitated, or is in crucial condition] to a 5 [a patient who can wait a long time, has minor injury or illness, and is classified as nonurgent.] Most of the time patients 1 & 5 are easy to identify. It is the patients in between who are the most difficult to sort out. Similarly, you may have a very sick patient, an about-to-be-discharged patient, and 3 “middle” patients in your unit.

SO, back to Maslow!

A great way to set priorities is to use Maslow. The base starts with physiological needs like food, air, and water - which correspond to the ABCs of nursing, airway, breathing, and circulation. It moves upward to safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization - needs that are important but ones that come after the patient has an airway, is breathing, and is perfusing well. Similarly, the patient who needs case management gets in line behind the patient with no BP, no matter who is yelling louder.

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    My adviser said I should only focus on the bottom tier. Best advice ever. (It’s missing fleece blankets and books, btw)
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