Learning how to rapidly identify subtle signs of serious illness and glean the essential facts from a patient’s history will now be easier for emergency department nurses training for the triage role. The Emergency Triage Education Kit (ETEK), second edition, is now available as an interactive pdf on the website of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission). Quick reference resources and additional triage scenarios for teaching purposes are also available on the Commission website.

Triage nurses determine each patient’s need for time-critical care and the order in which patients see the treating clinician. Designed for both independent learning and educator-led sessions, the ETEK includes a set of learning resources that support nationally consistent training for this role. Each chapter contains case studies to illustrate key points, and a set of validated triage scenarios is provided for self-test and consolidation of learning.

The Department of Health and Aged Care engaged the Commission to review and update the original ETEK, published in 2009. The project was underpinned by extensive engagement with key stakeholder groups: practising emergency clinicians to ensure the ETEK’s currency; topic experts and academics to reference best practice and the evidence base; and consumers to incorporate their needs at triage. Their collective wisdom has been distilled into clear and practical guidance for nurses preparing for this critical role in the Australian health system.

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