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Knowledge and skills of the medical and nursing staff of Emergency Department in triage. Comparative study between public and private hospitals in Athens.

Helen Gkamprielle Voutsinou RN MSc*, Konstantinos Ekmektzoglou DR MSca, Georgios Gkiokas DR MSca, Nikolleta Iakovidou DR and MSca

Introduction: The triage process, carried out in the Emergency Department (ED), is the basic tool for determining the severity of each patient that comes to it. Its implementation is aimed at redistributing resources, reducing waiting time, as well as reducing import rates. For this reason, the acquisition of the knowledge and skills of the health personnel of the EDs in triage and their utilization is considered a necessary condition.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the knowledge and skills of the medical and nursing staff of EDs in triage in public and private hospitals of Athens. Materials and Methods: This is an analytical cross-sectional study conducted in 6 tertiary hospitals (3 public and 3 private) of Athens during the period October 2021 - March 2022. The sample of the study was the medical and nursing staff of the ED of each participating hospital. The data collection was carried out with a specially designed self-completed questionnaire.

Results: Of the 147 participants, 87 (59.2%) worked in a public hospital and 60 (40.8%) in a private hospital; 64 (43.5%) were physicians and 83 (56, 5%) were nurses/nursing assistants. Of the total study participants, only 46 (31.3%) had attended a seminar in triage, while the majority (98.6%) indicated that the training of medical and nursing staff of EDs on triage should be mandatory. The level of knowledge and skills proved to be moderate in both health service providers. In addition, in terms of triage knowledge, educational level (p=0.001) and years of service (p=0.009) appeared to have an impact, with public sector participants having a relatively higher percentage than private sector participants (0.003). Finally, the triage process is not carried out as much as it should be by law, and the most common model used seems to be that of traffic settlement (20.5%). Most EDs do not use a triage scale, while in EDs that have a triage scale, the most frequently used is the Emergency Severity Index (ESI) (12, 6%).

Conclusions: After analysing the results of the research, it is found that the level of knowledge and skills of the medical and nursing ED staff public and private hospitals is insufficient, as far as the triage process is concerned. It is considered necessary to institutionalize it, as well as additional training in Emergency Medicine and Nursing with the aim of improving the care services provided in our country's E.Ds


Emergency department; Triage; Knowledge, Medical and nursing Staff; Emergency medicine; Patient satisfaction

Published Date: 2023-02-07; Received Date: 2022-11-29