1. Goodwin, Susan A. MS, RN, CNS, CPAN

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Telephone Triage for Oncology Nurses


Edited by Margaret Hickey and Susan Newton. Pittsburgh, Pa; Oncology Nursing Society, 2005. ISBN 1-890504-47-5. 218 pages.


Written by oncology nurses and published by the Oncology Nursing Society, the target audience of this book is nurses practicing in oncology. Within this narrow focus, though, is a well-written book that contains detailed information. The evolution of telephone nursing, or telenursing, is presented along with the unique legal ramifications of patient management without being able to visualize the patient. Several models of telephone triage are detailed. Guidelines, as opposed to protocols or algorithms, are recommended for use in telephone triage because of their inherent flexibility. "They provide a foundation for how and what the nurse should investigate about the symptom the patient is reporting" (p21).


The remainder of the book focuses on the symptoms. They are listed not by the causative disease, but by the symptoms themselves. This is of course how the patients calling for advice will present them. Some of the symptoms are anorexia, deep-vein thrombosis, esophagitis, hand-foot syndrome, mucositis, pruritis, and xerostomia. The discussion of each symptom includes the problem, assessment criteria, signs and symptoms and action related to each, homecare instructions, problems that need to be reported to a physician, and situations that need emergent care.