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Telephone Triage for Oncology Nurses


Hickey, M., & Newton, S. (eds.). Pittsburgh: Oncology Nursing Society, 2005, 240 pp, $55 member, $77 nonmember; 866-257-4667;


As the care of patients with cancer has shifted from the inpatient arena to outpatient and home care, the nurse's role has changed. Nurses in outpatient clinics, home care, and physicians' offices frequently find themselves assessing, providing triage, and giving advice over the telephone. Office triage nurses must be knowledgeable about the patient, be experienced in the nursing specialty, and possess good interviewing and telephone assessment skills.


This text is a resource for oncology nurses who are new to the telephone nursing role as well as a guide for the expert who is working with a formalized telephone nursing practice. Chapters provide a systematic approach to performing a telephone nursing assessment, discussion of telephone triage practice models, tips to improve telephone communication, and a history of telephone triage. Symptom-focused protocols and guidelines help direct oncology nurses develop practice guidelines.