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How to survive your hospital visit series: When you speak with the Triage Nurse

Another step in ensuring survival in your hospital visit is knowing how to talk to the triage nurse. When you first enter the E.R., you will probably be told to talk to the triage nurse on duty. The triage nurse signs all of the patients in, takes their blood pressure and temperature, and sets the order in which they’re seen based on severity of symptoms. Because of hospital overcrowding, triage nurses are very busy. When speaking to the nurse, do the following:
1. Be descriptive. Pinpoint your pain’s location and describe it using analogies.
2. Be specific.
3. Be honest. Come clean about every pill you have ingested, even if it is embarrassing.

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