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Do knowledge and experience have specific roles in triage decision-making?
journal contributionposted on 2007-06-28, 00:00 authored by Julie ConsidineJulie Considine, Mari BottiMari Botti, S Thomas
Accuracy of triage decisions is a major influence on patient outcomes. Triage nurses' knowledge and experience have been cited as influential factors in triage decision-making. The aim of this article is to examine the independent roles of factual knowledge and experience in triage decisions. All of the articles cited in this review were research papers that examined the relationship between triage decisions and knowledge and/or experience of triage nurses. Numerous studies have shown that factual knowledge is an important factor in improving triage decisions. Although a number of studies have examined the role of experience as an independent influence on triage decisions, none have found a significant relationship between experience and triage decision-making. Factual knowledge appears to be more important than years of emergency nursing or triage experience in triage decision accuracy. Many triage education programs are underpinned by the assumption that knowledge acquisition will result in improved triage decisions. A better understanding of the relationships between clinical decisions, knowledge, and experience is pivotal for the rigorous evaluation of education programs.