Experiences of Emergency Nurses in Carrying Out Triage During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study


The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the biggest challenges to health systems’ ability to continue to provide good medical services. The development of the Covid-19 pandemic has required all hospitals to be able to adapt quickly and precisely to ensure safe services for patients and staff. The emergency department is the main gate for receiving patients with various emergency cases, both positive and negative for Covid-19. During the pandemic, the emergency room has been crowded with patients with symptoms that point to Covid-19. The high number of patients is a stressor and a challenge for the staff. In this case, the triage procedure is key in determining the patient’s emergency condition and the intervention to be carried out. The ideal triage system should be standardized and reliable in its implementation to achieve clinical efficiency in determining treatment. This was a phenomenological qualitative study to explore the experience of emergency room nurses in conducting triage during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study was conducted at the emergency department of the University of Muhammadiyah Malang Hospital with a total of 4 participants. Data collection was carried out by in-depth interviews. The interview process was conducted using an interview guide and a recording device. Based on the results, the following themes were obtained: 1) the triage method used was disaster triage with visual triage; 2) EWS screening of Covid-19 patients; 3) dishonesty of patients and family; 4) triage was not performed in a standardized way because of the condition of the hospital; 5) distancing of patients with Covid-19 from others; and 6) guilt when refusing patients.

Keywords: triage, nurse, emergency room, pandemic

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