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Health Emergency Assistance Line and Triage Hub (HEALTH) Model

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This resource was part of AHRQ's Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011, in a realignment of Federal efforts.

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Appendix L. Level 1 and Level 2 Job Descriptions

Level 1 Job Description

Personnel Supervised: None
Position Summary: Provides phone consultation and education to consumers and health care professionals regarding public health information. Works under the direct supervision of a call center service leader (registered nurse [RN]).
Minimum Qualifications: Health and/or science related studies, degree and/or experience preferred. Type 30 words per minute (wpm). Excellent phone and communication skills. Previous health call center, dispatcher experience preferred.
Education: High school diploma, health and/or science related studies and/or degree, emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic course preferred. Ability to comprehend and appropriately use medical terminology.
Required License: None

Position Responsibilities & Performance Expectations

Essential Job Responsibilities and Competencies:

  1. Promotes positive customer relations in dealing with patients, visitors, and other employees. Competency at this specific essential responsibility shall be demonstrated by:
    • Adheres to, complies with, and demonstrates support for the mission and values of the organization.
    • Treats all customers and co-workers with courtesy, dignity, and respect; consistently displays courteous and respectful verbal and non-verbal communication with customers and co-workers.
    • Does not make negative comments regarding policies, procedures, or staff.
    • Creates and maintains a secure and trusting environment by not sharing information learned on the job except when necessary in the performance of the job responsibilities or to improve a patient's care.
  2. As applicable, the incumbent within this position shall complete all duties, responsibilities, and competencies in a manner that is effective and appropriate to the age group(s) of the patients/clients to whom care/service is being provided. Competency at this specific essential responsibility shall be demonstrated by:
    • Utilizes methods, techniques, and approaches to the delivery of care that is consistent with the age group of the patient and in conformance with the specific care plan developed for each patient.
    • Demonstrates knowledge and applicability of the principles of growth and development over the life span, as well as demonstrating the ability to assess data reflecting the patient's status and interpreting appropriate information relative to the age specific needs of the patient(s) to whom care/service is being delivered/provided.
    • At a minimum, the success with which employees produce the results expected utilizing the above methods, techniques, and approaches with specific patient age groups, shall be assessed via observation, and/or competency review, and/or patient outcome assessment.
  3. Asks direct questions to elicit information necessary for caller assessment and appropriate follow up. Competency at this specific responsibility shall be demonstrated by:
    • Obtains accurate demographics as required by client.
    • Obtains required information for reports as defined by client, such as "dead bird reports," adverse events related to vaccines.
    • Follows all decision trees, processes, and protocols required to deliver the service.
    • Provides all information accurately as written in answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
    • Communicates verbally in a calm manner to offer support and information.
    • Demonstrates ability to triage incoming calls, and manage in order of priority, and to manage increased numbers of incoming calls during periods of high call volume.
  4. Collects appropriate and required information and documents this information in call record.
    • Documents notes in a clear and easily understood style.
    • Collects demographic and other information used to generate statistics on calls.
    • Call reviews pass routine and other quality reviews, including chart and tape audits and peer review.
  5. Possesses technical and mathematical skills to manage cases. Competency at this specific essential responsibility shall be demonstrated by:
    • Ability to type 25-30 wpm.
    • Knowledge of computers utilizing Windows® 95 or higher based format, including mouse, click on/drop down boxes, scrolling, moving between multiple databases, etc.
  6. Provides public education.
    • Gives information from pre-approved FAQs.
  7. Follows policies and procedures for attendance, participation at staff meetings, and required certifications. Competency at this specific essential responsibility shall be demonstrated by:
    • Attends required number of mandatory staff meetings per poison center policy.
    • Adheres to policies, including attendance, punctuality, and dress code.
    • Participates in meetings, training, and case reviews.
  8. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Level 2 Job Description

Personnel Supervised: Clerical personnel
Position Summary: Performs telephone triage under conditions that may be demanding, stressful, and repetitious. Functions independently to collect data and make assessment, develop a working diagnosis and determine interventions and disposition per guidelines. Guides evaluation including instructing patient/caller how to evaluate normal/abnormal symptoms, effectiveness of treatment, and when to call back. Documents symptoms/complaints, nursing assessment, advice, and patient/caller response. Follows policies, procedures, and protocols to ensure consistency and departmental effectiveness, as well as improve health care outcomes of patients/callers and their access to appropriate health care.
Minimum Qualifications:  
Education: Associate Degree in Nursing
Experience:

At least 2 years of recent nursing experience. Spanish speaking, computer or keyboard skills (able to type 35 wpm) and telephone triage experience preferred.

OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Required License: Registered Nurse in the State of Colorado

Position Responsibilities & Performance Expectations

Essential Job Responsibilities and Competencies:

  1. Promotes positive customer relations in dealing with patients, visitors, and other employees. Competency at this specific essential responsibility shall be demonstrated by:
    • Adheres to, complies with, and demonstrates support for the mission and values of the organization.
    • Treats all customers and co-workers with courtesy, dignity, and respect; consistently displays courteous and respectful verbal and non-verbal communication with customers and co-workers.
    • Does not make negative comments regarding policies, procedures, or staff.
    • Creates and maintains a secure and trusting environment by not sharing information learned on the job except when necessary in the performance of the job responsibilities or to improve a patient's care.
  2. As applicable, the incumbent within this position shall complete all duties, responsibilities, and competencies in a manner that is effective and appropriate to the age group(s) of the patients/clients to whom care/service is being provided. Competency at this specific essential responsibility shall be demonstrated by:
    • Utilizes methods, techniques, and approaches to the delivery of care that is consistent with the age group of the patient and in conformance with the specific care plan developed for each patient.
    • Demonstrates knowledge and applicability of the principles of growth and development over the life span, as well as demonstrating the ability to assess data reflecting the patient's status and interpreting appropriate information relative to the age specific needs of the patient(s) to whom care/service is being delivered/provided.
    • At a minimum, the success with which employees produce the results expected utilizing the above methods, techniques, and approaches with specific patient age groups, shall be assessed via observation, and/or competency review, and/or patient outcome assessment. Passes unit specific competencies essential for job performance at orientation and annual review.
  3. Assessment
    • The nurse collects patient health data in order to identify relevant and unique patient/caller needs.
    • Performs initial assessment for _____neonatal, _____ pediatric, _____adolescent, _____ adult, and/or ______ geriatric patients. (Check all that apply.)
    • Differentiates normal from abnormal findings, including potential problems.
    • Identifies patient needs and basic understanding of assessment findings as they relate to the practice of telephone triage.
    • Acts appropriately in critical situations.
    • Identifies unique learning needs of patient/caller and participates in their education through care advice and repeat by patient/caller understanding.
  4. Diagnosis/Determination of Needs
    • The nurse systematically analyzes the assessment data in order to choose the correct guideline to determine plan of care most appropriate for the needs of the patient/caller.
    • Analyzes assessment data to determine most appropriate guideline selection for patient/caller.
    • Evaluates care advice for appropriateness for age of patient/caller.
    • Assesses for signs of abuse and makes appropriate referrals.
    • Reviews medications/drug dosages and allergies with health history and ensures immunizations are up-to-date as appropriate.
  5. Outcome/Planning
    • The nurse in conjunction with the patient/caller identifies realistic disposition for the patient/caller.
    • Advises appropriate disposition for guideline selection for patient/caller.
    • Demonstrates the ability to adjust (override) the disposition according to the unique needs/situation of the patient/caller.
  6. Implementation
    • The nurse implements care advice based on prioritized patient/caller needs.
    • Implements nursing interventions based on care advice, priority of needs, unit/department guidelines and standards, and hospital policy and procedures.
    • Triages calls in order of priority.
  7. Evaluation
    • The nurse evaluates care advice based on patient/caller understanding and goals of advice.
    • Redefines priorities for care based on evaluation of patient's/caller's response or changing condition and makes appropriate updates to care advice/plan.
  8. Documentation
    • Assures all nursing assessment and care advice is documented concisely, clearly, and completely.
    • Documentation is clear and concise and reflects assessment and care advice given. Also reflects any deviations and reason.
    • Performs quality improvement (QI) and documentation audits.
  9. Quality of Care
    • The nurse assumes accountability for evaluating quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of nursing care provided to patients/callers.
    • Integrates quality improvement activities into practice.
    • Assists in identifying ways to promote quality care and in collecting data needed to promote process and operational improvements.
    • Demonstrates a basic understanding in the role of the nurse as provider of care and information.
  10. Ethics and Ethical Manner
    • Maintains patient/family and staff confidentiality.
    • Acts as a patient advocate.
    • Delivers care in a non-judgmental, non-discriminatory manner that preserves patient's rights.
    • Participates in the ethical decision making process.
  11. Knowledge of Safety and Infection Control Practice
    • Maintains a safe environment by practicing sound safety practices according to organization policies.
    • Identifies and responds to safety issues and infection control issues.
  12. Performance Appraisal
    • The nurse evaluates his or her practice in relation to professional standards, statutes, regulations, hospital and department policies, and standards of care.
    • Accepts constructive peer input.
    • Actively solicits constructive feedback regarding performance.
    • Assumes accountability and responsibility for working towards and achieving goals set forth by the manager, educator, preceptor, and themselves for the next evaluation period.
    • Provides peer feedback as requested.
  13. Education
    • The nurse actively seeks out activities to maintain and improve their current knowledgebase and skills for their nursing practice.
    • Attends all mandatory in-services, staff meetings, and annual skills review, including safety, infection control, disaster, fire, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
    • Recognizes self-learning needs and plans to meet them.
    • Incorporates new knowledge obtained into practice.
  14. Collegiality/Collaboration
    • The nurse contributes to development of nursing personnel and clerical support. He or she collaborates with the patient/caller and other health care providers in providing care.
    • Interacts with colleagues and the public in a manner consistent with the standards set forth in "Excellence in Service," and with the mission of the agency.
    • Shares information with others.
    • Participates in peer review when requested and ensures comments are constructive.
    • Assists in promoting and maintaining a positive attitude toward the unit and institution.
  15. Performs other related duties as assigned.

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