Introduction to Medical Triage

introduction to medical triage

Medical Triage is a system in which patients are prioritized based on their emergency and who needs the treatment first. Sorting is decided on a nurse’s brief assessment of a patient’s condition. Once a patient is brought into an emergency department, They are first taken by a skilled triage nurse who conducts a brief exam to decide what immediate steps should be taken to treat the patient. The concept of triage, sorting and prioritizing has been intact since the 1800s.

It was developed by French doctors of World War I because of the presence of more patients than doctors. The word triage comes from the French word “trier” which means to sort into groups.

Introduction to Medical Triage

The groups were divided as:

  1. Those who will probably live even without medical attention
  2. Those who are likely to die even with medical attention
  3. Those who can be saved by medical attention

Group 3 was treated first.

Triage ensures that you are treated based on your clinical urgency. You may not be taken to a treatment area as soon as you arrive. However, it is made sure that you are treated as quickly as possible and get the best treatment and are redirected to the department concerning your conditions. While, you are in the emergency department and have any questions or feel a change in your condition, contact your triage nurse as soon as possible. It is important to remember that the word triage is used to explain a dynamic process which means that the patient’s status can change rapidly. As a prepper you may be required to take on the role of a triage nurse. In time of crises you may come along a person our group of persons who require medical attention. Should you choose to assist them, it is vital that you treat those who required the most immediate attention first, while making sure your not wasting your resources on someone who will not survive.

Use this checklist of triage condition levels as an assessment:

  1. Deceased or cannot be saved
  2. Needs immediate attention
  3. Needs attention as soon as possible
  4. Patients with minor injuries who can wait till more serious patients are treated.

The patients receive treatment in the order 1, 2 ,3 then 4.

In the modern healthcare system, there are three phases of triage. First one is pre-hospital triage (ambulance dispatching and prehospital care resources), the second is triage at the scene (the first clinician to attend the patient) and the last one is triage on arrival at the emergency department.

To add certainty in the triage process, measurement of physiological parameters and the introduction of structural clinical examination can be done.

One way to use the triage system effectively is by ensuring that the underpinning logistics of an emergency system must be in place so that patients could be rapidly evacuated to the most appropriate department.

With the increase in the complexity of the health care systems, increase in demand and costs, rise in integrated triage, prioritization and streaming systems and the use of a common language and system remain the key to improve a patient’s outcome and survival.

In modern care, the critically ill and injured are managed in combined centers which focuses on early investigation, early examination and rapid access to definitive treatment.

Different types of triage includes Emergency Triage, Disaster Triage and Telephone Triage.


I hope this article on medical triage has been of help to you, being able to asses situations on the fly might just save your life, or the life of another person.

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Jesse Jones is an Owner at 365preppers.com and has been writing website content for over 8 years. Over the last 3 years Jesse has become an avid survival/prepper educationalist.


Jesse Jones is an Owner at 365preppers.com and has been writing website content for over 8 years. Over the last 3 years Jesse has become an avid survival/prepper educationalist.

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