Telephone Triage Nurse (TTN)

Telephone triage nurse

Have you thought about working as a telephone triage nurse? That is great to hear! In this article, I will tell you about the telephone triage nurse’s job, salary, and some protocols.

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First, you should know the basics of TTNs before we move on deeper talking about salaries, job opportunities, and protocols. If you already know the basics you jump straight to telephone triage nurse salary.


TTNs guide patients with telephone or video chat. Somewhere they are called telehealth nurses or TTNs.

A telephone triage nurse helps patients if they need to seek emergency treatment. Also, they can book an appointment with the doctor.

Some TTNs have the opportunity to work from home.

I think that it is a big benefit when you can work at home. But telephone triage nurse needs to get information from the patient by phone or a video chat.

This can be more difficult compared to being face to face with the patient. When you are face to face with the patient you will see the patient’s expressions and gestures.

Expressions and gestures really tell a lot about the patient’s condition and well-being.

This next thing is important to keep in mind.

If you are thinking about a TTN’s job you will do your job via phone. At the hospital, you do a lot of work by hand.

Hand skills are important in the work of a nurse such as a cannula insertion and injection.

But TTN’s job you do you a job via phone. That means that your hand skills can get worse with time.

But when you have once learned to do things right and well you will surely know how to do them again fast if you are thinking to go back to for example to the hospital work.

To become a TTN you must be first a registered nurse like I am.

If you would like to know some more about how to become a registered nurse, check out that article of mine.

As you might already know there are three educational paths to study to become a registered nurse.

If you are considering whether you should complete an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, learn the differences from our article: ADN vs BSN.

Here is a video for you about telephone triage nursing where Rachel Zaleski tells her own experiences about it.

Telephone triage nurse jobs

Telephone triage services are usually available 24 hours a day seven days a week so it is shift work. So you may have morning-, evening- or night shifts.

Telephone triage service centers are the place where most TTNs work.

But did you know that they can also work at hospitals, physician offices, trauma centers, crisis hotlines, outpatient care facilities, and poison control centers?

TTNs are responsible for answering calls. Those that aren’t familiar with the job might think that it is easier than traditional nursing.

This is not the truth.

Working as a nurse as a TTN can be very hard. TTNs must make appropriate decisions based only on talking with the patient.

Once again we can say that this work requires a great deal of knowledge and resistance to pressure.

Telephone triage salary

According to telephone triage nurse salary in the United States is $74,443 as of December 26, 2019. The ranges typically fall between $67,928 and $84,191.

Telephone triage protocols

Telephone triage nurse protocols

Did you know that there are protocols that guide the work?

Next, I am going to tell you some more about these protocols for the telephone triage nurses.

Triage protocols provide many advantages and safeguards. The protocols work as a reminder that the nurses ask all the relevant questions.

The protocols are easy to use even in hard situations.

Triage protocols are also symptom-based.

There are so many different protocols so I think that it is easier if you will see them through the link without that I am writing each one separately here. So here is the link: TriageLogic.

The best way to learn triage protocols is by reading books about them. Here are two books that I recommend for you to learn about TTNs protocols:

Now that you know all about the TTN protocols it’s time to move on to typical TTN interview questions.

What are the typical telephone triage nurse interview questions?

Here are five of the most common job interview questions for a telephone triage nurse’s job.

  1. How have you ensured a high level of communication in previous health care positions?
  2. What techniques do you use to establish positive communication?
  3. How do you handle stressful situations?
  4. Describe what you do to control mistakes in your work.
  5. What is your technique for staying current with the newest medical developments?

So, these are questions that you should think about, what would you answer?

See also:

The best telephone triage nurse books

These are the books I recommend if you are interested to learn some more about TTNs:

That’s all about the telephone triage nurse. Here are a couple more articles you could find valuable for you:

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.