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To be dubious about a 'triage nurse' appt?

(35 Posts)
SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Tue 02-Feb-16 08:34:49

DS age 5 (and the others but not as bad) has had a cough for 4 weeks, it's got to the point where the last 3 nights he hasn't slept as it's worse at night. Done the talk to the pharmacist/ glycerol/ honey water and the usual but it's left him wrecked with no sleep. He used to have this a few years back and only an inhaler would clear it

So GP has to be an emergency appt, as it's well over a week for a normal appt, nearly 2 weeks. I'd wait a few days but 2 weeks isn't fair on him...

They've introduced a new nurse triage. AIBU this is going to be hellish with three kids 5 and under who are all unwell to some level (baby has a horrific vax fever too and the frustrated non-verbal 3 yr old is in a foul mood with her cold) where we wait for ages to see someone then either get fobbed off or wait ages for a GP again whilst all they lose it in the waiting room?

Has anyone had a positive experience of this new system?

HeyMacWey Tue 02-Feb-16 08:37:07

Our gp does the whole triage thing over the phone. Could you ask for that?

HeyMacWey Tue 02-Feb-16 08:37:52

Or just ask for a repeat prescription of his inhaler?

aurorie11 Tue 02-Feb-16 08:39:37

Is it a nurse triage or a nurse practitioner? Our docs use nurse practitioners, they are great and will diagnose and prescribe, much prefer this for the situation you describe with your DS. Hope he's better soon xx

CMOTDibbler Tue 02-Feb-16 08:40:03

At our surgery it works brilliantly - the nurse practitioner can prescribe quite a lot of things, and if she isn't sure or can't prescribe what she thinks you need then you go straight into the duty GP to see them.

Sidge Tue 02-Feb-16 08:40:22

YABU. Nurse practitioners and senior practice nurses are very well qualified, experienced, often prescribers and many have more experience than some junior doctors. My NP colleague trains the GP registars...

IME they see you quicker than a GP as they don't get tied up with very complicated stuff and 9 times out of 10 can deal with the problem.

It won't be a barrel of laughs if you have 3 unwell kids to take (can't someone watch the other two?) but if you want a same day appointment then you'll have to deal with it. And if the nurse can't help you she can get straight to the GP who can. If you have to wait another 10 minutes then so be it.

Hope he's better soon.

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Tue 02-Feb-16 08:41:06

Oh good to hear, I've never heard of it before (luckily pretty healthy kids!)

Just said the 'triage nurse' on the phone

scarlets Tue 02-Feb-16 08:41:29

My limited experience of seeing nurses under these circumstances is that you just get stuck in a queue for a doctor because they can't do much. I'm sure there must be a point to it, which someone will come along and clarify, but it seems like a waste of time to me.

Birdsgottafly Tue 02-Feb-16 08:43:14

I've personally had bad experiences with Triage Nurses.

The last one was in November. I was told to go home and start taking Iron tablets (for exhaustion) . I had Pneumonia.

I've found their knowledge, in some conditions, very limited.

However, go to the appointment, you might touch lucky, but if you get fobbed off, don't take their diagnosis as gospel.

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Tue 02-Feb-16 08:43:32

sidge, I'd be fine with another 10 min...but experience has shown it can be 40...and if it was like that for two appts I'll cry in the waiting room probably!

No one for other two.

I don't even want 'same day' as such, just not two whole weeks.

His inhaler was 3 years ago, used for one year plus at a different GP. Just sounds the same as then plus it's mainly night, I might be wrong.

MrsJayy Tue 02-Feb-16 08:43:53

We have this but nurse usually phones you back first I was meh at first bur its ok our nurse will bring a gp in if needed

ValiantMouse Tue 02-Feb-16 08:47:46

Do you have a local walk in clinic?

ABetaDad1 Tue 02-Feb-16 08:50:30

A doctor told me years ago to use Piriton for tickly coughs. Cough medicines don't work. Piriton supresses the tickle-cough-tickle response and makes the child drowsy. The Dr told us child cough medicines basically don't work.

We used Piriton for both our children and it works.

Chesty coughs a different matter but tickly coughs it does the trick and allows the child a good nights sleep.

I believe you can buy Piriton liquid for children over the counter now.

Allyoucaneat Tue 02-Feb-16 08:51:14

Our nurse will prescribe if needed and skips needing to see the gp, much more efficient IMO.

Sirona Tue 02-Feb-16 09:11:49

Triage here means they traige after a phone call and call you back with an appointment time for that day. You see a nurse and if needs be she will call a doctor in, like they do for ds's asthma if he has a bad chest sometimes. Works really well here. You might have to get an appointment quite late on at 6pm but I don't mind.

ohtheholidays Tue 02-Feb-16 09:17:31

We have a local walk in clinic where we live now,it's in the town so about 20 minutes drive from us.They have been brilliant with our DC though,we've had to use them 3 times so far(3 of our children became really ill over friday night and our surgery's not open on a saturday)and there wasn't a huge wait.

If you have one near you that you can get to around this kind of time shouldn't be to busy.I wouldn't leave it another 2 weeks bless him,4 weeks is along time to have a cough.

TattyDevine Tue 02-Feb-16 09:21:48

If you can end up seeing a nurse practitioner over it then you'll be fine - she can prescribe the inhaler if needed and antibiotics if it is bacterial, etc etc. I'd go with it.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 02-Feb-16 09:25:09

We also see our NP a lot. Usually when it's that whole is it just a nasty cough or are we now in chest infection territory, or they are complaining of earache and you can't see a thing.
Very reassuring to have someone competent listen to a chest or peer down an ear canal with the right equipment.
They are also often parents and quite pragmatic. I've left to go on holiday with a sickly child and a just in case prescription.

I've also seen them miss something quite serious with DH but the doctor did too. No-one is infallible. If you are not happy or they are in any doubt, you can ask for and /they can seek a second opinion. You need to see someone soon, I wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Have you tried using a steamer in his room and raising his mattress at the head end? It really helps with easing the irritation.

I was told that coughs getting worse at night is the body's typical response to viral upper respiratory infection. DD had something similar in late November. Its a horrible dose.

teeththief Tue 02-Feb-16 09:30:18

Our nurse practitioners are amazing. They can diagnose most common ailments without the aide of a gp. However, if they look at the patient and decide intervention beyond their knowledge/experience may be needed they put you as an emergency for whichever GP is next free.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Tue 02-Feb-16 09:31:12

Ours is great, the appointments always seem to run pretty well to time and if they need a doctor they will leave you in the consulting room while they either PM one or go and speak to one in person (they can see on their computer who is free). Most of the time they haven't needed to with us though and have been more than able to deal with our ailments. It's a big practice with a lot of GPs and nurses though, might not work so well in a smaller one.

cleaty Tue 02-Feb-16 10:14:01

I too have had bad experiences. Absolutely fine if you have something common such as a chest infection, useless at recognising that symptoms point to something more unusual.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Tue 02-Feb-16 11:05:04

Had a brilliant nurse practitioner while at uni, she prescribed (think the doctor had to sign but it was never an issue, and may have changed since then any way).

Sidge Tue 02-Feb-16 11:32:27

Sexdrugs no I get that it doesn't have to be a same day appointment, it's really annoying that options seem to be 'same day' or '3 weeks time' in most surgeries (including the ones I've worked in) - you can thank the Government for their stupid targets for that one...!

Surgeries do vary - some will be very efficient and have large teams of experienced, knowledgeable doctors and nurses with possibly an allocated duty GP so the nurse can grab him or her pretty easily if needed. Others aren't so good and the nurses' knowledge can be lacking, often due to being pressed into doing triage and assessment without adequate training - which is unacceptable and a whole other thread.

cleaty NPs and PNs aren't supposed to deal with the unusual - their role in triage and assessment is to deal with the routine and mundane; chest/ear/skin/throat/urine infections, coughs and colds, emergency contraception, wounds and injuries, possibly asthma/COPD exacerbations, diabetic issues - it will vary between surgeries. Receptionists shouldn't be booking complicated stuff in and of course if a nurse hasn't a clue what's going on they should reroute to a GP and not just shrug and say no idea!

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Tue 02-Feb-16 12:34:00

Well it started well. Dragged 3 sick children down, waited a very short time and she prescribed am inhaler. Dragged them back the half hour walk to pharmacy with now batshit fever find she'd prescribed an inhaler and mask that don't fit together! Now waiting for a call back and dreading the repeat round trip with doublely arsey kids.

bakeoffcake Tue 02-Feb-16 12:42:47

Oh that's awful!
You shouldn't have to go back- the oharmasust should sort it out with the

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