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Emergency triage and the mental health nurse

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by John Broadbent, Lorna Moxham, Trudy DwyerTrudy Dwyer
In 2001 a mental health triage scale was introduced into the emergency department of the Geelong Hospital, Victoria. Changes were made to the assessment and management of clients with a mental illness by mental health and emergency triage staff. The new service has been used as a model of contempory service delivery across Victoria. Since the introduction of this model it is evident misunderstanding exists as to the nature and principles of emergency triage by some mental health triage staff. This presentation presents the principles of emergency triage from a historical and current policy perspective. Exemplars of the parallels between physical and metal illness in the context of emergency triage and the variety of models of mental health care for clients with a mental illness in the emergency department are presented. As well as this the conflicts in terminology that exist within emergency department practice and mental health practice in relation to mental health triage are detailed and explained. This paper details the important principles of emergency triage and examines them in the context of contempory mental health service delivery to clients with a mental illness in the emergency department.


Parent Title

Mental health nursing : making waves, 33rd Annual International Conference of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACHMN Inc.) 2007, 8-12 October 2007, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Start Page


Start Date



Cairns, Qld.



Place of Publication


Peer Reviewed

  • No

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health; TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible

  • No

Name of Conference

Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. Conference