All in a Day's Work: Colleen Bergstrom, RN, Pediatric Triage Nurse

  • Article by: NANCY CROTTI , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: May 3, 2009 - 12:05 AM

Colleen Bergstrom, RN, a pediatric triage nurse at HealthPartners Como Clinic in St. Paul, talks about her job. She discusses why she became a triage nurse, what a typical workday is like, and how her role fits into the bigger healthcare picture.


All in a Day's Work: Colleen Bergstrom, RN, Pediatric Triage Nurse

Q: What's a typical workday like for you?

My main job is phone triage, problem-solving and communicating between the providers and patients' parents. When a parent calls with a question about a child's injury or illness, I ask questions provided in a prescribed treatment plan and advise them on how to treat the child at home or to bring the child to the clinic or the hospital. I help parents navigate the healthcare system to find the proper treatment for their child, based on provider's orders. I work with physicians on behavioral health, scheduling evaluations and processing the paperwork that parents, teachers and patients fill out. Through the state Child and Teen Checkup program, I contact families of patients who are overdue for checkups and ask them to schedule an appointment. I also do the daily nurse schedule.

Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?

I provide current health education and assist parents either with home care or with referrals. I also give a lot of reassurance. Parents just want to know they're doing the right thing.

Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?

I interact with staff in all areas of the clinic, including the laboratory and pharmacy, as well as with providers, nurses, reception staff, parents and school nurses.

Q: Why did you become a pediatric triage nurse?

I enjoy children. They're open and honest. I also am an advocate for children's health. That's my niche and passion. It's a good fit for me.

Q: What do you like about your work?

I enjoy helping, caring and sharing my knowledge. I also really like working for HealthPartners. I've been involved with the Healthy Workplace, a program about team-building and having a positive work environment. It's a win-win and they do care what we have to say. It's a good place to work.

- Nancy Crotti

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