Train receptionists to read warning signs
GENERAL practice staff are being urged to encourage their nonclinical employees to take part in free training to promptly identify patients with suspected signs of impending heart attack or stroke.
Reception staff are usually the first to see patients presenting with symptoms of severe chest pain, and an online training tool has been developed to help non-clinical staff identify such patients.
The triage strategy, called BeAWARE of warning signs of heart attack and stroke, is a tool put together by the Heart Foundation and National Stroke Foundation.
Heart Foundation CEO Dr Lyn Roberts said reception staff are the eyes and ears of general practice. “For this reason it is vital reception staff are trained to appropriately identify and deal with patients presenting with the warning signs of heart attack and stroke, so they can make potentially life-saving decisions,” she said.
A Heart Foundation study found 15% of patients who experience severe chest pain attend their GP surgery or call a health professional, rather than call 000.
Research has shown nine out of 10 practice nurses have had patients present with heart attack warning signs rather than calling an ambulance.
On completion of the module, the practice receives a resource kit. To register, visit Heart Foundation online learning
Article originally published in Medical Observer, National 22 Jun 2012