Triage is an initial part of the process to evaluate and care for patients. This is often used to help decide the order patients are brought back to a room because some rooms may also have specialized equipment. It also is used to help decide which room is best for each given patient. But it is also the beginning of the patient's care in the ER. It is frequently the first contact with a healthcare professional in the ER. Often it is a nurse, but not always. They will measure the vital signs, make the initial assessment and get the patient's care started. They may even get some initial screening test started such as blood tests or x-rays. These are the measures of our vital functions of our body, such as our breathing and right heart rate. Usually, healthcare providers will measure the heart rate, which is also known as the pulse, the blood pressure, the breathing rate, which is also known as the respiratory rate, and the temperature. They may also measure the oxygen level in the blood. This is also known as the pulse oximeter reading, where we commonly will call it the pulse-ox for short.
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