Do triage nurse-initiated X-rays for limb injuries reduce patient transit time?

Accid Emerg Nurs. 1997 Jan;5(1):14-5. doi: 10.1016/s0965-2302(97)90056-4.


Patients with isolated limb injuries are often required to wait a long time for treatment and investigation in emergency departments. It was hypothesized that allowing triage nurses to initiate X-rays would reduce transit times for these patients. A prospective, randomized comparison trial of 175 patients was conducted, comparing transit times between a group of patients who had X-rays initiated at triage and a group which did not. No statistically significant reduction in transit time was demonstrated by this change in practice, either for a group who had sustained fractures or for one which had not. Despite this finding, staff and patient satisfaction with this change in procedure was high. This justifies continuation of the practice and further research.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Emergency Nursing*
  • Extremities / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Time Factors
  • Triage*
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Wounds and Injuries / nursing