Triage

Welcome to Triage

Registered Nurses are available for same-day consultation by phone (tele-triage) or in person to walk-in patients. Triage Nurses will discuss your healthcare concerns with you, perform a physical assessment, and take your vital signs. Triage nurses will assist you in developing a plan of care that may include self-care instructions, over-the-counter medication guidance, and assistance in scheduling an appointment if needed.

Tele-Triage requests after 2:00 p.m. will be returned within one business day.

Treatment information for Colds, Flu, and Allergies


Stuffy Nose/Sinus Congestion

Over the counter (OTC) Medications

Oral decongestant such as Sudafed, Claritin D, Allegra D, Zyrtec D (Contain pseudoephedrine and are available behind the pharmacy counter) Pseudoephedrine is used for the temporary relief of stuffy nose and sinus pain/pressure caused by infection (such as the common cold, flu) or other breathing illnesses (such as hay fever, allergies, bronchitis). Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant (sympathomimetic). It works by narrowing the blood vessels to decrease swelling and congestion. Saline sprays and Rinses are helpful to clear congestion and maintain moisture within the nose.

Side Effects/Contraindications

Oral pills may cause nervousness and insomnia. Do not use if you have high blood pressure, a heart condition, or take stimulant medication such as ADD or ADHD medication. Do not take with alcohol.

Fever/Pain

Over the counter (OTC) Medications

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) Naproxen (Aleve) Aspirin (Bayer or Bufferin) – Do not take if under 19 due to the link of aspirin use and Reye’s Syndrome

Side Effects/Contraindications

Tylenol can result in liver problems with heavy alcohol use. Motrin can cause stomach upset – take with food or milk. Do not use if allergic to Aspirin or have ulcers, blood clotting, or kidney disease.

Sore Throat

Over the counter (OTC) Medications

Warm salt water gargles. Use 1-2 tsp of salt in 8 oz. warm water, gargle 4 times daily. Chloraseptic Spray or lozenges. Also, above pain medications.

Runny Nose/Allergies

Over the counter (OTC) Medications

Antihistamine such as Benadryl. (Newer OTC oral antihistamines such as Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra are available and are generally nonsedating.). Fluticasone is used to relieve seasonal and year-round allergic and nonallergic nasal symptoms, such as stuffy/runny nose, itching, and sneezing. It can also help relieve allergy eye symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works in your nose to block the effects of substances that cause allergies (such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold) and to reduce swelling.

Side Effects/Contraindications

Antihistamines generally cause drowsiness and dry mouth. Do not use with alcohol or driving. Do not take with sleeping aids, anti-anxiety, or anti-depressant drugs.

Cough/Chest Congestion

Over the counter (OTC) Medications

Dextromethorphan and Guaifenesin are used in combination to relieve coughs caused by the common cold, bronchitis, and other breathing illnesses. Guaifenesin belongs to a class of drugs known as expectorants. It works by thinning and loosening mucus in the airways, clearing congestion, and making breathing easier. Dextromethorphan belongs to a class of drugs known as cough suppressants. It acts on a part of the brain (cough center) to reduce the urge to cough.

Side Effects/Contraindications

May cause drowsiness.

Multi Symptoms

Over the counter (OTC) Medications

There are many different multi-symptom cold, allergy, and flu medication. Please read the labels carefully to see what symptoms you are treating. Multi-symptom medications could contain: Decongestant/mucolytic for stuff nose. Antihistamines for runny nose/allergy signs and symptoms. Fever/pain relievers. Cough medications could contain expectorants and/or suppressants.

Side Effects/Contraindications

DO NOT TAKE SINGLE SYMPTOM MEDICATIONS ABOVE IF YOU ARE ALREADY TAKING MULTISYMPTOM MEDICATION. YOU COULD BE DOUBLE DOSING YOURSELF. Some OTC antihistamines may cause drowsiness. Do not take with alcohol.


Supplies to have on hand – Digital thermometer, (electrolyte sport drinks such as PowerAde, etc.), cool mist vaporizer for bedroom during sleep. General Measures – Wash hands and use disposable tissues. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol. Get plenty of rest. Take steamy showers. Drink warm fluids such as tea or soup. Return to the Health Center if the following occur – Fever greater than 101.0 F, Persistent green mucous from the nose or chest >10 days, cough lasting over 2 weeks, ear or facial pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, wheezing.

After Hours Care

If you need medical assistance outside of our operating hours, click here for after hours resources in our community. 

title-inside title-centered
2