Overall Goal of Education Plan
The overall goal of this educational program is that the students will gain a complete,
theoretical understanding of the ESI and be able to apply it to the triage duties at SJRMC’s ED.
The students will be able to use the ESI algorithm to assign acuities rapidly and accurately to
patients who present for treatment.
The Emergency Severity Index (ESI) is a relatively new triage system that “evaluates the
acuity of a patient based on patient assessment, vital signs, and suspected resources needed”
(Shelton, 2009, p. 9). Traditional triage methods vary among emergency departments and have
not been able to meet the growing demands of overcrowding and understaffing. ESI is more
accurate and reliable than existing systems and helps prevent the risk of patient deterioration
while waiting to be seen. The Emergency Nurses Association, which sets professional standards
for Emergency Nursing, and the American College of Emergency Physicians, endorse ESI
(Shelton, 2009). ESI also provides valuable data that is standardized across emergency
departments, which is essential for research and data collection. Department leaders should not
implement ESI without careful planning. Comprehensive education for the nurses is critical, and
all efforts should be made to provide thorough ESI training (Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality [AHRQ], 2014).
1. Students will demonstrate proper acuity assignments using the ESI algorithm.
2. Students will explain what acuities are based on according to the ESI.
3. Students will list the actual acuity levels and what they mean.
4. Students will discuss the four decision points.
5. Students will describe why vital signs are not required for every patient.