The exact requirements vary between providers, but most nurse hot lines require staff members to be registered nurses. Some hot lines require specialized training in fields such as pediatric nursing; these specialized nurses provide advice to callers with specific issues.
Nurse hot lines are not intended for use in emergencies. These hot lines carry disclaimers that callers with a critical medical emergency should call 911 or another emergency services line. In cases where all the nurses are busy, some hot lines direct callers to voice mail. A registered nurse returns these calls. Other hot lines staff certified medical assistants to begin calls, then pass them over to an available nurse.
Hiring certified medical assistants and other non-nursing staff is not a standard practice across all nurse hot lines. Potential applicants should always check with a hot line for its specific requirements before applying. Non-nurse employees do not provide medical advice to callers.
Nurse hot lines are provided by insurance companies, employers and other groups for members or employees to use. These hot lines provide information about local doctors, answer health questions, schedule doctor's appointments and authorize insurance customers to visit hospitals or specialists. The exact services provided and who can access these services varies between hot lines.