There are many toll-free 800 numbers that allow consultation with a nurse. These numbers are a helpful resource for people who are uncertain whether a situation requires immediate medical attention. The answering nurse asks questions about the health issue and recommends the appropriate treatment facility, as stated by Security Health.
Many people head into the emergency room to take care of medical situations that do not actually necessitate immediate attention. People who believe that the situation endangers a life should head to an emergency room immediately. However, 800 numbers such as the Security Health Plan line at 1-800-549-3174, as of 2015, provide access to a live nurse around the clock, notes Security Health.
When a caller dials the number for a nurse hotline, the nurse asks for a list of symptoms. On the basis of that list, the nurse next recommends taking the patient to a physician's office, urgent care facility or an emergency room. In other situations, the nurse provides referrals to support groups or other resources in the community. If symptoms do not necessitate a trip to the doctor, the nurse provides advice for care at home. If requested, the nurse may call back a few hours later or the next day to check on the patient's progress, according to Security Health.