Calling doctors

  1. When will I feel comfortable calling docs? I am still on orientation and I am to the point where my preceptor makes me call the doc... I get so nervous.. my palms sweat.. i can hear my heart beating and i feel like i'll forget everything i want to ask as soon as they call back...

    Doctors are only people... why do i get so nervous???

    And to make it worse I had this nightmare last night that I was talking to a doc in an emergency and I couldn't understand what he was saying.. and I kept asking him to repeat what he said and finally he got so frustrated that he hung up on me..

    What is my deal? :uhoh21:
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   muffie
    write down your stuff b 4 u call them

    you are acting on your pt's behalf, they need you to do it

    if the doc is a jerk, good for him, he's a jerk

    it will get better
  4. by   jill48
    I agree with Muffie. Have all the information written down for you right there when you call him; and the chart also. There is nothing worse than having to say, "hold on, let me go check the chart". You will get used to it.
  5. by   Nurse Beth
    1.when you call a doc, know what you hope to accomplish.
    Is yout pt sob w/rales- you're wanting lasix, right?
    Or/and perhaps abgs, o2, etc.

    2. Be the doc. If roles were reversed, what would want to know?
    Previous vital signs, labs? If the CXR has been read by the radiologist yet?
    ..be very prepared & purposed.

    Good luck, it gets better
  6. by   rrivera2
    I'm still on orientation also - until the end of this month most likely. I had an enlightening experience about dealing with a certain doc. Doc told me to call a certain specialist doc to see my patient. On the phone I told the doc I would call. After I hung up I told my preceptor what the doc told me to do. She freaked out and immediately called the doc back and told him that nurses don't call in consults for docs and why was her orientee told to call in a consult for this doc. It was an eye opening experience for me. The hardest thing is not knowing what I am and am not supposed to be doing in terms of dealing with docs. Will come with time, I know.
  7. by   crb613
    I refuse to be intimidated. I have the chart, MAR, vitals, & condition in front of me/or in my head. I answer questions to the best of my ability, & give my opinion if asked. If they want to have an attitude....too bad...Don't like being called at home.....find a different line of work.
  8. by   RNSuzq1
    Tiger,

    Lots of great advice from all the posters. I've learned to have everything ready when I call the Doc's, but still, if I don't know them yet, it can be intimidating. I work nights, luckily, lots of our patients are covered by the Hospitalist on duty all night. If you want to know what sort of personality the Doc's have before you call them - ask the Unit Secretary, they ususally have the scoop on everyone. Our Secretary can handle even the crabbiest in the bunch, so I'm learning a lot from her - they're a great resource for a lot of things.
  9. by   mstigerlily
    I hated calling doctors too but I feel fine about it now. I think that's something you get used and gain confidence with over time. Well, if I have to call between midnight and 5am, I still kinda hate it because they are never happy.

    Quote from TigerGalLE
    When will I feel comfortable calling docs? I am still on orientation and I am to the point where my preceptor makes me call the doc... I get so nervous.. my palms sweat.. i can hear my heart beating and i feel like i'll forget everything i want to ask as soon as they call back...

    Doctors are only people... why do i get so nervous???

    And to make it worse I had this nightmare last night that I was talking to a doc in an emergency and I couldn't understand what he was saying.. and I kept asking him to repeat what he said and finally he got so frustrated that he hung up on me..

    What is my deal? :uhoh21:
  10. by   RNLisa
    Quote from crb613
    I refuse to be intimidated. I have the chart, MAR, vitals, & condition in front of me/or in my head. I answer questions to the best of my ability, & give my opinion if asked. If they want to have an attitude....too bad...Don't like being called at home.....find a different line of work.
    Wow, you said everything I was thinking!! LOL

    I feel the same way, they are the doctor, they knew what they were signing up for when getting their MD behind their names. They need to consider the patient first. More often than not, the doctors I have to call are very nice and understanding. Sometimes they may say "ok, I'll take care of it when I get there", or they say "ok" and that's it. I just document I called and document exactly what they said. If there are no new orders, I chart that. It keeps my butt out of trouble and shows I did call the doc. I have a license to protect.

    I, too, have the chart, vitals, mar, and any pertinent labwork or xray report in front of me. That way, if they ask questions, I can find an answer fairly quickly.

    You get used to calling them and if they get upset or irate, I let them vent, then say "I was just calling to let you know what was going on with your patient".

    Good luck.
  11. by   BULLYDAWGRN
    Use to feel the same way when I started. But now I really love calling them like at 0300 and putting them on speakerphone so the whole unit or er can hear them and enjoy their half awake half asleep talk...
  12. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from BULLYDAWGRN
    Use to feel the same way when I started. But now I really love calling them like at 0300 and putting them on speakerphone so the whole unit or er can hear them and enjoy their half awake half asleep talk...
    Wow, so much for confidentiality, never mind professional ethics.

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