Feel dumb when talking to physicians....Register Today!
- by Tree5981 Aug 19, '12I just have to vent and say that sometimes I find myself not making sense when I talk to the physicians. I feel like I am not giving report clearly and some of the doctors are very high maintenance and they can't even simply read their last follow up note. I am expected to know every single detail of the patient and I feel like at times I need to be psychic and guess what the next step that the doctor may suggest. I am in an outpatient setting so sometimes there are about 30 patients in a day that I need to know about and report to the doctor about. I am pretty new so I would guess they would cut me a little slack when I am lacking knowledge in some areas....well yeah NOT SO MUCH. I am doing the best I can to learn everything about each patient but I feel like I'm drowning and overwhelmed with info.
What do you suggest to help with communicating to the doctor? It seems like even when I think I have all the necessary information they ask me something totally off the wall and I don't have the answer for them at that moment and they get frustrated with me. I want to get better at this. I know that it will take time and I am very new at this, but I really want to try and improve my communication with them so they feel comfortable with me working there. Thanks!
- Aug 19, '12 by tyvinWhat are some of the "totally off the wall" questions they ask you?
- Aug 19, '12 by Tree5981When I say "totally off the wall" I mean in my mind it seems totally off the wall because I didn't think he would ask me certain questions. They are legit questions regarding the patient care, but I feel like I am always forgetting to look at something in the notes and I feel incompetent....
- Aug 19, '12 by Dragana86It will be harder since its an outpatient setting, try to remember the MOST common questions they ask when it comes to the patients, maybe make your own report sheet for each patient like the one used in the inpatient settings and for each patient write down patients name, diagnosis, doctors also like to know recent lab results, maybe include some subjective data and what you observed. That way you have some informations handy. Hope that helps!
- Aug 19, '12 by Tree5981Yes this helps. Thank you so much!
- Aug 20, '12 by woohHave as much info in front of you as possible. The chart RIGHT THERE so you can look up information when you're asked a question.
Have the common stuff at your fingertips (whatever you ALWAYS need to tell them.)
Admit when you have to look something up! My usual response to a question that I don't know the answer to immediately is something like, "Good question, let's see...Oh here it is..."
It will get easier, as you will start to know what to expect. If you have colleagues you can run this question by, find out what info they always make sure to have handy.
Most importantly, don't feel stupid! There is a learning curve. I'm always annoyed with how patient I'm supposed to be with residents and med students, "because they're learning." But new nurses aren't afforded the same patience. But I've learned, even when I don't know the answer, if I don't perceive it as an attack on my competence, then I don't turn into a bumbling fool, and the MD won't treat me like a bumbling fool. Confidence is key. Even if you have to fake it. And remember, even with experience, we still don't always think out every possibility. The key is to remember you're not stupid, you just didn't think of that possibility. If we knew everything, there'd be no need for the MD!
- Aug 20, '12 by HouTxYou're not unique - talking to the docs is a common stress point for most new grads. . . and a lot of veteran nurses also.
I would urge you to begin to use the SBAR model.. you can find a lot of info here on AN, as well as on many links such as this one SBAR Technique for Communication: A Situational Briefing Model
At first, it may be a bit awkward, but as you use this technique, it will become second nature to you.
- Aug 21, '12 by tyvinIf you're consistent with a tool (SBAR) you can't go wrong. I made up my own but very similar to SBAR. Sit down and create your own tool that is best for the environment you're in.
The thing is the docs are expecting the RN to be the eyes and ears and they rely on what you say to go to the next step. In many cases docs like when nurses tell them what they want for the patient/situation if the situations calls for it. I know new grads aren't comfortable with this but as time goes on you will.
Relax...they are only human just like you and me.
- Aug 21, '12 by tyvinGood luck...
- Aug 21, '12 by sprintin2012Oh I feel the SAME way. I've never had a phone call with a doctor where I actually knew all the answers to their questions. It definitely is helpful to have info in front of you though I've found.