When to call the doctor...

  1. To all nurses out there...

    I am six months out and things are coming together shift by shift (finally ). But, I still sometimes have some trouble deciding when to call the doctor. I think the time that I have the most trouble is when vital sings are abnormal. For example, how high do you let a temp go before you call, a BP? How low do you let a BP go? Sometimes I feel like there is no one at work that I can ask these questions to, so I feel like I should have some pre-set perameters in my mind to set a red flag out of when to call the MD.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks!
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   RN always
    I agree with you. There are some docs where I work that would yell at you if you don't call for a high temp, then there are others that yell at you if you do call for a high temp...........uggh!
  4. by   meownsmile
    I think sometimes you have to set parameters that you are comfortable with. It depends on the situation and each patients BP history. Some run low,, some high,, so look at what they ran over the last few days and if it is obviously lower than what their norm has been,,, call.
    I know it is hard to decide to call and when. I have my own things that i question should I or shouldnt I. But i always err on the side of the patient. If the doc gets their pants in a bunch to bad. I figure if they do its because they probly are a little nervous about that patient to begin with.
    I work on a ortho/med-surg floor and have both ortho docs and med docs on the case for one patient. The ortho doc will tell you its fracture fever if they pop a temp of around 100.5,, but a med doc will get wacky and call a bunch of chest x-rays, labs etc. I've called the ortho and they have told me to call the med doc,, ive called the med doc and had them tell me to call the ortho. So who knows..
    Just use your best judgement and dont worry about it if they get bent out of shape,, they spring back pretty quickly.

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