Dealing with "Web-Trained" Patient/Family Members.

  1. 4
    My mother needs ___________, I read it online! Call her Doctor Please. (3am)

    Now, before I upset anyone, I am not talking about the desperate "Cancer Families" seeking other treatment forms, or the Patient that hasn't got any better despite all Medical efforts.

    You know who I'm speaking off, . . .The family member or patient that can Diagnose the Problem, form a treatment plan, and tell the doctor exactly what medications they need, and How long they need to be in the hospital. They know what labs need to be ran, and think they should have access to 24/7 MD support for the slightest idea or question.

    I am not talking about the patient/family who want to better understand their diagnosis, treatment plan, options, and prognosis. I am talking about Medical Plan Mutiny!

    "Can you call Dr. XXXXXXX?, I read about XXXXXXXXX on XXXXXXX.com and he is way off in left field with his treatment. I want YOU to recommend XXXXXXXX!" (2:30 AM Sunday, Day Before D/C according to Progress Note)



    How do you deal with patients/family members who get an online 24 hour Medical Degree?
    Merlyn, wooh, outrunningzombies, and 1 other like this.

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  2. 54 Comments...

  3. 3
    I just educate them as best I can. And ignore the annoying-ness of it. I have to admit, when I was in nursing school, I was a bit of a Web MD hypochondriac- difference was I never sought treatment for these things, so my family just had to deal with me.
  4. 18
    I always tell the parents of my babies: Stay off of Google and Wiki, they are not your friend, they are not talking about YOUR baby, they may not be accurate, they are always worst case scenario, and they WILL cause you unneeded stress of which you already have more than you need.


    Sometimes they even listen.
    Nola009, flyingchange, NICURN2FNP, and 15 others like this.
  5. 2
    I hate it when they print it out, and want you to "look over this, and stick it in the chart for me."Always with parts highlighted and underlined.
    wooh and nguyency77 like this.
  6. 6
    " You can tell the doctor in the morning." OR " i will let the doctor know in the morning"
    Not_A_Hat_Person, Gold_SJ, wooh, and 3 others like this.
  7. 3
    "Thank you for that information. I always recomend being educated on your illness etc. I will pass this on to the doc in the morning. Right now it is no emergency. Maybe you'd like to get some rest now. Mom will be going home tomorrow and it will be a big day"
    BostonTerrierLoverRN, wooh, and Stcroix like this.
  8. 13
    Thats my mom

    She will call me randomly "Hey, I think I have something called a pheocromocytoma, it just popped up on web MD, it says its serious, should I go to the ER"

    Me: What? Why? Whats going on?

    Mom: I forgot my atenolol for 2 days and my BP was 168/89 at walmart, I'm pretty sure its a hypertensive crisis

    Me: Stop forgetting your meds Mom!!
    Not_A_Hat_Person, GrnTea, nrsang97, and 10 others like this.
  9. 3
    While I do love my patients google and webMD moments my favorite of all time was.....

    Sunday morning 8am home visit, the patient insisted I call his MD (not the oncall, his real doctor) because he was watching Animal Planet and there was this fly that had a bite which caused all of the same symptoms he had. Despite the fact he hasn't ever traveled outside this country.

    I very nicely told him what a coincidence your illness causes all those symptoms too, we'll call the MD monday and see what he wants to do
  10. 2
    needless to say, i'm so aware of this issue, and after educating the pt. and their family, i adhere with the present nurses plan, as i document, document, the issue.
    GrnTea and BostonTerrierLoverRN like this.
  11. 7
    I have the luxury of reinforcing that here in the ER we are focused on the Big, Bad Things which are an imminent threat to your life/limb. I cover the big concepts that I can review within about 45 seconds, smile/nod/ignore the rest, and have a glass of wine when I get home.


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