How do you approach doctors? - page 2

I am going to be graduating next week and I was wondering if anyone had advice on how to approach and talk with doctors in the clinical setting. I have had some experience, but not a lot. I feel... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    It gets better with time. Soon you'll have confidence.

    The only advice I have is have all your ducks in a row. For example if a patient sounds wet and has low sats, don't call into you have a good assessment and know the urine output. I'm embarrassed for the nurse when a doc asks a nurse a question and the answer is "duh, I don't know, let me go check.........".

    Just be confident, realize a doc is your peer to collaborate in the patient care (just don't them that, make them think they are in charge). And remember the old phrase "docs don't save patients lives, nurses do".

    Congrats on graduation! Woot!
  2. by   MandyInMS
    I agree with the others r/t having your 'ducks in a row'..nothing is worse than a nurse calling a MD and having to put him on hold several times to go check..(this happened with a nurse the other night..felt bad for her, but the things he asked she should have known BEFORE calling him)..anticipate questions,have vitals,sats,lab results,ect. handy before calling.....it'll make everybody's life easier.
  3. by   traumaRUs
    I too am an ER RN - always remain professional. ALWAYS, ALWAYS read back to the doc the orders and then document that you did so!!!
  4. by   missmercy
    Quote from moia
    Before you approach anyone...doc,family other nurses stop for a moment and think out what exactly is your goal in approaching these people.

    Be prepared...write down patients name and condition and current treatment and latest vitals and lab results...bring the chart with you to the phone/visit.

    State your name and your position, describe your patient and then tell the doctor/family why you are calling. For a doctor be prepared to COMPLetely explain the entire patient history...remember some of these docs are responsible for a lot of patients...make sure they know who you are talking about before you accept any orders.

    When the doc gives you an order WRITE it down immediantly as he is speaking...the second most important thing to ask the doc after recieving this order is...what should I do if this new order is unsucessful?

    This is a nursing lifesaver because if you have to call a doc at 3 am you want to be able to begin the call by saying "as YOU ordered I am calling you back about this failed treatment" ..cuts the doctor off his rant about being woke up...

    Be prepared, be clear and write everything down....and give yourself room to call back.
    EXCELLENT REPLY!!!!!!!! Be prepared! Be professional!! Be polite! Be conscise! You aren't "just a nurse" -- you are "the NURSE" -- a competent, caring professional who is doing what is necessary to maintain excellent care for your patient!! THAT GIVES YOU ALL THE CLOUT YOU NEED!!!
  5. by   lady_jezebel
    Matter-of-factly. I report information or request orders. I make sure that I have all the relevant info before calling, so that no one's time is wasted (ex. pt's bp/hr, pain level, knowledge of previous orders written by other MDs for same pt, color/amt of vomit, social work's input, lab values, etc...). I am business-like, speak clearly, and am polite.

    Truly, there is no reason to be either intimidated or rude. You are the pt advocate, and must ask for what the pt needs (ie. speak for the pt, as the trained professional). I've found that residents are very helpful/kind if you ask for EXACTLY what you need -- sometimes they really don't know what is going on or what the pt needs for a given problem, but the nurse knows since she/he is there all the time. For example, "My pt consistently reports a pain level of 10 out of 10 even though he is getting the full dose of his prn pain meds around the clock. He believes that Vicodin is not working for him. Could we try an oxycontin/oxycodone combination instead? He's used these drugs before in prior surgeries and had success." Nine times out of ten the doc will give me a verbal order for whatever I ask for with this kind of approach.

    Also, docs enjoy explaining their rationale for something if you ask why in a polite manner. If I'm confused about an order, I need to feel comfortable about the rationale before administering something. Therefore, I am obligated to ask for clarification. I try to sound objective and inquisitive rather than challenging/confrontational when asking "why", and I always thank someone for teaching me someone new. Good relations with your co-workers, including the docs, is very important in the long-run (makes your environment a happier place!).
    Last edit by lady_jezebel on May 6, '04
  6. by   lady_jezebel
    Quote from moia
    Before you approach anyone...doc,family other nurses stop for a moment and think out what exactly is your goal in approaching these people.

    Be prepared...write down patients name and condition and current treatment and latest vitals and lab results...bring the chart with you to the phone/visit.

    State your name and your position, describe your patient and then tell the doctor/family why you are calling. For a doctor be prepared to COMPLetely explain the entire patient history...remember some of these docs are responsible for a lot of patients...make sure they know who you are talking about before you accept any orders.

    When the doc gives you an order WRITE it down immediantly as he is speaking...the second most important thing to ask the doc after recieving this order is...what should I do if this new order is unsucessful?

    This is a nursing lifesaver because if you have to call a doc at 3 am you want to be able to begin the call by saying "as YOU ordered I am calling you back about this failed treatment" ..cuts the doctor off his rant about being woke up...

    Be prepared, be clear and write everything down....and give yourself room to call back.
    I LOVE the idea of asking a doc, "what shouuld I do if this new order is unsuccessful?" Why didn't I think of that? I'm going to start doing this...
  7. by   zambezi
    Lady Jezebel...I totally agree with your post. I also agree with those that said: Be pliite, be respectful, be professional, and have your ducks in a row. Also have an idea of what you want. As Jezebel stated, there is no reason to be intimidate or rude. Give them the facts-both subjective and objective and ask for what you need. If you have good rationale and a good plan, you will usually get what you want. Don't call in the middle of the night for non-emergent stuff (ie: bowel care, diet orders, anything that can wait until am)
    Trust your judgement but use it wisely!

    Quote from lady_jezebel
    Matter-of-factly. I report information or request orders. I make sure that I have all the relevant info before calling, so that no one's time is wasted (ex. pt's bp/hr, pain level, knowledge of previous orders written by other MDs for same pt, color/amt of vomit, social work's input, lab values, etc...). I am business-like, speak clearly, and am polite.

    Truly, there is no reason to be either intimidated or rude. You are the pt advocate, and must ask for what the pt needs (ie. speak for the pt, as the trained professional). I've found that residents are very helpful/kind if you ask for EXACTLY what you need -- sometimes they really don't know what is going on or what the pt needs for a given problem, but the nurse knows since she/he is there all the time. For example, "My pt consistently reports a pain level of 10 out of 10 even though he is getting the full dose of his prn pain meds around the clock. He believes that Vicodin is not working for him. Could we try an oxycontin/oxycodone combination instead? He's used these drugs before in prior surgeries and had success." Nine times out of ten the doc will give me a verbal order for whatever I ask for with this kind of approach.

    Also, docs enjoy explaining their rationale for something if you ask why in a polite manner. If I'm confused about an order, I need to feel comfortable about the rationale before administering something. Therefore, I am obligated to ask for clarification. I try to sound objective and inquisitive rather than challenging/confrontational when asking "why", and I always thank someone for teaching me someone new. Good relations with your co-workers, including the docs, is very important in the long-run (makes your environment a happier place!).
  8. by   Energizer Bunny
    Quote from zenman
    If it helps, just remember that there are times when both nurses and docs must sit on the toilet.
    LOLOLOL...I'm definately going to keep this in mind when I start clinicals in October!

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