How do you approach doctors?

  1. 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 intimidated when I go to call or talk with a doctor. Any advice would be helpful.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   TinyNurse
    As a student we were never able to approach docs.......... once i graduated and started working in ER...... heavens i have to not only approach ER docs but the ones on call and the hospitalists........
    I say " hi i'm Jennifer in the ER and i'm calling regarding xyz patient here's why i'm calling" they are mostly extremely recpetive even though I work 3p-3a.
    granted it is DIFFICULT to approach docs just after graduating but you soon learn that you have to. Just do it in a professional way.
    xoxo jen
  4. by   happystudent
    Congrats on graduating!! I will too next week....
    Anyway, I work in a teaching hospital so I am around docs, residents , attendings... and I remember feeling 'nervous' approaching them. Not anymore! I approach them the same way I would approach anyone in a professional workplace. They are employed at the hospital as I am. They have their job and I have mine. We work together. I hate that 'I'm the DOCTOR, BOW DOWN TO ME' attitude.

    Dont be afraid of anyone. Be confident in yourself. People will respect you more.....

    my o-PIN-yun'
  5. by   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.
  6. by   TinyNurse
    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...
    great advice moia!!!!
  7. by   angel337
    be yourself and be professional. remember dr.'s are human too and as long as you approach them like you are on their level (which you are) they will respect you. yes, they have more education and technically speaking docs probably will never consider a nurse on their "level" but they need us just as much as we need them. make sure you have all revelant information(lab results, patient current assessment, etc..) together when asking about a patient. when you are confident and organized, docs as well as your coworkers know they can count on you to be competent. it will take you a long way in your career.
  8. by   Dr. Gonzo
    Dont be intimidated by doctors their nothing special they just live off people's misery some doctors are very approachable and some are very arrogant.Dont worry about this the more you are gonna be around them the less intimidated you will be.
  9. by   zenman
    If it helps, just remember that there are times when both nurses and docs must sit on the toilet.
  10. by   Grace Oz
    Thought I read somewhere that...... "ALL men/women are born equal!"

  11. by   Katnip
    Remember it's their JOB to take your calls and to treat your patients. That simple. No matter how arrogant they may seem. Like it's posted above, make sure you have all pertinent facts about the patient's condition. With time, you'll know which doc wants more detail.

    If you'l be in a teaching hospital, it's much easier. The residents often will seek your guidance.
  12. by   mauser
    My 2 cents: Having worked with a supposedly "scary" doctor as a medical secretary over 20 years ago, I learned how to deal with him very quickly.

    State your question/problem clearly. Ask him to clarify any points you did not understand or were not clear.

    He actually thanked me and told me he would rather explain something 2-3 times initially, than to have someone come back to him later with questions. He told me he has no respect for them.

    As a nursing student, I do not have any experience yet on an RN to Dr. relationship, but seems to me, that "one professional to another" seems the best approach!
  13. by   Lysa
    Last time I checked they didn't sign my paycheque. They are an employee just like you. Don't let a screaming doc at three am frighten you..after all you're calling him in the best interest of his patient. That's your job! And it's his to take the call. Simple as that!
  14. by   zenman
    Posted by Grace Oz: Thought I read somewhere that...... "ALL men/women are born equal!"
    Ok, you said it better than I did!

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