Quote from SCRN1
Time to time, I have patients who ask me to wake them at a certain time. Now recently, I have gotten calls from their family members who are AT HOME asking me to call them for certain things, like call and wake them at 7 or call when the doctor gets there. Excuse me? I have enough to keep me more than busy with patients, charting, etc. that it's hard enough to keep up with scheduled meds that at different hours than the regularly scheduled meds. Now families are expecting wake up calls at home?
I haven't really had that scenario, but the one in which the family demands that the doctor call them the moment he arrives, well, that's a common one. And I tell them I can't promise that he'll do that, or even when he'll arrive. Or, frankly, IF he'll arrive; sometimes an associate goes if it's a weekend or whatever. I don't schedule my time with patients around what the doctor does or doesn't do.
I tell them I'll be happy to place a note on the pt's chart for the doctor to see when he sees the chart. But I have no way of knowing if he'll see that note before or after he's visited pt, etc. Family is usually not thrilled knowing that I'm not hovering in the doorway of the room, waiting for the doctor myself, but I always manage to get it through
The other common request is "Make sure Mom's Doctor does xxx for her". Nope, can't do that either...Doc might want to do that for Mom, might not, but I sure am not going to tell him that he needs to do that because Mom's Niece (who is an EMT, so she knows this stuff) wants it done. I tell the family member that if they have certain requests, they are going to need to speak to the doctor themselves, even if that means calling THEIR MD'S OFFICE and waiting for a return call...themselves
You know, reading back over this, I wonder if these kind of demands come from the thinking that we're the doctors' personal aides, personal secretaries...?? That's gotta be it.