When good phone calls to the doctor, go bad.

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    We all have to call doctors at home sometimes, about our patients. Shoot, nowadays I have to do it about 3-4 times a night, on average.

    Being a seasoned nurse now, it doesn't bother me much at all, to have to call. However, back when I first began my RN career, there were doctors that would make me shake and shudder in my NurseMates, just at the thought of having to call them. So, it was nice to occasionally have something to laugh about after making that two AM phone call.

    One night, pretty late, I had to call a general practitioner about one of her partner's patients. I dialed her pager number, put in my number, hung up the phone, and waited. I waited about a half an hour, when I heard a phone ring... in a PATIENT'S room. "That's strange" I thought. "Those phones aren't supposed to ring this late." I went in the room, picked up the phone, and was like.... "..Hello??"

    "Hello???" the voice on the other end said. It was the doctor that I had paged! I laughed, then told her what I needed.

    Fortunately it was an EMPTY room. I could just imagine some poor, confused patient answering that phone, at two am!


    Then there was the time that I had to page the orthopedist, about one of his patients. Now, this particular doctor had a reputation for being old and crotchety, grumpy on the phone... and he also had a reputation for being a drunk. Now, I certainly don't know whether this particular bit of information was actually true, but... well... I'll just NEVER know what was going on at the other end, this particular evening...

    My patient had, in her words, "fallen on her fat butt", while attempting to get up and use her bedside commode on her own. I helped her back into bed, checked her for bruises or other markings.. she assured me that she had no new pain and did not feel like she had hurt herself further... and then I went to page her doctor, our dear orthopedist.

    I paged him once, with no return call. I then paged him a second time, still with no reply. Third time, I tried calling his home phone. I dialed the number... his phone was ringing... it rang about five times, until I heard someone pick up. Silence, no "Hello?" or anything. "Hello, Dr So-and-So?" I said. More silence.. and then, this is what I heard:


    Well..... since there was no emergency or anything, I simply filled out the incident report, charted that I was not able to reach the doctor, had a nice little chuckle, and went on. In retrospect, I guess maybe I should have had someone go to the doc's house and make sure that this person, WHOMEVER it was that actually answered the phone (for all I know, it was the doctor's drunken son, or somebody), was okay!

    Whatever the case was... that doctor WASN'T taking any calls that night.
    LovingNurse, grace90, HappyPediRN, and 2 others like this.

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  2. About NurseCard

    From 'Kentucky'; 42 Years Old; Joined Dec '03; Posts: 2,039; Likes: 1,524.

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    16 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Quote from RealNurseWitch


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    those doctors sure are funny.! haha! on your first story, if it's me, i might not answer the phone. scary....

    n your second story, sad to say there are really some doctors like that. they don't realize that whne their patients are in the hospital, everything is a concern because everything should be documented even if it's just "a not so important thing".
  6. 0
    Well, I had a strong suspicion actually, that it was the doctor. I mean, in the first story.
  7. 0
    Sounds very familiar, I once had a doctor say "what would you do?" forgot off-hand exactly why I had called, but I "asked" him if we could possibly ....... he said between yawns "sounds good" and hung up. I wrote it as an order LOL.
  8. 0
    One of my favorite late night doctor calls: I called the on call doc for OB patient (at this facility they had to come in to physically see the pt. before she could be sent home from a labor check). He lived on the compound around the hospital, maybe a 2 minute walk away. Forty-five minutes later he still had not come in and I was about to call him back when he came running in. Seems his wife awoke and found him sound asleep with the telephone receiver on his forehead, nudged him and said "Honey, do you need to be somewhere?"
    Another doc, when I called him to come in, told his wife (also a doc at our facility) that he was going to (Baglady's) house. Her reply "That's nice dear, but I'm sure she'd rather see you at the hospital"! She was still chuckling about it when she told me in the morning.
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    Speaking of doctors with a reputation for drinking. One of my co-workers had to call this one particular doctor. She paged several times, then called his house. His wife answers and say, "Will if you can figure out which bar he is in." Well the nurse finally gets him to answer his cell phone and she said it definitely sound like a bar in the background. The sad thing about this situation is that he was covering the weekend for two other doctors. I've actually had to call one of the doctors that he was covering for on another occasion. His wife yelled at me that he was off this weekend. Well the doctor grabbed the phone from her. I explained that we had been trying for an hour and a half to contact the other doctor. He was very understanding and gave me the order I needed for his patient. It's sad that there are doctors out there like this.
  10. 1
    I had to call a MD once and was chewed out by him. It was only around 11:30pm which isn't too late by night shift standards. His patient was "circling the drain" and I was on my way to ICU with her. Figured I'd get some orders just to make the transfer official. He was furious that I had called. Seems his 2 toddlers were sick and had kept him awake. I had had probs with his attitude before and before I could think I blurted out that "calls are part of the territory for a surgeon. If you don't want to be called you should have gone into dermatology". Now, I don't recommend anyone doing that, but he ticked me off! He didn't talk to me for about 2 wks after - the silence was golden!!!
    adoyo likes this.
  11. 0
    ? circling the drain?????

    priceless LOL

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