I called a doctor today about his patient (labs) just to let him know a panic level. I was told by his "nurse" that she would let him know. I called back later because the IV came out and the patient said she was going home and wanted the IV to stay out. I called again. The "nurse" asked him, came back to the phone and said you can leave it out. I called later in the day to let him know that the lab value had gone up even further and did he want to cancel the discharge? The "nurse" came back to the phone and said cancel the discharge. Then she say's I'm tired of you calling. Were trying to see patients here and you're bothering the doctor. I am his nurse and the next time you call I'll decide if the question warrants asking. I wish you would quit calling. I said I'll call when I think it's necessary and I said you are not his "nurse" are you? She said yes I am. I said RN or LPN? It got quiet. I said you're an MA right? Yes she said. I said don't tell me that you'll make that decision. I am the nurse and you will ask the doctor what I tell you to or put him on the phone if I need to talk to him. She was really rude. Later the doctor called himself and I happened to answer the phone. We talked about the patient and then I told him about what happened with his "nurse". I told him. "You know Dr. Lee we as nurses here at the hospital cannot take verbal orders from medical assistants" and I would appreciate your MA telling me not to call and that she will make the decision as to what is or isn't important. He said "I'm so sorry, I promise I will talk to her about that and no I didn't know you couldn't take orders from a medical assistant". I talked to risk management then and they said I could take down her name and title and write the order then write the doctors name behind that but that we should be asking the doctors if they would be willing to sign orders behind the MA's. Do any of you have a protocol or a yes we can take their order or no we can't. I had never thought about it before. I did ask several doctors about it today and they said if I say something to the MA and she tells you what I said yes I would be willing to sign behind that order. Then how do you know the order has been conveyed word for word and nothing important missed in the translation? He said that I don't know. I am going to take this up with the CNO on Monday. Let me know how you handle this so maybe I can get some good ideas before Monday. Thanks!
Feb 20, '05
I think we'll be seeing more and more of this happening with docs having MA's in the office. used to be I WOULD take an order this way, because I knew the office nurse WAS a nurse, and I believed her when she said 'I asked him and he said to-----". We were covered taking a 3rd person order IF we were all licensed.
I like the way you handled it too, and I agree risk management at the hospital needs in on this. The docs who let their MA's handle hospital phone calls are dufuses for not knowing what their office staff is up to IMO and need to be reprimanded. Are they really so stupid they don't know what MA's can and cannot do or are they hoping nobody cares and just 'goes along'? Scary thought eh? :stone
Last edit by mattsmom81 on Feb 20, '05