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Feeling embarrassed, ask the md a stupid question

Nurses   (1,881 Views 28 Comments)
by RobertJo RobertJo, ADN, RN (New Member) New Member

RobertJo has 1 years experience as a ADN, RN and works as a RN.

393 Visitors; 10 Posts

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You are reading page 2 of Feeling embarrassed, ask the md a stupid question. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

2,419 Visitors; 393 Posts

Don't be embarrassed. It's best to ask & err on the side of caution than not to ask and pretend to know it all. None of us are perfect and know everything. If you have a question, call and ask. It will get better over time but it's the random questions and occurrences that make us more knowledgeable. Always call if you have doubt.

Edited by NurseBlaq

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and works as a RN Supervisor.

28,633 Visitors; 2,807 Posts

No you were not wrong to call the doctor. Classic case of CYA. The patient can't come back and rightfully complain that you did nothing to address their concerns and the doctor saying no takes the blame off you.  

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Alex Egan has 9 years experience and works as a Peds PDN.

6 Articles; 22,806 Visitors; 846 Posts

It’s all how you frame it. Try this way. “Hi Dr X this is RobertJo RN. I’m calling at the request of Mr Crabapple I’m at a bit of a loss for options on this situation and was wondering if you could help?”

basically. This guy is demanding I call, I have no suggestions, please help!

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2 Followers; 5,906 Visitors; 1,049 Posts

To paraphrase what my mother used to say, I hope this is the most embarrassing thing that ever happens to you as a nurse.

In other words, forget about it.

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9 Followers; 22,448 Visitors; 2,950 Posts

20 hours ago, RobertJo said:

Was I wrong to call the doctor? I'm second guessing my decision. I try at all times to cover my bases with as much documentation as possible but now does the doctor think I'm an idiot?

 

It sounds like a ridiculous scenario and your emotional investment is way more than it should have been. You need to be matter of fact in these scenarios. Remain professional. Assess the patient. Call the doc. Relay answer to patient. See if there is anything else you can do to make the patient more comfortable. Finish the infusion and get them out of there. The end.

Sometimes when I approach the physician I'll say something like, "I've made her aware that it's unlikely we will be giving even more benadryl; I just wanted to check if there is anything else you'd like me to try."

There's nothing wrong about that; if the physician has a poor reaction (which has been extremely rare in my experiences)....So what. NMP.

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Newgradnurse17 has 2 years experience as a BSN.

2,904 Visitors; 255 Posts

We’ve all been there! The good thing is the doctor didn’t make a big deal about it. Some can be so rude and make you feel like a idiot. 

In future if your unsure always talk to your more senior nurses or charge nurse before calling the doctor. Provides a good learning opportunity, you can document In your notes about you discussion so it’s not on you if something happens, and saves so much time and possible embarrassment. 

Move on. No point dwelling on this. 

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Twinmom06 works as a RN.

16,066 Visitors; 1,159 Posts

sounds like a high maintenance HD patient.  Our docs won't order more that 25 mg, ever.  She should consider herself lucky...

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117 Visitors; 46 Posts

Don’t worry about what the MD thinks of you, you did your job. 

I once had a visit on a Saturday to a home health patient, I knew she was almost certainly healing normally but she had some concerns. I made a call to the MD’s answering service just to cover my own butt in the off chance that the patient complained or actually had a complication. I made it very clear DO NOT contact the Md, not an emergency, just leave him the message to receive during normal hours. 

Well they called the Md and he yelled at me for 15 minutes about what an idiot I am that I don’t recognize the normal symptoms of healing from this procedure and “worried the patient unnecessarily”. Even though it was the patient who was worried, I was confident that her symptoms were normal, I reassured her, but left the message to let the doctor know that SHE may be concerned or calling him for follow up since she was anxious about her symptoms. 

I would still make that call today even knowing that the egomaniac doctor would scream in my ear. Because if something actually did happen, or the patient complained that I dismissed her concerns, then it would actually be my error for NOT following up. 

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GSDlvrRN has 4 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

1,187 Visitors; 67 Posts

I don’t think it was stupid. I also don’t think that doctors realize that sometimes nurses make such phone calls just to be able to say they called the doctor. Sometimes I do it to humor the patient. Sometimes I do it just to say I tried!

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959 Visitors; 17 Posts

Don’t beat yourself up! That’s how we learn. Trust me I’m sure your going to ask more and more “stupid” questions while learning, and than will come the day when you school the doctor! That’s a great feeling! Hahah

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RubyDeeRN is a ADN, LPN and works as a Registered Nurse.

1,127 Visitors; 8 Posts

Nurses are always in the middle. We always take the brunt of the physicians' wrath whenever a patient has a question we ourselves cannot legally answer, even if we already know what the answer will be. Among our thousands of other duties, it's also our job to relay those inane questions to the doc. I hate to say that, but it is. We are the go-between. I still have yet to understand just WHY we, as nurses, are forced to be in this position, but we are. I have called countless doctors asking questions such as yours, all along knowing what the answer would be, and I too felt really stupid. But sometimes we have no choice. If it makes it any better, I've found that "asking for an order clarification" helps a lot. Like, "My patient states she normally gets X amount of whatever medication; I'd like clarification on that order." I apologize if someone else already said the same thing here...I think we've all dealt with this.

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T-Bird78 has 6 years experience.

14,023 Visitors; 838 Posts

If in doubt ask the MD.  I’ve asked the MD questions I already knew the answer to 1) just to confirm, 2) every once in a blue moon MD will change their mind, and 3) to shut the pt up that I did, in fact, ask THE DOCTOR since I’m “just the nurse”.  Never be afraid to ask. 

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