Change of shift calls to MD. Who should take the call?

  1. I had a patient yesterday, a sweet LOL had gotten back from pacemaker, doing fine, but elevated BP systolic in 190s. She had come from a smaller facility with bradycardia and had gone straight to cath lab after briefly arriving to my unit, and had returned from that procedure in fine shape except for elevated BP.

    My first course of action was to give her her lisinopril which she obviously had not had, then I did a follow up BP after giving that time to work and systolic was still in 180s. I gave all info to oncoming nurse regarding when I had given the BP med, etc and so forth, and paged the MD.

    Oncoming nurse didn't want to take the call (she was in an empty room making a personal call to her boyfriend ) So, I took the call, even though it was past time for me to leave, wrote out the order, scanned it down to pharmacy, and accrued some more unwanted overtime.

    Our hospital, like many, has been pleading with us to try to reduce overtime, and I'm all for it! I hate to stay even 5 minutes over.

    So, what would you all have done in a case like this? I don't like to leave things undone, but I was annoyed at oncoming nurse for her being on her cellphone with boyfriend and wanting me to take this shift change call for a simple matter such as an elevated BP.

    Yet, in some cases it definitely WOULD be appropriate to stay and follow through on issues from your shift. Where do you draw the line?
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    39 Comments

  3. by   cardiacRN2006
    I'd stay and take the call.
    The MD migt ask questions that you know, but the next shift nurse doesn't know yet.

    Sure, she sounded lazy, but aside from that, she just doesnt' know the pt yet. If it's shift change, and I paged the MD, then I'm talking to him/her.
    Last edit by cardiacRN2006 on Jun 13, '09
  4. by   CABG patch kid
    In that particular situation, I think the oncoming nurse could have taken the call with no problem. Granted, there are complicated cases that would probably be more suited for the offgoing nurse to take the call, but not in this case Sounds like your coworker just didn't want to get off the phone with her boyfriend, which is just plain unprofessional!
  5. by   Midwest4me
    The oncoming nurse should've taken the call; and IF you're given grief by the powers-that-be over the overtime that you accrued due to her refusal to end her personal call, I'd definitely explain why!
  6. by   FireStarterRN
    I found that phone call to the boyfriend extremely annoying. I've heard she's a slacker, and the whole personal phone call/ texting thing at work really bugs me. She had already interrupted report once with a text message from said boyfriend.

    I felt that a simple elevated BP could have been easily handled by her, but I see cardiac's point too.
  7. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from Midwest4me
    The oncoming nurse should've taken the call; and IF you're given grief by the powers-that-be over the overtime that you accrued due to her refusal to end her personal call, I'd definitely explain why!
    They don't give us grief about staying over, they just pay whatever the time clock says. Maybe chronic late stayers get questioned, but I'm not in that catagory.
  8. by   chenoaspirit
    I agree. If Im coming onto shift, I dont want to take a call that another nurse paged. First of all, I havent met the patient yet, I know nothing about him/her and the doc will probably ask questions I wont know the answer to. Its just a phonecall, which will take approximately 2 minutes. To write order and scan will take approximately another 2-3 minutes. Thats only 5 minutes extra and it will ensure proper continuity of care for the patient. Its normal to want to leave once shift is over, but you shouldnt leave the oncoming nurse in a situation that could have been avoided if you had just stayed 5 more minutes. When this same situation arises and YOU are the oncoming nurse, you will appreciate that nurse taking care of business before leaving. Just my 2 cents worth.
  9. by   cardiacRN2006
    The other thing is, especially with a lazy nurse like this, is that she may take credit for the call to the MD, and blame you for not doing anything about it.

    You gave the lisinopril, and it didn't really work as well as you'd liked, but then it just looks like you let it be and went home.

    Take the call, your telephone order is on record, you did your job following up on the pt and you can rest easy knowing that you did right by your pt.

    Can you imagine if she had some kind of hypertensive emergency or stroke, and they looked back and said, "what did you do Firestarter, about this BP when you noticed that your med didnt' work. Did you call the MD?"

    You did the right thing. THe other RN is just lazy and immature.
  10. by   chenoaspirit
    But in addition, I would have to say something about the phonecall during report. Work is for work. I have taken phonecalls from my husband during work hours, but not when Im in the middle of something. She needs to leave the phone at the nurses station while on the floor, then use it when she has a few minutes to spare. Management needs to place rules regarding cellphone use.
  11. by   changeofpaceRN
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    The other thing is, especially with a lazy nurse like this, is that she may take credit for the call to the MD, and blame you for not doing anything about it.

    You gave the lisinopril, and it didn't really work as well as you'd liked, but then it just looks like you let it be and went home.

    Take the call, your telephone order is on record, you did your job following up on the pt and you can rest easy knowing that you did right by your pt.

    Can you imagine if she had some kind of hypertensive emergency or stroke, and they looked back and said, "what did you do Firestarter, about this BP when you noticed that your med didnt' work. Did you call the MD?"

    You did the right thing. THe other RN is just lazy and immature.
    I couldn't agree more!
  12. by   cardiacRN2006
    God, I hate it when people can't cut the umbilical cord to thier cell phones at work. Seriously, what the heck is so damn important that it can't wait?

    I hate it!
  13. by   Cindy-san
    I'll talk to them, but I honestly don't like to take calls when I haven't assessed the pt yet.

    And on the other hand, I have no problem staying a few minutes later to talk to the doc I paged about my pt. (& charting it, if need be)
  14. by   chenoaspirit
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    The other thing is, especially with a lazy nurse like this, is that she may take credit for the call to the MD, and blame you for not doing anything about it.

    You gave the lisinopril, and it didn't really work as well as you'd liked, but then it just looks like you let it be and went home.

    Take the call, your telephone order is on record, you did your job following up on the pt and you can rest easy knowing that you did right by your pt.

    Can you imagine if she had some kind of hypertensive emergency or stroke, and they looked back and said, "what did you do Firestarter, about this BP when you noticed that your med didnt' work. Did you call the MD?"

    You did the right thing. THe other RN is just lazy and immature.
    Exactly!! You did the right thing by staying. You not only helped the "lazy" nurse, you protected yourself and the patient.

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