I work at a outpatient clinic as an ambulatory care assistant, I basically assist the doc in procedures, vitaling and putting patients in rooms, and paperwork. Well, I give one of the patients a list of medications we recieved for her to update. She asks me what a specific med is because she's not sure if she's taking it. and at this point we're extremely busy, just after lunch, i have five charts/patient to prep to be put in rooms, its clearly past their appt times and docs are angry. Instead of looking her med up for her, I simply tell her "I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with that drug, maybe its something you might want to speak with the doc about when he see him". She proceeds to reply with a "well you SHOULD know". This made me so angry. Its not my role to be familiar with all patient meds, I'm not a nurse, and I don't deal with medications. I do clerical work and vital patients. I wanted to say "no, YOU should know, if i was taking medications you can be damn sure I would know what they were". Instead, I just apologized. What would you have said to a patient like this, patients who expect you to know things beyond your scope of practice and get mad when you don't. another instance was today during gyn exam, I was assisting the doc. Fixing paperwork and getting supplies ready for the doc as he was doing the exam. He tells me he's needs to do a vulvar biopsy, so I proceed to get the supplies and paper work ready. The patient asks me where the biopsy was going to take place and I explain to her the region. Well she thens asks me which side, and I didn't know left or right because I wasn't watching the exam, I was getting things ready for the doc as he needed it. She then tells me, "isn't that your job" in a condescending type of way. I told her that I was not looking when he was examing and that my back was turned. Afterall, its not a collaboration, nor would i expect the doc to scoot over just so i can see
, he does his thing and I do mine. I really wanted to say "no, its not my job. I was doing my job, sorry if I did not share the interest in scrutinizing your vagina!" I just never know what to say to defend myself in these situations with patients, so i end up feeling dumb or like i'm not doing my job over things that aren't my fault.
Aug 19, '06
Quote from kmokay
What would you have said to a patient like this, patients who expect you to know things beyond your scope of practice and get mad when you don't.
Simply state, "That's not within my scope of practice since I am unlicensed. Please ask a licensed staff member such as a physician or nurse in order to obtain an answer."
Many patients of clinics are fully unaware or unconcerned that the majority of the staff is unlicensed; therefore, they expect you to know everything. Plenty of 'old-school' patients come from another era when medical assistants did not exist and only an RN or LPN assisted the doctor.
Last edit by TheCommuter on Aug 19, '06