Patient question on nurse interaction

  1. I'm a patient looking for insight on some reactions I've received from a couple nurses. Feeling very vulnerable so really hoping I can get some input. In Canada.

    Hopefully without giving away too much detail, I'm a patient at a clinic setting where we pay for very expensive but potentially life altering services. There is a lot of emotion involved. Nurses are our primary contacts throughout the process and they explain schedules and medications to us, and sometimes results. There is typically a lot of allowance for phone calls and emails with questions, and a lot of this helps provide reassurance throughout the process and gives us some feeling of control or stability in something we have no control over.

    Personally, for me to maintain a stable emotional state through the treatment and not want to switch clinics, I need to maintain a trusting relationship with the nurses, and a big part of which is feeling like they actualy care about what I'm going through and that I'm not just a dollar sign.
    I know the nurses are very busy in general and I always keep that in mind and try not to over burden anyone with questions. I've received a couple of off-putting responses lately I'd like some insight on.

    The gist of it is I'll ask a question about whether the doctor would have considered x factor through the testing we've done, or I'll ask for a bit of clarification on why the doctor thinks x (to increase my understanding of what's going on), and I perceive the response as brushing me off, just a 'don't ask that, you need to trust the dr' type of response, rather than just explaining or telling me they can find out, or suggesting I raise it at the next appointment. What would be the intent behind this type of answer? Does it reflect irritation at my question, like they think I'm skeptical of the care, or something, and I'm being difficult? Or is it maybe a misguided attempt at reassurance? Being told to just trust the dr isn't a great thing to hear when you have questions. Generally most of the nurses are pretty good and they must realize there is a huge element of emotional support to this specific field.

    I realize this probably sounds extremely minor but there is a big psychological impact with these things and given what I see out there in other patients I know for sure I'm not the only patient in this field who has these reactions.

    Any insight would be very appreciated.
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    About Snowy34

    Joined: Apr '18; Posts: 4

    6 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    You stated you had questions related to what the doctor would advise or consider. Best to ask the doctor. While the nurse might be well-versed in the situation, in the end, they can not read the mind of the doctor or speak for them.
  4. by   Snowy34
    I don't doubt you're right. Why not just say "ask the dr" if that's what they think? This "trust the dr" thing is a bit different, no? Something about it rubs me the wrong way (it's like 'you shouldn't be asking that' vs 'I personally can't answer that'). I'll try to operate on the assumption they are trying to reassure me and leave it at that.
  5. by   psu_213
    Quote from Snowy34
    I don't doubt you're right. Why not just say "ask the dr" if that's what they think? This "trust the dr" thing is a bit different, no? Something about it rubs me the wrong way (it's like 'you shouldn't be asking that' vs 'I personally can't answer that'). I'll try to operate on the assumption they are trying to reassure me and leave it at that.
    It sounds like the nurse was trying to offer reassurance, but did so quite poorly. Perhaps she may not have realized that it came off that way, something else was on her mind making her less than prepared for this interaction, etc., etc. Not saying what she did was right, but try not to take this one interaction personally, and don't come to you final judgment on her based on this.

    As the PP said, if you have questions about the treatment plan that the doctor came up with, your really need to ask him/her about it.
  6. by   ruby_jane
    I believe that per the TOS, we're not able to give you advice. As you mention, raising the question at the next appointment is probably what needs to happen. Does your facility have an ombudsman if you feel you're not being heard?
  7. by   Snowy34
    Thank you for the response. I think part of the problem is this is a specialized clinic, that we pay for (which is not the way we are used to healthcare in Canada), and it produces a bit of a strange dynamic.
  8. by   Snowy34
    Quote from ruby_jane
    I believe that per the TOS, we're not able to give you advice. As you mention, raising the question at the next appointment is probably what needs to happen. Does your facility have an ombudsman if you feel you're not being heard?
    No ombudsman as far as I'm aware. I get the feeling the clinic is busy (as they all are) and they wouldn't really care very much about losing particular patients.

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