A little background about me: I've had a speech dysfluency my entire life. I don't exactly consider this a disability, but didn't know what category to select for this post. I had speech therapy from the time I was in first grade all the way through high school. I'm able to communicate well most of the time, and don't have trouble communicating with my patients. I have been a CNA in long-term care for five years throughout college and haven't run into any problems. However, I will also admit that I have both good and bad days with my speech. I really struggle when I'm under a lot of stress or feeling intimidated. Understandably, my biggest fear throughout nursing school has been physician interactions. And now..here I am! I graduate within a couple weeks and have accepted a full-time RN night shift position on an oncology/palliative unit in a large hospital. I am thrilled for my job, and love this specialty. I am sick with worry not only for being a brand new nurse, but also how I am going to handle communicating with doctors on the phone at 3 AM when I will already be shaking in my boots. I know that this is a skill that gets better with time, but I can't shake this concern out of my head. If anyone could offer me a few words or wisdom or advice, I would truly appreciate it. Thank you
Apr 28, '14
We've all been there! Use your SBAR or other tools to have all your ducks in a row when you call the dr. Remember, he is not awake either and no matter how precise you are, he may not "follow" what you are saying and you may need to repeat info. Just stay calm. The Dr is just a person that you woke up from a sound sleep!!
If he barks at you, remember that you can let him know you need orders/clarification, etc., and that you will not tolerate him yelling at you. I used to tell one Dr:" I understand what you are saying and you can yell at me later, I just need to know what you want me to do for your patient now". LOL
Many that you speak with will have accents and they themselves will be difficult to understand, so don't worry too much about your speech concerns. It will be ok.
I have a hearing deficit, so I don't always hear/understand over the phone. My Dr's I dealt with were good with this and repeated info as I needed.
Apr 28, '14
My guess is you will be fine.
Consider writing down what you need to communicate over the phone before you make the call (assuming you have the time). SBAR is the key.
Forgive yourself if you are not perfect.
Forgive the doc if they are not perfect during the call(unless they make a habit of being rude and unapproachable).