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Scared to talk to Doctors

jam0516 jam0516 (New) New

I am a nursing student and I have a huge fear of talking to the Doc's. I am sure that I am not the only person with this fear, but how do you get past it? I would love it if someone could give me their input on the matter.

NurseyPoo7

Has 7 years experience. Specializes in Acute Care.

Some of them can be ********, but I often tell those people that I'd rather talk to them now that they are on the unit than have to call them or an associate at 3am.

Also, if you have a concern about their patient, most of the MDs, PAs and NPs I've talked to are more than willing to listen. A lot of them are grateful you may point something out to them they may not have known/realized.... Remember, they are usually only seeing the patient 5-20 minutes at a time, whereas most of us spend hours with the patient!

That's a normal feeling it will get better as time goes by.

I am a nursing student and I have a huge fear of talking to the Doc's. I am sure that I am not the only person with this fear, but how do you get past it? I would love it if someone could give me their input on the matter.

jaccimv

Has 3 years experience. Specializes in Tele, and now ICU !!.

it just takes practice. be prepared and things will go smooth. a lot of times the more you talk to them the more they will become comfortable with you. remember..you and the docs are there for one reason - to care for your patient. you cant let the fear of the docs get in your way of delivering the best patient care possible. i understand what you are saying because when i was a new nurse i had the same fear. but, again..the are just like you and me. the worst they can say is no or give you a little bit of a tude, but it wont be the end of the world. just remember..if you dont speak up and be the advocate for your patient.. you are not fufilling your duties as a nurse! know what you want to say, be prepared and you will be fine.

I'm a nursing student too, and I was initially scared to talk to doctors. That fear is long gone. I keep certain things in mind when I'm talking to them: 1) I have the patient's best interests at heart. 2) I'm a student and they know it, so they don't expect much. (And they're impressed when I am spot on). 3) They were students once also. 4) I try to make sure I know what I'm talking about before I contact them. 5) They are people, not monsters. Anyone can be a jerk to you, even other nurses. So, if a doctor isn't nice or friendly, don't take it personally. Maybe they're having problems you're not aware of. 6) refer to #2 if you ever do say or do something that illuminates your inexperience. You're going to learn a lot even when you're a new RN and you're going to make mistakes. You're doing okay when you can let them go and not dwell on them. Never let anyone talk down to you, because you are a smart accomplished person (obviously, or you couldn't have gotten into nursing school).

The best way to communicate c docs is to be prepared, anticipate what they will ask you and know what you want the outcome of the conversation or call to be- a lot of times you will be the one who suggests the right rx for the situation. Also, run through the case c your more experienced nurse friends- never underestimate teamwork of nurses:wink2:

lovingtheunloved, ASN, RN

Has 12 years experience. Specializes in LTC, home health, critical care.

I am a nursing student and I have a huge fear of talking to the Doc's. I am sure that I am not the only person with this fear, but how do you get past it? I would love it if someone could give me their input on the matter.

You get over it. Lots of docs are really nice, and the ones who are jerks, I find rather amusing.

You get over it. Lots of docs are really nice, and the ones who are jerks, I find rather amusing.

:yeah::yeahthat:You'll get there. Took me a while (two years!), but I FINALLY agree with the above!

Xbox Live Addict

Has 8 years experience. Specializes in LTC/SNF, Psychiatric, Pharmaceutical.

I am a nursing student and I have a huge fear of talking to the Doc's. I am sure that I am not the only person with this fear, but how do you get past it? I would love it if someone could give me their input on the matter.

Ah, the big, bad doctor... one of the earliest fears of many a nursing student. Even one of my nursing textbooks had a blurb on the subject of fear of talking to physicians.

I think a lot of this is perception though. A lot of old nurses will tell you war stories of nasty doctors. It's the "evil" doctors that get all the press with people, rather than the doctors that do their job with as much professionalism and courtesy as they can muster at 3 AM.

Over time, you will overcome your fears of the big, bad doctor. The best way to talk to a physician is the same way to talk to anyone else you might do business with - come prepared to talk. In this case, that means being aware of the patient's condition and what has been tried, and what you expect from your encounter with the doctor, and have a good nursing assessment ready to go.

Some doctors are going to be jerks no matter what. Some nurses will be jerks no matter what, too, or CNAs, or floor techs, or fry cooks, or any other job/profession out there. You'll take your lumps sooner or later. You'll probably give out some lumps to some poor undeserving sucker too, when you're having a bad day.

My first experience with a doctor after I became licensed was embarrassing... but he recognized it as simple greenness on my part. Over time, we have both developed great respect for one another. He has even stated that he wished I were working at the nursing home again, for the good of the residents he oversees. (I work for a plasma center now.)

icyounurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, PACU, Travel nursing.

I was terrified of talking to them myself when I first got out of school. My voice even shook alittle on the phone sometimes.

How do you get over it?

You just call them day after day after day until it is routine and it doesnt bother you anymore. Trust me it will become routine.

And remember those docs are making the big bucks, they can take a few minutes to talk to you.

RazorbackRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics (Burn ICU, CVICU).

I used to be scared (more like intimidated) to talk to them, too.

I just started picturing them sitting on the pot or wiping their butt. I figure if they do that, they can't be that much above me.

locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

I always run in my head...A)do they want x, y, z? B)Am I calling them for results or meds? C) Do I need to know something...am I calling them to tell them what's going on? And go from there.

They go to school for this..I'm there for patients not to NOT wake them from sleep(although I do minimize calls for things I don't need.)

I am a student nurse as well. We were introduced to a communication technique called SBAR.

S situation

B background

A assessment

R recommendation

This has helped me a lot. By organizing my thoughts, making notes etc. I felt prepared when I had to make the call. There is lots of info on net, just google SBAR

Hope this helps!

Here is an example of a call to a physician using SBAR:

Dr. Jones, this is Deb McDonald RN, I am calling from ABC Hospital about your patient Jane Smith.

Situation: Here's the situation: Mrs. Smith is having increasing dyspnea and is complaining of chest pain.

Background: The supporting background information is that she had a total knee replacement two days ago. About two hours ago she began complaining of chest pain. Her pulse is 120 and her blood pressure is 128/54. She is restless and short of breath.

Assessment: My assessment of the situation is that she may be having a cardiac event or a pulmonary embolism.

Recommendation: I recommend that you see her immediately and that we start her on 02 stat.

Jennerizer, ASN, RN

Has 13 years experience. Specializes in PCU, Critical Care, Observation.

I think your fear is totally normal.....just remember, don't take anything they say personally if they are being rude. Some of them are just that way - just like in life - you're always going to run into a few jerks.

The best way to overcome your fears is to face it head on. Pretty soon you'll get used to calling them and you won't feel afraid at all.

Jen

Dolce, RN

Specializes in Day Surgery, Agency, Cath Lab, LTC/Psych.

the ones who are jerks, I find rather amusing.

Me too! I just have to laugh about the funny, over-the-top things they say after I get off the phone with them.

To the OP, doctors are just like everyone else. They need to be treated with the respect and courtesy that you give to all of your coworkers. Maintain a professional relationship with them and they will (or most of them will) treat you professionally in turn.

Dolce, RN

Specializes in Day Surgery, Agency, Cath Lab, LTC/Psych.

I just started picturing them sitting on the pot or wiping their butt. I figure if they do that, they can't be that much above me.

:rotfl:

This sounds like what they tell you to do before you give a speech, "Picture the audience naked..."

floatRN

Has 4 years experience. Specializes in Med-Surg.

Once you are out of school, you will be doing it all the time and the fear goes away. There are still a few doctors that I dread having to call though. However, I have learned not to take it personally if they snap at me. Before you call, gather all your info and be prepared. Have recent vitals available, recent lab results. If you are calling a covering doctor and they aren't familiar with the patient, make sure you know their pertinent medical history. I also try to read the doctor's progress note for that day before calling to make sure they haven't already addressed the issue.

Some doctors make it really easy to speak to, while others are well....jerks, ego maniacs and love the power trip of being a doctor. They will never be easy to converse with, so have your Ducks in A Row when you speak with them, also KISS- keep it simple stupid info you give them and avoid him/her at all cost. Believe me, there is still that wide divide between Godly doctors/and hand maiden nurses misconception. A lot of these irritable God-Like Docs don't feel comfortable in their own skin.

mpccrn, BSN, RN

Has 30 years experience. Specializes in ICU.

new grads are just as terrified as you sound. i tell them to write things down that they want to cover with a doc before talking to them......labs, new orders, concerns, VS, outs, anything that may be pertinent to the conversationl being prepared and concise works to your advantage. sometimes, docs are grateful, sometimes they are just having a bad day and will yell....if shaken up afterwards, i just tell them i've been yelled at by better and laugh...........cuz i have! :smokin:

Jennifer, RN

Has 11 years experience. Specializes in ER, telemetry.

This is a normal fear that will pass with time and experience.

My only advice is to completely assess the patient before you call, including a complete set of vitals, have the chart with you in case they ask you questions about labs, medications, history, etc....and always repeat orders back. Relax, these doctors are people too, they eat, fart, sleep and make mistakes just like we do.

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