"ten comandments"

Nurses General Nursing


I am working with several new graduate nurses and an age old problem has come up once again. They have problems gathering all of the information needed before calling the MD. I don't need to tell anyone what kind of problems this causes. I was told that there is a "cheat sheet" called the "ten comandments for nursing" that summarizes the things to have ready before making the call. I have been unable to find this or anyother cleaver guide. I can write one myself, but would like to see this one. If anyone has this or something similar I would appreciate seeing it. Thanks in advance. Donna ([email protected])


9 Posts

Hello! Before calling a physician, especially when it is a MD who doesn't know the patient at all because he's/she's on call or at night, be sure to know:

1. Patient full name and admitting diagnosis

2. Current vitals, I & O for the past 24 hrs

3. Current IV fluids/rate (and have med

sheets in front of you too

4. Current lab results

5. Status of any drains, incisions, drsgs

6. Are any other MDs involved in this

patients care?

7. Give a brief outline (if this is the on- call MD) of the patient's length of stay

i.e. "Day #4, POD #2, returned to OR

yesterday for ...., etc., any

significant problems, what's been

done so far, and how did the pt

respond to this treatment?

8. WHY are you calling? What makes you

think there is a problem (be objective)

and what have you tried so far to fix

the problem?

9. Have the chart in front of you, so you

can write the orders if you receive any

10. Then document whom you called, where

they were when contacted, what you told them, and what their response was. If you have difficulty reaching a MD, document what you tried and when.

IN OTHER WORDS - know as much about that patient as you can - and another thing - doctors hate to be called in succession - so communicate with the other nurses working the floor and see if they need that MD for anything so you can consolidate those calls.

They'll appreciate it and they'll be easier to work with if they know you're trying to work with them. Also - every facility has a chain of command so if you run into problems with a MD not responding, don't stop - remember you were calling for a reason - notify the leaders you need to - I've occasionally had to go over a MD's head and notify their department chair - this has always gotten quick resolution of the issue.

Thanks for asking! GOOD LUCK! I never hesitate to call - but I'm always prepared!


4 Posts

Thank you for the 10 comandments, I will be getting back to work soon. Five year ago I moved from Puerto Rico to South Carolina and since I'm stay at home mom. I'm in process of getting my lincesce back. Nice to see nurses online. Have a nice day! smile.gif


338 Posts

Thanks for the cheat sheet!!! Does anyone else have any extra hints on this?


97 Posts

Another thing I find is helpful, especially if you are calling the on-call doc is to have an intervention in mind to suggest to them. Obviously, this is only helpful if you know what you need, not in situations where all heck is breaking loose... smile.gif I work in palliative care, where a lot of docs don't have a lot of experience, so they usually end up asking what I think anyway, so I usually beat them to the punch and just tell them what I need them to order! I guess that's why I make the big bucks... NOT!


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