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Is it really necessary?

02/17/2011

If there’s one thing I’m afraid of, it’s communicating with doctors.

Clarification: communicating clearly with doctors.

Funny thing is that doing so is a HUGE part of my job. And I should mention that it’s not ALL doctors I fear. It’s the ones that think they are too good for everything. The ones that are “too good” to accept a consult. The ones that are “too good” to talk to Nurse Practitioners who are just trying to do their job. Those ones can take a leap.

Imma break it down for you now. So, today was busy. I had 6 people to follow up on this morning (average) and at 11a, the admits started coming in. There are usually 5 hospitalist doctors that I work with on a given week, along with one other NP. So we take turns admitting patients throughout the day,, one for her, one for me and so on. They rotate through the physicians, so they each get one patient before the first one gets a second. Make sense? Anyway, since I’m still pretty green at all of this, it usually takes me an hour and a half or so to admit a new patient – that includes obtaining the history, doing the physical exam, writing a progress note, writing orders, calling docs and dictating. It’s a lengthy process. One I hope to speed up sometime soon.

By time I finished with my first admit this morning, it was around 130 and I had still not eaten lunch. [By the way, working out in the morning is great and all,, but when you do so, your body just craves regular food intake. This job is really, really cramping my style in that department. I need to find a compromising solution. I hate inhaling my lunch.] When I got to the office to finally eat, I was told I had another patient waiting for me. Fine, ok, whatever. I can handle it. So there’s another hour and a half-ish gone. Well, as I’m dictating on my second (it’s now 145), I get another call asking me if I was ready for my third. Mind you I’m supposed to leave at 430p. Fine, ok, whatever, I’ll hustle through this last one and head home. Well, clearly “hustling” never happens for me, since when I do so, I end up majorly forgetting something. Which is unacceptable (yet human, I suppose).

So I’m 2/3rds done with my last patient and as I’m writing orders, the hospitalist doc with whom I admitted the first patient calls. He asks me to call the consultant who we had asked to see our earlier patient and ask them if they wanted to see the patient in the hospital or as an outpatient. Fine, ok, whatever — but not til I’m done with this dictation. So I page and the consultant doctor calls me back and from the second I hear their voice, I can tell it’s not going to go well. Here I’m thinking,, I’m sorry bro, it’s 5 o’clock for all of us and I’m not any happier than you are to still be on the clock. Anyways, long story short (not so much but ok), the doctor starts questioning me and the reason for the consult, which immediately puts me on the defensive. They say to me, “Now wait a minute! You’re telling me that you want me to see them for ___ when clearly it’s a result of ___ ?? That is just ridiculous.” Anytime I am questioned or confronted with something, I get anxious. The palpitations start and I get sweaty. I’m like a little kid again,, all jittery and stuttery (aka. real professional). So I did my best to convey the reason for the consult, only for them to tell cut me off and tell me that they would see them as an outpatient. Fine, ok, whatever. Thanks for being so calm about it all. I don’t at all feel like a little bug you just smushed on the ground and spit on. I love being talked down to as a matter of fact. Good times.

So, boys and girls,, today was the first day in my new position that I got yelled at. Well, I don’t know if I would even consider it yelling, but I was definitely talked down to and disrespected like whoa. Moral of the story: fair enough if you’re having a bad day, but guess what? We all have bad days. And the day I talk to someone like I was talked to today, is the day I get my walking papers. I’m very familiar with medicine and how hard doctors work and how difficult things can be. But we’re just trying to help. I’m not trying to make your life miserable, promise. Just be nice and I won’t stutter while I’m talking to you and go home feeling like an imbecile.

Anyone have a similar story? Please dish. Or just tell me a joke. I need a good laugh and a smile to go with my Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s.

PS,, tomorrow is Friday. T.G.

Despite it's irrelevance, I really like bacon.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/17/2011 8:48 pm

    I get nervous every time I have to call a doctor about something too! I’m not sure why. When they’re receptive and listen, that’s fine. But the more difficult ones make me shake a little bit. REMEMBER: IT’S NOT ABOUT ME! You didn’t do anything wrong in this situation, and it’s about that doctor’s issues. We can only be responsible for our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and we can’t take responsibility for those things of others around us…I know that knowing that doesn’t help the annoyance of being talked down to, but at least it makes it a little easier to brush it off. Sorry it was such a rough day for you:(

    • 02/17/2011 9:41 pm

      You are so right. I did what I was supposed to do and everything beyond that is out of my control. I’ll get over it, just happy to have the blog as an outlet for my venting!

  2. Lora permalink
    02/17/2011 9:32 pm

    Sorry for the rough day. 😦
    Doctors sometimes become self-proclaimed gods. They are so into practicing their medicine that they forget they are human and that they are dealing with other human beings. Hang in there and make sure you give yourself some lunch. It’s hard to function without fuel. Take care 🙂

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