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8 Things Nurses Should Never Say to Doctors

Marijke Durning | NursingLink

1. [On the phone] “Doctor, the patient you saw earlier is having chest pain again.”


Seriously? Could this statement be more vague? Turn the situation around and think about it this way: You receive a call from the dietitian who says, “You know that patient you had three weeks ago who wasn’t supposed to eat salt? I want to make sure he didn’t.”

You’d be surprised to learn how many times doctors get calls like this. You may have five or 10 patients (or sometimes more in long-term care), but the doctor likely has many more patients than that. She needs a bit more information than “the patient you saw earlier.”

Remember to be specific, not just in identifying the patient, but the case and diagnosis too. You know how easy it is for things to get mixed up, with all the patients you handle daily!

Try something like: “Doctor, earlier today, you saw Mr. ABC, with [diagnosis]. You ordered XYZ but he is now having chest pain again. His vitals are….”

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