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8 Things Nurses Should Never Say to Doctors

Marijke Durning | NursingLink

3. Nurse: “Doctor, Mr. Johnson’s heart rate is 150.”
Doctor: “Is he ok?” (legitimate question)
Nurse: “I don’t know, the aide just told me his last set of vitals.”

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Don’t believe this happens? Ask one of the doctors on your floor the next time you’re at work. As nurses, we’re the doctors’ eyes and ears on the floor. If we think there’s something wrong and report it, we have to be able to back up our assessments. Nurses who call the doctor based on someone else’s report can’t back it up because, well, they didn’t make the assessment in the first place.

No matter how spectacular your assistants are, you’re still the one who has to make the call, so be sure to make the assessment too.

Instead of rushing to report to the doctor (save emergencies), take the time and go see the patient, make your own assessment about the heart rate (and any other developments), and check the chart to see if there were any other notes regarding a rapid pulse. Only once the heart rate has been verified, (unless the patient is going downhill quickly), do you call the doctor with the appropriate information, as in the first example.

Next: Know-it-All >>


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  • Hpim0493_max50

    pswaide

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I just had a conversation with one of our NP's this weekend about how often this is happening. As a clinical instructor, I am sharing this with my students.

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    marina_dilbone1

    almost 4 years ago

    26 comments

    Some good points-but sometimes my "colleagues" have reported me to charge nurses and managers for asking for a second opinion at 6 in the morning-I always feel better asking and will always err on the side of caution but I should not have to wonder if I ask someone should I call if they will report me that I SHOULD KNOW TO CALL-am a travel nurse-enjoy for the most part except for power struggles like that

  • 6328_109244434836_603504836_1984022_6826013_n_max50

    arcadia55

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I do not like calling the doctor late in the evening or early in the morning. But one thing this whole article is not recognizing is the fact that especially in long term care, because of the policies kiin place, the nurse must call no matter how trivial. I know that to be a fact especially in Michigan, we nurses had to call in any and all abnormal labs no matter how slight the difference in values were, and we could not allow anything at all go until the next morning, did not matter if all Mr Brown had a slight head cold or that Mrs. Smiths ua came back positive for a ua, and she was asymptomatic. It could have waited until the next morning, but no because the result was received at 1am, we still had to call the doc.

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    ccolburn

    almost 4 years ago

    2044 comments

    Sometimes as Nures we make mistakes this is some Great advice!

  • Smurfnurse_max50

    Inara

    almost 4 years ago

    64 comments

    good advice, especially for new nurses! It's true, people don't think much of nurses, but sometimes, we make mistakes too!

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