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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.”


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.

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