Updates and musings from one momma nurse


Friday, August 12, 2011

Nurses = Detectives

Please, for the sake of your healthcare providers, keep a current list of your medications with you. Otherwise something like the following may happen.

Nurse: So what medications are you taking?
Patient: I don't know what they're called. I'm taking about 28 of them, I think. I don't know what they are for.
Nurse: ...Ok, let's figure this out. Where do you get your prescriptions filled?

Nurse: Hello, Goldman's Pharmacy? I'm trying to figure out John Smith's home medications. Would you be able to fax over a list of his active prescriptions?
Goldman's: No, we can't do that, but we can read them to you over the phone.

Nurse: Hello, Dr. Jones? You are listed as John Smith's primary physician. Can you fax over a list of his active prescriptions?
Dr. Jones: This patient has never been seen here.

Nurse: Hi, Goldman's, it's the nurse again. Can you tell me who prescribed each of those medications you read to me earlier?
Goldman's: Sure, it was Dr. Seuss, Dr. Who, Dr. Carter, and Dr. Strangelove.

(Later, after some googling to find phone numbers)
Nurse: Hello, Dr. Seuss' office? Please tell me John Smith is an active patient with you.
Dr. Seuss' office: Oh, Dr. Seuss retired earlier this year.

Nurse: Please, for the love of all that is holy, let Dr. Who be John Smith's doctor..
Dr. Who's office: Oh yes, but that patient has not been in for about 6 months.
Nurse: So you have a list of active medications to fax me?
Dr. Who's office: I can't do that, but I can fax you the list that the patient provided to us on a crumpled, faded piece of notebook paper.
Nurse: And those are current medications?
Dr. Who's office: I have no idea. I'll just fax it and you can sort that out yourself.

Nurse: This is the nurse, leaving a message for the specialist, Dr. Strangelove. Pretty please call me back.

(An hour later)
Dr. Strangelove's office: Yes, we saw that patient less than a month ago. We can't fax you a list either, but here, I'll read it to you.

John Smith's family: Hey nurse, we are here to visit John, and we brought a current list of medications on a crumpled, faded piece of notebook paper. Want it?