ED Referral

I don’t like confrontation. I strongly feel that most things can and should be sorted politely and calmly, and that everyone should be reasonable about (almost) everything. As such, I really don’t like having to get bitchy on the phone. Today I have had to be, and I’m grumpy about it.

Listen, specialists. I know that you are specialists, and what is barn-door stupid-obvious to you may not be such to me. You may see traumatic spinal fractures in young people or fast AF with bundle branch block on a daily basis, but I do not. If I ask for you to come and review a patient because I am worried about them, please stop assuming it is because I am out to make your day more difficult or because I am lazy – it is because I need your opinion as a specialist. If I am happy with advice over the phone I will tell you this. Some things, however, are not amenable to telephone diagnosis and in these cases please don’t make a fuss – come and see the patient. By all means ask me to talk to my consultant first, or another specialty if you feel they are more appropriate, but if they also think you need to come and review the patient then just do it. Ultimately we’re both out for what’s best for the patient, and right now what’s best for the patient is that you come and review them.

That, and we both know that we can either have a professional, courteous conversation on the phone or my consultant can call you. You then get your consultant involved, everyone gets angry, and in the time it took for all of that to happen the patient could have had a plan in place.

Just saying.

The Man at the End of the WorldAnd wha’d’y’know, you admitted the patient and have arranged an MRI spine. Guess it’s good I didn’t just send them home, as you so politely suggested down the phone. I know the hospital opinion of ED is that we’re all idiots. We’re not.


4 responses to “ED Referral

  1. When specialists get cranky with nurses we are likely to say something like ” Did your parents force you to go to medical school?” Or “Somebody needs a nap”

    On a unrelated topic, it is all your fault that I spent way too much money on a fountain pen. I love the pen. Really. But after owning it a week, I have not been able to shake the guilt over the indulgence. It is a Pilot Vanishing Point…

    • Blimey, vanishing points aren’t cheap! I’ve never used one, but Im glad you’re enjoying it. Have you gone the whole hog with bottled ink or sticking to cartridges currently?

      I imagine specialists get cranky with nurses a lot. The amount of crap our surgical nurse who took the referrals from GPs had to take from people asking to speak to a doctor was…disappointing.

      • Oh GAWD help me I have the bottled ink which I now have on my fingers and spilled onto my night stand and from there to the floor in my room. I went to the amazing fountain pen store…with a darling old couple that sells nothing but fountain pens and so many inks..so many..luckily it is at least a 90 minute drive…I saw 3 more that I loved. I was so sad to leave them there…

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