January 11, 2008

Mid-morning ramblings of a sleep deprived mom and RN

One thing I've been wondering about the last week or two is how I sound when I talk to patients on the phone. We get phone calls in L&D in the middle of the night, usually it's a patient who's been worried about something, tried to go to sleep, couldn't and either needs to come in, or needs reassurance that something they are experiencing is normal. Like feeling mild cramping at 39 weeks. We aren't allowed to give any advice over the phone for liability reasons. All we can say is either come in and let us check you out, or call your doctor. Occasionally someone will call with a concern about something that turns out to be usual pregnancy/early labor symptoms. I'll admit that sometimes I've been frustrated by a few calls that, to me, seem pretty simple. I'm not perfect, but I try to remember that not everyone is as familiar with pregnancy as I am. I just hope that I never sounded irritated, put-off or that I thought they were dumb to call in, although I'm sure I have. It's is always best to err on the side of caution and call or be seen. Here's what got me thinking about all this. I had called the OB's office, oh, last week about symptoms I was having and the nurse really blew me off, stating everything I was experiencing was normal and she really sounded like she thought I was ignorant and couldn't believe I was concerned about what was going on. I suspected I was working on growing a nice uterine infection, but I'm a L&D nurse. I don't see patients after a few days. So I accepted her answer, but I was still a bit concerned because things were different that what I thought they should be and how I remembered them after my first c-setion. Anyway, it turns out I was right. I did have a lovely uterine infection which I'm taking antibiotics for. I should have been a more persisitant in explaining my symptoms, but I wasn't. I feel much better after taking the antibiotics for the last few days. So, I guess I need to trust my own instincts a bit more.

1 comment:

OBRNinNE said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments, though i'm usually convinced to ignore my instincts by my pediatrician...i'm working on it, and maybe i'm overly cautions, but I've diagnosed numerous skin conditions and viruses and he's said "oh, it's not that" until I push to bring him in and it is...sometimes we have to trust that as nurses we really do know what we're talking about. However, I understand where you're going...my whole pregnancy I kept telling myself that everything I thought was abnormal was just because I'm so used to high-risk and complicated...it was really hard to accept I was normal! (well...a touch preeclamptic, maybe)