Nosy Nurse

posted 3 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
759 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’m so sorry that happened to you. Maybe if, as you said, she wasn’t the regular nurse, maybe she doesn’t usually answer phones? Regardless, she was extremely rude. Patients should never be made to feel as if their concerns are unimportant or as if their care isn’t a priority. When you do eventually see this doctor, I suggest asking if the procedure the nurse followed was the norm, and if not then to please address it with his staff. I’m sorry you’re in so much pain, OP. I hope your doctor finds a solution!

Post # 4
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Yeah, when you get to your appointment with the doctor, I would DEFINITELY mention that the phone lady was extremely rude and intrusive.

She doesn’t need to know the details of your endo if she’s not going to let you book an appointment anyway!

Post # 5
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Did you get her name?

Mention it to the doctor… that is totally unprofessional and none of her damn business!

This isn’t Lucy’s 5 cents advice stand, it’s a doctor’s office!!

Post # 6
4138 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Well, usually the receptionist who takes calls is not actually a nurse. Is it possible this person was an admin staff member and really had no idea what she was talking about? Regardless, she is clearly unaware of the particulars surrounding your situation. Typically when you are not seen for more than a year you need a new referral, but if that was not the instruction given to you by the doctor she has no right to turn you away. I would call back again and if she answers, talk to someone else making it clear that you were instructed by your doctor to follow up with him in 1.5 years. In the case of asking why you feel you need a lap, she really sucks at asking things professionally. They are supposed to ask what your concerns are, as in an entrance complaint but not after she’s already directed you to talk to your GP. Also, she has no buisness directing you to “go get an ultrasound” as she is not a doctor or a nurse practicioner and cannot advise you medically. 


Regardless of the outcomes, you should talk to the doctor, program or facility director about her behavior directly. She is acting totally outside of her professional designation. 

Edited to add: depending on where you are there may be a governing body for nurses (here we have the college of RN’s) that may need to know she is advising patients and being innapropriate. 



Post # 7
989 posts
Busy bee

@chercee:  having worked in the same type of office, we had to ask similar questions, mainly just to screen and make an appointment in a suitable timeframe – for example, not making a post menopausal woman who is bleeding wait too long for an appointment. The way in which I would ask though is list the reasons why they might be coming in – bleeding, birth control, pain, abnormal pap etc and they can pick one without having to elaborate if they don’t want to. If someone called for endometriosis, I wouldn’t need any further elaboration on that. The only questions I would ask are the ones that help me ascertain what the appointment is for and how urgent it is. The nurse was rude. In my experience, doctors tend to say things like ‘come back and see me when you need to’ without thought of the fact that the patient will need a new referral if it is out of the 12 months the referral is valid for. There was no need for the nurse to be so rude though, she should treat patients with the same level of respect and sensitivity that she would expect if she were calling somewhere to make an appointment! She doesn’t need to know your symptoms when she already knows the diagnosis!

Post # 9
2063 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@chercee:  I think her tone was wrong but if she actually was a nurse (like pp said nurses usually aren’t answering phones) we do technically need to know the nature of the problem. Try to keep in mind that nurses are also under HIPPA so an information on your case would not be released anywhere.  Also, while to you it’s VERY personal to a nurse it’s just another case (I know that sounds awful.) so they might not know when to stop pushing..

I’m sorry you felt uncomfortable and I would suggest speaking with your doctor about it so he can put in your chart that they shouldn’t ask such personal questions.

Post # 11
1041 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Wow, it seems really weird to me that she would ask for so much information and then tell you to go somewhere else! She is not the doctor, why is she trying to act like she is? I would complain.

Post # 12
1355 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Vine Street Church

That sounds like a front desk staff type situation. I know that in my clinic, the front desk takes all of our scheduling calls, and if there’s a patient question, they fill out a telephone triage questionnaire and tell the patients that one of us will call them before the end of the business day. I think that the nurse would have been one to go back into your records and see the documentation from the doctor stating that he instructed you to call back when you were ready rather than just giving you a blanket statement about needing another referral — the front desk usually doesn’t have that kind of time to look deeply into a patient’s chart but will go by the normal rules of the clinic when speaking to callers.

Post # 13
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Just a FYI, I’m a triage nurse and her questions are normal.

Many times in specialty offices, the nurses ARE the ones answering phones. (esp Endo!)


Many doctors expect us to get AS MUCH information as we possibly can before it gets around to them. The docs are stretched beyond their means these days and the nurses act as the person who determines if the patient is appropriate or needs to be seen elsewhere. I ask patients specifics about their conditions a million times a day. It’s expected, that’s what triage is, although she could have explained that to you to put you at ease.

Before anything gets booked with my docs, it comes to me. I get every detail I can to make a judgement call before determining if I can book them, book them elsewhere, or send them to an ER. Our licenses depend on us making the right judgement call and we have protocols for every complaint imaginable to aid in this as well. It’s hard- you’re assessing a patient over the phone.

It sounds like what she did IS appropriate but perhaps her manner was not!


Post # 14
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@chercee:  Also, she should be answering the phone with her title… “Good morning, this is Julie- one of Dr. So-and-so’s nurses, can I help you?”

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