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Monday, July 18, 2011

On My Soapbox

In the past 3 years I have dealt with a lot, and I mean A LOT of phone and triage nurses. First there were the long months of fertility treatments which meant calling sometimes daily to talk to a nurse about cycles, medications, ultrasounds, etc. Then there was the pregnancy- obviously I had more appointments to schedule because it was a multiple pregnancy, but I also had plenty of questions as it was my first pregnancy period. Now I call the pediatrician on a regular basis- double because there are two kids (take how many times you had to call your pediatrician's office in the first year of your kid's life, then add a second kid...), and even more because of all Evelyn's ear infections.
I feel I can now say, without a doubt, that there are very few of them I like to deal with. I'm not a snob, at least I don't think I am....maybe I should take a poll....anyways....but I do feel like I should be treated with respect when I call. Am I wasting your time by calling? Would you prefer I found another doctor? Would you like to find out something terrible happened because I didn't want to call and bother you?! I will say that the Fertility Center had generally wonderful customer service. I can think of reasons for why that may be: you're more of a "customer or client" than a patient since most of their procedures are optional, much of their clientele probably IS a little higher class than a regular doctor's office, etc. but should it matter!? I don't care if I'm being completely ridiculous, emotional, or utterly thick when I call....a doctor's office should care and listen to it's clients and serve them as quickly as possible.
You may be wondering what set me off. Maybe you're not but I'll tell you anyway- I called my pediatrician's office around 8am, talked to a nurse, told her everything I'd tried for Evelyn's stubborn yeast rash (including the "magic butt cream" recipe they'd given me). A few hours later I called back and said while they were asking the doctor the first question I would also like to know if Evelyn constantly putting her head down on the floor and crying meant nothing or possibly that her ear infection is still hanging around. The doc has mentioned needing to know if her infections are actually going away or if it's all just one long one so I figured this could be helpful info.


At 3pm a chipper nurse called and said: "I just spoke to Dr. _____ (not my normal doc) and he said it's probably just water and to watch her a couple days."


Me: "Oh, you mean her ears. Ok, I can do that (though she's already been doing it for several days which I told the nurse and which is why I asked)....but did he/she say anything about the rash?"


"What rash?"

Me: "Well, that was the reason I called. She has a yeast rash, it's very bad, she is very uncomfortable."


"Oh! Well there's nothing here about that, but you can use the Magic Butt..."

I interrupted- "I already tried that, I told the nurse that this morning (during our five minute conversation), it didn't do anything (and also wasn't cheap), so I need another option."

Frustrated sigh...."Ok, I'll ask the doctor."

Me, Annoyed at this point: "That's fine, and will you also tell him that I think it's important that she is constantly laying her head on the ground and crying? She has had 5 ear infections in as many months and we never know if it's more than one or one long one. She has been doing this head thing for quite awhile and I'm tired of just throwing antibiotics at her if we don't know they are working."

She told me to keep watching her and call back in a couple days. Fine.

At 4pm I got another call, they'd called a script in for a rash cream. I applied it at 5pm. At 7pm the rash is still there but SIGNIFICANTLY less red and obviously a ton less painful.
Was that so hard?!

I'm still not thrilled because I'll probably have to call again when she continues to cry and lay her head on the floor every few minutes, but at least the rash is clearing up.

All of that said, if you are a triage nurse, try to remember that your clients are dealing with sick, fussy, innocent babies. They are moms, just like you, who might have more education than you do! I'm sure you deal with all kinds of people, many of them frustrating and ignorant, but that doesn't mean we all are AND....the customer is always right ;)


Elizabeth said...

Oh my word, got all worked up reading your post because I SO know how you feel! So frustrating. Btw, make sure you disinfect your cd's to get rid of the yeast! My boys are just getting over yeast infections. Not fun. :(

Krista said...

I know! Uhg I'm hoping I only had one or two infected (not that I'd know which two...)because I immediately switched her into disposables so I could use a stronger diaper rash cream.

What did you end up doing to get rid of it??