How do you get past the nurse to talk to your Dr.?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Adl123, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    A couple of days ago my doctor prescribed Lipitor for me and I think he forgot about my compromised liver. (The folder enclosed with the medication warns of the danger). The receptionist in his office is brusk and rude and the nurse makes mistakes and "forgets" to ask him questions (At last visit she wrote out my yearly perscriptions wrong, three times. I had to keep going back. After that they were ALL mad at me.). He is really nice, but I don't know how to reach him to remind him of this. Also, I can't contact him to have my blood test perscription changed to include liver enzymes. If I make another appointment so soon my insurance will not cover it, and I just can't afford to pay. Does any one have any ideas? I could just wait a month and then make another appointment, but I hate to waste time, and I don't feel that a patient should have such a hard time reaching their primary physician. It really makes me angry. Am I being unreasonable? The only thing that keeps me going to him is that he is understanding, and listens to me, pretty much. Up here where I live, medical care is really conservative, so he is rare. I would really be grateful for any ideas. Thanks, in advance, for any input. Terry
  2. missvickielynn

    missvickielynn New Member

    ....but your Doctor's staff certainly are!

    This is a MAJOR problem for me as well. Just went through another episode of this kind of thing with my Doc's nurse yesterday. The way you described your situation is so similar........mistakes made, and phone calls not returned, things just "forgotton" ("blown off completely" is more appropriate). I think this is a common problem with many of us here. And, of course, when they make mistakes or blow us off, and then we are forced to keep calling, then we are treated like pests, and made to feel like we are "in the wrong". The old "blame the patient, and pass the buck" mentality.

    I don't know if you would be willing to go to this extreme, but I got an answering machine with a recorder on it. I had gone into the office on 8/7 to see the Nurse, to take the paperwork and sign forms necessary to get two of my prescriptions through the pharmaceutical companies. I also requested a prescription for a "handicapped" placard. She gave the the usual "sweet assurances" that all would be handled in the next couple of days. (She is always nice to my face, but then she tells the Doctor that I am rude and abusive to her, and won't "do the things she asks me to do". And the Doctor took up for her, and practically called me a liar, the one time I complained about all this kind of stuff.) Anyway......

    When I still had not heard anything from her since seeing her on the 7th, after placing 3 phone calls trying to reach her, one on the 19th, and two yesterday).......when I finally got her on the phone yesterday, I asked her if it was "allright with her" if I recorded our conversation. I used the excuse that it makes it easier for me to remember what is said, because it is so hard for me to take notes and remember things during phone calls. I was very nice (almost like "sucking up"....which is what we are forced to do sometimes).

    She turned into butter! Not only that, but she called me back in about an hour to assure me that "everything" was taken care of now. We shall see if it made any difference, if the things she promised actually happen this time.

    I have also started recording all my conversations with SSA reps. I always ask them if it is OK with them........like they are gonna refuse, right? Heck, THEY record all of our conversations, so why can't we?

    I understand completely your frustration. I do think that there are several reasons we get treated this way; the staff is usually short-handed, and probably underpaid and stressed to the max; nobody likes to "fill out paperwork", any more than we do (even though it is many times more difficult for us than for "normals"); and there just seems to be an increasing lack of good customer service skills being taught and used today. That is true everywhere, almost, not just when dealing with medical offices and bureacracies.

    Having said that.........I must say that the employees at Texas Dept. of Human Services has been the most courteous, kind, thorough and dependable of all the "agencies" and other "employees" I have dealt with in the past 3 years.
    That has been such a refreshing difference, and I have told each person I talked to there, how much I appreciate their kindness and professionalism. Nice to know there are exceptions.

    I am way too longwinded.......I do understand how frustrated this can make a person. I hope my suggestion is of some value to you.

    I hope it gets better!

    Vickie
  3. Mrs. B

    Mrs. B New Member

    the suggestions above but, in the mean time what about asking your pharmicist to call? If you ask them if the warning about the liver is serious mine would volunteer to call but, if not you could ask yours to call. They often get through more quickly than I can. I would also ask the pharmicist to ask about your other meds too. It would be better if you could go there with the bottle but, if not at least call. Most pharmicists love to help their customers.

    Lisa
  4. mycatprint

    mycatprint New Member

    My dr is such a good dr that her office is always busy. When I get caught in the red tape runaround, I write her a letter.

    In the letter describe briefly the trouble you are having getting info to her, and then describe your personal medical concerns and issues in great detail,also, include all the ways to contact you there are. Then put it in a half page size yellow envelope with "important communication for Dr (------), from (your name) in great big letters.

    Then I hand carry it to the drs office. I don't give it to the receptionist, but wait until a nurse comes out and walk up to her with it. I have never had this method fail to get a response. Its like screaming politely, lol. The dr always calls at the end of her office day and addresses my concerns.

    By the way, I tried this with my old dr, (the one I had to fire for his imperious and condecending attitude...) the whole office staff acted like I had just pooped on their carpet -- but I got the call from the dr at the end of the day and he addressed the issue I wanted addressed. There's just something about putting it into writing .....

    Hope the suggestion helps. And I Hope that your dr addresses your concerns. Liver stuff is really important! keep at it.

    hugs from Cat
  5. wildzootv

    wildzootv New Member

    your right to speak and be seen by a doctor. So many push it all off...... When I make appts I always ask to be seen by one, assured that I am and it turns out to be a PA. No offense to PAs, but......well you know what I mean.

    It sounds like he has a horrible staff though..... I would switch. Mistakes like that can kill. It did with my uncle. Bravo for you for checking into what they give you!!

  6. Takesha

    Takesha New Member

    Is drop off a letter at the front desk, and ask that it is put in my doctors mailbox or if you don't trust them to do it, mail it in. I usually do this several weeks before my appointment and advise my doctor ahead of time, what I want to discuss with him.He actually like it! In this case I'd just drop it off and in your letter request that he call you. If your doctor is with a clinic related to a hospital, most hospital have a patient/doctor advocate. They are very helpful in resolving some of these types of problems.
    I hope you find a solution soon, it's hard enough that we only get to spend 15 minutes per visit, with an hours worth of questions. Hugs
    Takesha