Nurse vs Patient Needs

“Everything we do is in service of our needs. When this one concept is applied to our view of others, we’ll see that we have no real enemies, that what others do to us is the best possible thing they know to do to get their needs met.” -Marshall Rosenberg

I like this quote. There’s all sorts of sappy things I could write here about it, but I’ll leave that to your own mind. What I want to say is; I realize the nurse at the latest doctor’s office is not my enemy. She is just servicing her personal need to cut corners. Unfortunately for her, her need conflicts with my need to receive healthcare in a timely manner. I try and be very understanding of the demands placed on nurses, but FOUR days is a long time to not call back a patient (who has called twice and you promised to call back by day 3) with so much as an, “The doctor needs more time” when the radiologist found something that needs investigated. This is the same nurse who tried to convince me the doctor didn’t order a test that she did indeed order. I calmly deal with frustrations related to my healthcare on a regular basis, but this particular nurse has been quite the challenge. So, after a week of this, I am left no choice but to stalk her call daily until calling me back becomes a need of her own she has to meet — her need to get an annoying persistent patient off of her back. As we tango, I hope she realizes I am not her enemy, I am just trying to get my needs met. 🙂 Maybe I should leave this Marshall Rosenberg quote as my next message?

16 thoughts on “Nurse vs Patient Needs

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  1. I would love to be allowed to call and convince her to call you back ASAP. Is it a need to be an incompetnet, disorganized, lazy —–? You get my drift.

    I’m assuming that the doctor does not know you’ve been checking in and this woman is screwing with you. This needs taken care of before the weekend. Please, please can I call?


  2. Seriously, this is making me stressed almost beyond my endurance. I don’t know how you’re holding up. I’d be happy to drive to the office and wait.


    1. For anyone who is reading —

      I called and talked to my Mom and got pointers from her on how to ensure I get to speak to someone tomorrow. The receptionist is really caring, as is the doctor, so I’m pretty confident I will get through if I explain to the receptionist what is going on.

      Her rage is because someone is messing with her baby, not because I’m dying or anything, so don’t worry! I got the Gallium Scan results back and the radiologist said an area needed looked into further for sure, and it has now been a week with no action.


    1. All excellent questions — I bet you’re great at handling this sort of thing! You could probably start a small business calling on patient’s behalves. 🙂

      She is the doctor’s nurse and the doctor was out of town until Wednesday at which point the nurse promised to bring my results to her attention first thing and get back to me. The doctor had said we’d decide the next step over the phone to save me a trip since traveling makes me sick. I waited until 1 on Wednesday (wanting to be understanding that if the doctor was out 2 days, she could be busy) and found they closed at noon! Then Thursday, I left a message and she didn’t call me back. Finally Friday I explained in depth what is going on and that I’d come to the office if that’s what I needed to do to speak with the dr (who I’m sure had no idea all of this was going on) and they finally got back to me. Apparently the doctor is out of the office all of next week so I have to wait until the 25th to see her. GRRRRR. She seems like an okay doctor, but I really wish she’d told me of her limited availability when she took me on as a patient!!

      Good thing I already made an appointment for April 3rd with the specialist I want to see (neuro-opthalmologist) that I’m going to ask this doctor to refer me to or I’d be flipping out. I’m pretty sure this doctor won’t know what to do with the results other than refer me, but you never know! She’s a good doctor, it just isn’t her area.


      1. I feel like the airline industry and the medical industry are functioning at the same level (poor interpersonal interaction–just not aware of how their service is impacting others). I’m glad your appointment is made already too with the neuro-opthalmologist! Doesn’t it seem like the doctors are always out when you need to have an interaction with them? Feels that way to me! Would be nice if this abnormal finding gave some clues/answers. Anyhow, keep us posted if you can and will.


        1. I agree and I’m torn if I should tell this doctor about the nursing communication. I don’t want to be a tattle tale, but I do think of people who may not be able to advocate for themselves and wonder what they would do with a nurse like that.

          I really need to do an update post! I have been keeping myself in a flare so I’m sure to be symptomatic when I go to the doctor. It is really making me quite a slacker of a blogger, but I know you guys understand. Long story short: bilateral lacrimal gland swelling visible on inspection and Gallium Scan — I’m wanting sarcoidosis looked into based on this and other symptoms. I just hope if it makes sense to look into, they can get a biopsy before the flare goes away!


  3. Keep bugging her… It’s her job mate…and you need the support 🙂

    Try phoning every 15 minutes they will soon get back to you 🙂


  4. i have had incompetent staff that family and patients thought represented me. when i was made aware of the myriad of hoops my patients had to jump through i was horrified! in california i had an open and caring staff who represented our service and myself with with unequaled passion.

    most drs do not hire their staff. they have someone, usually an office manager, who they trust. until they hear from patients that there is a problem many are clueless. i am hoping that is the issue with this dr.

    of course to some extent i love your quote but nothing is that simple. for most situations it is true that each person wants their needs to be met. for some of us, we have moved beyond that stage of life and are disappointed when it comes down to this simple equation. why can’t we be in devotion of other’s and have it accepted we have reached the stage that we do not operate from motivations other than love of our fellow man?

    you are to be admired for your patience and perseverance my friend. other’s may learn so much from you and be people for it.


  5. You go Jackie! My boyfriend is teaching me to be more direct when I talk to my doctors. It’s so east for them, or their staff to make me feel nervous and close off, forgetting half the stuff I want to say. I took most of today to research and write a more detailed list of symptoms. I have a bad habit of only complaining about what is bad that particular day I go in. Your comment ” I do think of people who may not be able to advocate for themselves and wonder what they would do with a nurse like that.” is dead on. I have been in the position in the past when I didn’t know any better and waited weeks to get results to important tests.

    Again, hoping you get the answers you need and quickly!


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