In our exclusive MD/RN series, Dr. Brady Pregerson and Nurse Rebekah Child go head to head on the classic conundrum that nurses face daily: “What Do Doctor’s Want?”
MD said: Although it may seem obvious, it’s nevertheless a key part of patient care to realize that the nurse serves as the eyes and ears of the doctor when the doctor isn’t there.
Every MD knows that the nurse spends more time at the bedside and has fewer patients to focus on than the doctor. In addition, a good nurse should be able to tell what a patient needs and therefore predict the appropriate orders most of the time. The nurse double-checking a doctor’s orders, whether they are for testing, treatment or disposition, is a key part of the health care system that helps to prevent errors.
Doctors, like nurses, are human and make mistakes. Good backup is a priceless commodity and will be greatly appreciated, as long as the delivery is palatable.
RN said: RNs are a lot like Star Trek: We are the final frontier. Medication errors, treatments, assessments and the like all make their last stop via the RN before arriving at the final destination: the patient.
Doctors (God bless them) are sometimes not so great at multitasking, and here’s the kicker—we don’t want them to be! We want them to be able to focus on one thing at a time—mainly the patient! This leads to safe patient care.
So if for some reason the doctor was distracted by some other staff member and wrote the wrong order, or didn’t see that the patient has an anaphylactic reaction to penicillin (hence, the Zosyn not being such a great idea), don’t freak out! That’s why we’re here as RNs—to be the deputy sheriff of patient safety. “There’s only one way to this patient, and that’s over this living RNs body!”