OT: Can I vent for just a minute?

Ugh, I just seriously need to vent for just a second. I work in a hopsital in the administrative offices of the Endocrinology section. A patient called this morning and said that she need a refill on her medication and when the other assistant asked her the name of the med she couldn’t pronounce it. The doc looked in the chart at the med and wrote a script but said not to send it until we talked to the patient and confirmed that this was the correct medication. Well fast forward to this afternoon, and the patient calls back. I tell her I need the name of the med to give her the script. She tells me she doesn’t know and can’t spell or pronounce it, so I have no idea what she is talking about. I told her that the doc said I couldn’t give the script without the name and she tells me I should know the name by looking in her chart…well there’s 5 meds in her chart so how am I supposed to know what one she needs? :shrug:

The women is yelling at me by now saying don’t make me come down there (I should’ve told her to bring it on). I told her I couldn’t help her if she was going to speak to me this way and that she needs to calm down. I kept calm the whole time finally putting her on hold so I could gain my composure since I thought I could cry. When I got back on the phone I finally straightened out the whole mess with her and told her I could send the script. She asked me my name and then the name of the person she was speaking to before (which was me and I told her). I explained to her that I was just doing what I was told by the doc and I’m sorry if it wasn’t what she wanted to hear but I’m doing my job.

One of the other docs heard the whole thing and when I got off the phone she told me how she was amazed I held my composure throughout the conversation. It made me feel better to hear from her that she didn’t think I did anything wrong or speak rude to the patient. I was just so frusterated and upset when I got off the phone. Even though I don’t really feel like I was wrong in this situation, I still don’t want her to call and complain about me. I understand when patients call and are frusterated especially with this doc since she says she will do something for a patient and doesn’t do it for a few weeks :wall: , then I get blamed for it. I’d be frusterated too, but this woman was seriously out of control.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent everyone.

So she couldn’t spell it off the label of the empty bottle?

Dealing with the public can be quite frustrating at times. Take a deep breath and satisfy yourself in the knowledge that you were professional and did your job.

Rest assured if she calls and complains she will most likely still have the same personality she did when she was on the phone with you, and it won’t go anywhere.

Luckly in my job when people get out of control like that I can say “I’m sorry but talking to me that way is fully innappropriate and I’m hanging up now. Call me when you can control yourself”

One of my co-workers told someone who was out of control “I understand you’re point but the way you are going about it makes me think you need to go to anger management, I can refer you to someone…Oh, you don’t agree? Ok then I’m going to hang up”

I know how hard it is to deal with angry people on the phone, well done for keeping your cool! :hug:

yeah, what Mason said…customer service can be the most difficutl job ever sometimes, but you handled it very well. I’m sorry you had to go through that. I think a new ball of yarn is in order to make yourself feel better… :teehee:

If you really think she will make a formal complaint beat her to it. Fill out an Unusual Occurance (incident) report. This will allow you to describe the circumstances of what happened. Also list the doctor who over heard you as witness. Take it to your supervisor, discuss it with him/her. That way You are up front and they have something on file when/if the complaint comes through. Sometimes such reports are very useful, especially when something goes wrong or a potential error might occur- that’s not your fault. Here is a possible prescription problem, take care of yourself in the matter. Also it’s best to get it down today while it’s fresh in your mind. If she calls and someone talks to you next week you might have lost some important details.

Also remember that some patients can be very mean no matter what and there isn’t anything you can do about it but exactly what you did.

I work in healthcare and I tend to be really good at calming down irate patients. If this situation ever happens again, i would point out that medical errors happen all the time, and giving her the wrong medication because of a misunderstanding in spelling or pronounciation could result in serious injury or death. There are lots of medicines out there that look and sound the same that are vastly different medications. For instance, naproxen is an anti-inflammatory pain medication, and is sold over-the-counter as aleve (though prescriptions are still written for it in stronger concentrations). However, naloxone, which can sound the same, and look the same on paper, is an opioid used as an antidote to morphine and heroin in overdose situations. The two drug names sound and look similar, and a person unfamiliar with naloxone might think that whomever had written that word had meant to write naproxen, and had simply misspelled it.

Also, people have the same name all the time. I heard of one story when I was doing a clinical in labor and delivery where there were two mothers with the exact same name, differing by only a letter, and the same birth year (different days). One was getting her tubes tied after her birth, the other wasn’t. They had different doctors, but frequently had the same people caring for both of them. One nurse who had worked with them said that they were identifying them by specifying “this one has an e in her name, and is NOT having a tubal” and “this one has no e in her name, and IS getting a tubal”. Their care in making sure they had the right patient prevented the possible disaster of giving the tubal to the wrong woman.

These are only two examples, but millions of medical errors are made EVERY DAY because of similar mistakes. Seriously, studies have shown that the amount of medication errors every day is equivalent to something like a plane crash a day or something similar (I can look up the study if you want). So, when someone complains to you that you should know the name of their drug, remind them that you are looking out for their safety by being extra sure that the medication they are asking for is the medication you’re going to be giving them. By not being able to spell the medication for you, it is unclear whether she even needed the medication anymore. And seriously, in the course of one shift I can forget details like that about patients. A busy endocrinology office needs to have those safeguards in place.

Finally, :cheering: :cheering: :cheering: to you for keeping your cool and standing your ground. You did a great job and are a boon to the profession. :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

see now when she said “don’t make me come down here” I would have said “Okay but if you do, could you bring the empty bottle with you so we know which med you are talking about? thanks so much!”

:teehee: but i am a wise cracker ya know.

:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

Good job on maintaining your composurem Kaydee. You did your job well.

Absolutely! I agree 100% and I’ve been working with the public for years…and years…and years.

I’ve seen the women at my DH’s many doctors’ offices deal rude people on the phone and like yourself they always conduct themselves in a professional manner. This being said we have been on the receiving end of the rudeness and we have witnessed it done to other patiants.

I remember calling one Dr’s office to make an initial appointment the woman who answered the call informed me that it would be 2 1/2 months before he could see the Dr. I told her that My DH’s oncologist wanted him to be seen by the Dr. within 2 weeks if not sooner and that he had recommended this particular Dr. and spoken to him about my DH. She said that she didn’t know anything about that and that the Dr. would not be available to see us for 2 1/2 months and that we could “take it or leave it”. I was agast. She didn’t even check with the Dr. I just told her to forget it and hung up. My next phone call was to our oncologist and when I told him what happened he assured me not to worry and that he would make the appointment.

There are a**holes everywhere and we just have to deal with them and then get on with our lives. Life’s too sweet and too short to let them get in the way.

I have a pet theory about aholes. I believe that there is an island where they are bred and then secretly exported to the rest of the world. All we have to do is find this island and destroy it and that would take care of the aholes

:muah: :hug:

Nadja xxx

Oh, so sorry. :hug: I know that is frustrating. I had lots of temp jobs where my only job was to answer a million phone calls at companies, and people can be angry about their money and blame you when you had nothing to do with it. You did better than most people could have in that situation.

Thanks for all the kind words everyone, its great how you all can always make a day better. I feel much better now, I think it was just being in the moment and still being frusterated.

P.S. Mason, I loved that! The smilies have butt cracks when they turn around :teehee:

You mean she couldn’t spell the name of the ANTI-PSYCHOTIC she was on? :!!!:

i think u did a great job …it will be terrible if you give her the wrong med and she is double taking those and that would be real bad… u should stand by your principal and do what you think is right… you are helping her… dun be upset about it … u did a wonderful job !

Yeah…I know what you mean about dealing with rude customers. I worked in the Dallas County Tax office for almost a year.

And I worked the customer help line. Wasn’t I a lucky girl?

It always amazed me that a person who hadn’t paid their property taxes on time would scream at me about the deliquent fines they had to pay. They elected the tax collector, and they elected the Board of Trustees. I had nothing to do with it(I didn’t even live in that county!).

Sometimes, people just want to yell at somebody.