I called my doctor’s office this morning to inquire about some paperwork that they needed to fax back to Medtronics, so my order for test strips could be completed. Since I have Medicare, they require chart notes and a copy of the test strip prescription. Medtronic already had the copy of the test strip prescription. When the nurse answered the phone I told her what I needed and she said “what are test strips and what are they used for”? And we wonder why our healthcare system doesn’t work so well??? This kind of question coming from a nurse?
Are you sure it was a nurse? The people who answer the phone at my doctor’s office are never nurses but clerical support. Not that I don’t believe there can be nurses who are clueless!
That’s part of the problem, these medical assistants calling themselves a nurse. Not the same!
I agree about MA’s but even RN’s who I see a large number of have shown incredible naivety about DM.
I’ve said it before and will say it again. RD’s, RN’s, PCP’s, and even a segment of Endo’s have a lot to learn about Diabetes management and I am not sure SOME of them are willing to do so.
Sadly, my daughter already had photo sensitive epilepsy
Diagnosed at age 5. She was predisposed to have seizures with
Her lows. Our Endo, knowing this, NEVER stressed the
High Possibility of seizures for her with her lows.
We had to find out while out of town on the beach
She had a Grand Mal seizure with a 42.
That day I decided that I had to be the one to learn
EVERYTHiNG I could to help my sweet girl so that never
Happens again. Sadly, I agree with the earlier post
That even the Endos need muchore training about T1.
Reminds me of when a PA asked me why I needed to test more than once a day.
I was on MDI at the time.
One time I was at the hospital visiting a friend. I didn’t have my insulin with me and I was starving. I asked a nurse if she had change for a $5 for the vending machine. I went on to tell her that I was T1 and left my insulin at home. She said, “oh, well I can get you something to eat, let me check the fridge”. She came back, my options are - a PB&J, milk, and apple juice - which would I like?
I thinking - “is this lady trying to kill me? Holy crap, this is a nurse, what if I was newly diagnosed?” I mean those choices don’t sound unhealthy.
Is that what the people are who guide you into the office, weigh you and take your BP? They always ask me questions about my reason for coming (which I hate because I just have to repeat it to the doctor), but rarely seem to understand my responses. That would explain a lot. When I worked in a psych hospital I routinely took BP, pulse, heart rate despite having no medical training, it’s pretty easy to learn.
Sadly most Nurses in the hospital do not know about the connection between Carbs and Insulin. All they know is when your blood sugar is already high you give insulin but if it is normal you give none even if you are about to eat a bunch of carbs.
And I am sure he/she thought that the one test per day should only be taken in the morning and never at any other time of the day.
Yep that is an MA (depending on the facility it could be an LPN and sometimes is an RN but this is rare since they make much more $). The bad part is they are the ones who are intitating and refilling medication. Shure the Doc has to ok it but how often do you think they actually look to see if it is accurate?
That explains a lot. The likely MA at my doctor’s office is also the gatekeeper of his Relay Health account, so all communications go through her. I have had to call back and ask for them to reissue a prescription as much as 3 times because it was wrong despite my giving explict instructions. I just thought she was a bad communicator, but it would make more sense if she didn’t really understand what I was talking about. Kind of like if I was trying to take a phone message that exceeded my Spanish level, or a high tech message; it’s easy to leave out a crucial part of the message if you don’t understand it!
Over the weekend I had to buy some test strips and I stopped at a local Walgreen’s pharmacy. Since it was late in the afternoon on a Saturday, it was just the Pharmacist working. Anyway he sold me what I needed and as he was giving me change I asked him if he had a minute to answer a question. He said “Sure, what can I help you with?”. I asked him when he went to college to become a pharmacist how long did it take him? He said “6 years”. I then asked him “How much time do you have to spend learning about Diabetes”? I was quite surprised when he replied “Almost a year”. I sort of said out loud “I wonder how much time Doctors spend in medical school learning about it”? He told me his brother was a doctor out west and he spent one semester studying everything about diabetes, medicines, insulin, different types of diabetes etc.
I’m not surprised now that some Doctors appear to be clueless when it comes to diabetes management. I had a GP once who threatened to kick me out of his practice if I went to an Endocrinologist who would be willing to sign the paper work so I could get an insulin pump. He even told me “the Endo will not tell you anything different than I do”. Needless to say I left before he could fire me.
The Doctor I have now is a nice person and actually listens when I come to the office with a concern. It is his nurses or assistants that aren’t people friendly. My dog’s veterinarian is more friendly than the assistants in my doctor’s office and that is sad.
I understand, and Medicare is just as bad or worse.
Yep. I have a very good longtime friend who is an RN. I respect her knowledge and judgement very much and over the years have used her as “triage” to decide if a medical problem I was having needs more attention. When I started talking about my diabetes with her, I was dismayed at how little she knew. Like I mentioned low carbs and she said “you mean for diabetes? I have heard about low carbs for weight loss”. I just looked at her, thinking, well, carbs raise blood sugar, so the less you eat, the less it spikes…duh! I knew from some things I’d overheard that she thought I was obsessive about my diabetes. Sadly her own husband is Type 2 and is on very outdated protocols. I sort of gave up talking about diabetes with her because I didn’t want to insult her. ( I hate when people who know very little about it talk authoritatively around me about my own field of expertise). It was only very recently that I noticed a marked difference in her asking for specific information about diabetes from me and I carefully answered just what she asked without going on a zoe-in-teacher-mode diatribe!
In my current endo’s office, they use people from those night school college type programs for BP, weight, and instant A1C tests. I have been asked if I always have to stay on insulin, by these people.
The other lady who argued that I only needed to test once a day, was a physician’s assistant in a separate health system.
I wanted to choke her…