From the 34th Annual Meeting - Chicago, Illinois - November 2005
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Hi, I’m Wendy Winer. I am a registered nurse and I live in Atlanta, Georgia. I work for Dr. Tom Lyons. I want to talk to you a little bit about the role of the registered nurse in your care.
Many people do not realize that when you go into the doctor’s office that the registered nurse can really be a great asset. Not only to the doctor but especially to the patient. We do a lot of teaching, and a lot of the liaison work between your care - the patients’ care, and what the doctor is doing. I think it is important that patients realize that the registered nurse is really there for you as your advocate. We want to do everything possible to make your care the best, and to give you optimal care with best possible outcomes.
For instance, if you call the doctor’s office and the doctor is unavailable to see you, do not hesitate to talk to the registered nurse. Often times the registered nurse, whether she or he talks to you on the telephone or sees you in person, actually spend more time with you and give you more information about what you are trying to find out. It really is just an adjunct, or help, to the physician and especially to the patient.
Another example is if you are having surgery. The registered nurse, before surgery, will talk with you and your family members and go over everything. Things that you may not even have thought of to ask the physician in the office, or things you may have been intimidated about, or just did not want to bother the physician, feel free to ask your registered nurse; and to go over specifics about the surgery, the length of the surgery, where your incisions might be, and things that are going to happen afterwards.
In addition to that, besides during the procedure, afterwards the post-op care is so very, very important. It is important that we give you written going home instructions as well as oral instructions. But also, because so much of our surgery is minimally invasive, which is a great thing, at the same time the patients are going home much quicker. So feel free a day, or two days after, or even a week later, to call and talk to the nurse in the office and to go over any questions you may have about your going home instructions, as well as anything about something that you are feeling, and you just want to verify that this is normal and to be expected.
Many times when you come into the office for your post-op exam, you may see the physician but you may also see the registered nurse. So, do not feel that you are being slighted or insulted by seeing the nurse, because this should improve your care, and add to what the physician is doing in a positive way, and also add to your overall result. Whether you are having surgery or not having surgery, whether you are being treated with medication, or whatever, feel free to take advantage of this because that is what we are here for. We are here to help you.