Being at the hospital at the exact moment your loved one’s doctor is on rounds isn’t going to happen without some smart advance planning.
The number one frustration of many family members with loved ones in the hospital is that doctors are so darn hard to find. "I can’t reach the doctor when I need to!" "The doctor didn’t show up when he said he would." "There are several doctors involved in my loved one’s case and there is no captain of the ship."
"Ask the patient’s primary nurse when the doctor is expected. Show up earlier and plan to wait".
Sound familiar? Here are a few simple strategies to help you actually connect with the doctor when you need to. The truth is, most people just don’t know how to reach the doctor.
Doctors aren’t purposely avoiding you, they are overwhelmed with the number of patients they see in their offices, in hospitals, and for surgeries and pressed for time to complete mountains of paperwork required by insurance companies for each patient.
5 Sure-Fire Ways To Reach The Patient’s Doctor
If there is more than one doctor involved in your loved one’s case and you are hearing differing opinions about your loved one’s condition and are having trouble reaching these doctors, ask the patient’s primary doctor, nurse or case manager for a "group meeting" with all of the doctors and patient’s primary nurse. This group meeting is important if the patient is not doing well or if you and the patient are confused about diagnosis or treatment. Sitting in a room with each medical professional will help you gain a clear understanding about what is going on with the patient and will also help the medical professionals communicate face-to-face. If you have trouble getting this "group meeting" to take place, keep calling. Go through steps one through five again. It’s all about persistence.
Martine Ehrenclou, MA, is the author of Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide To Get Your Loved One Out Alive. For more, go to