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Friday, March 16, 2012

What's the dumbest doctor order?

Your humble question:  What's the dumbest doctor order ever?  Do you get a lot of stupid doctor orders.

My humble answer:  I think the dumbest order I can think of was when we were informed a short of breath patient was coming in by ambulance and the doctor ordered a continuous breathing treatment as soon as the patient arrived.  The patient arrived and, based on my assessment, the patient did not present with bronchospasm.  Air movement was good except over one region of the lungs, and the patient had a history of pneumos. I asked the doctor if she still wanted a continuous, and he said, "I ordered it, didn't I?  So here I spent an hour doing a treatment on a person because she had a collapsed lung.  And the doctor ordered it before even assessing the patient. 

Another patient came in with all the signs of heart failure.  She had dyspnea and cardiac wheeze.  The doctor ordered back to back breathing treatments and then Q1 after that.  So before she even assessed the patient to determine if a bronchodilator was effective she's decided the patient still needs one every hour after that.  My philosophy is that if a patient is still short of breath two hours after being admitted with CHF the doctor should be fired.  Yet no one ever questions doctor orders, and I didn't want to be the first. (Although I did recently question a disrespectful physician here).

You can pretty much click on the humor tab above to get a plethora of examples of stupid doctor orders. 

1 comment:

Ausnurse said...

It disturbs me that you would not question doctors orders especially in the first instance when you are doing continuos I'm assuming nebs and the doctor has not assessed the patient
Speak up because it all falls on you you know what your ordered to do is wrong question it if they continue to order this treatment but do not feel comfortable to do the same tell the doctor to do it themselves
Maybe things are really different in Australia