* * Anonymous Doc

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We order the medication, nurses dispense it.

Makes sense, I guess.

Except for one thing.

We're actually not allowed to dispense the medication. We order it, and the nurses have to be the ones who dispense it. And usually that's fine. Except when it's not.

The nurses were at their morning meeting this morning, and one of my patients was feeling very anxious and I wanted to give him some more anti-anxiety meds. I put in the order... but the nurses were in their meeting, so he couldn't get the medication.

I know where the medication is, I'm the doctor who ordered it, I wanted to give it to him.

But I'm not allowed.

I told the patient, I ordered it, it's coming as soon as the nurses get back.

But that's not all that comforting to a patient in need, and makes me feel pretty helpless as the doctor.

There's probably a reason for the system. And usually it works fine. But it's just frustrating when it doesn't.


  1. From a nursing perspective, it sounds like there needs to be a nurse designated to leave the meeting and attend to such situations.

  2. Wait, I know in previous posts you've talked about drawing blood when others are too busy to. So you can do simple procedures like that, which nurses usually do, but you can't give a pill??