Stressed by an Incompetent Nurse

Last Thursday, I received a call from my doctor’s office to give me the results of the blood test I took on Wednesday. We decided to take a blood test just to officially confirm that we are pregnant (because the five home pregnancy tests were obviously not enough!). It was Rose, my doctor’s nurse assistant. She said the results came in and that they showed one to two weeks of hormones.

I questioned her,”What does that mean? Does it mean that I’m pregnant?” It sounded a little weird to me because everything I’ve heard so far was telling me that I’m five weeks pregnant (because they count from the first day of the last period).

Rose responded, “Well, it means that at one to two weeks you should have between 50 to 500 (can’t remember the name) of hormones. You are currently at 429, so that mean’s you’re one to two weeks.”

Me – “So, that means I’m pregnant, right?”

Rose, “Well, yyyyyyyyyyes. It means that you’re one to two weeks.”

After unssuccessfully trying to get Rose to just clearly tell me “Yes, you’re pregnant,” I gave up and asked her to notify my doctor that I need to talk to her urgently.

Now, feel free to chime in here (in the comment section below), but don’t you think that any capable nurse would be able to tell how stressed I was by her answers?

After hanging up the phone, I started weeping uncontrolably. Thoughts were racing through my head. “Is something wrong? Why did she say one to two weeks and not five weeks? Why did she keep hesitating while saying ‘yyyyyyyyyyes’?”

I tried to calm down and stop crying. After about 20 minutes I succeeded. Later we called the hospital and asked them to give us a clear answer. They responded that the doctor was not in and she is the only one who can review the results with me. We told them how Rose freaked me out with her answers and that we need to have someone talk to us urgently. They said they will do what they can but there are no doctors that can call me back soon. Then, they followed up with “Oh, your doctor sent a message that she wants to see you on Tuesday.”

I tried asking why, and they said that they did not know. I was upset and started crying again. Vitaliy took the phone and told them that they are really doing a horrible job of keeping patients informed. He scolded them for making me so upset and for having a terrible patient notification system. We told them that I will be changing doctors and hospitals because this wasn’t our first experience with poor patient notification.

Today, Rose called me and said the doctor wants me to take another lab test to see if my hormone levels have increased. I let her know that I am quite upset with her poor skills of communicating with a patient and that I would be switching hospitals/doctors.

For my friends who have gone through pregnancy before – how do you think you would have acted in this situation?

For the men and others who don’t have kids, I hope you enjoyed my tale and feel free to chime in with comments! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Stressed by an Incompetent Nurse

  1. Awww.. I am sorry you had to deal with that frustration. Honestly, when the nurse didn't give you a straight answer and you started crying uncontrollably, that basically should double confirm the pregnancy test — you're definitely pregnant! LOL I have had a similar experience. The doctors and nurses are hesitant to confirm pregnancy this early on because things are so fragile. It's not you, and it's not necessarily them, it's just what they're supposed to do (or not do). Tell them you don't know when your LMP was, or that is was a very long time ago, and they should schedule you for an ultrasound. That is a pretty accurate way to determine the gestational age this early on. Since the development is so fast, they can tell almost to the day how old the baby (fetus) is. Also, 2 weeks fetal age = 4 weeks gestational age. No worries, k? 🙂 Also, good job Vitaliy for sticking up for mommy! 🙂

  2. Geez, those people are soo frustrating! I think that the nurse was afraid to confirm that you are indeed pregnant becuase according to the test, the count was not high enough for her to be sure, and to her, you could just be taking something with hormones that would elevate your levels. Working for a hospital, they have to take a lot of precausions because they really do get sued quite a bit for things that they say or do. And I would tell them that if they are so incompetent and can't do their job correctly and want you to retake a test… make sure they don't try to charge you for it.. and get it in writing!!! but in the end… I think your decision in changing hospitals and doctors…. well, that is the right choice!!

  3. Thanks Leilani! I switched to my OBGYN for the primary prenatal care, and they had me do a new test. They called me within 12 hours to tell me that my hormone levels are high and I am definitely pregnant!Thanks Anya for the support! 🙂

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