On-call scenario 4: Questions

Last updated: Friday, July 15, 2016

Here are four questions you might have asked Zoe:

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1. Who are you and how can I get back to you?
Always find out who you're speaking to and their contact details.
Answer: Zoe Cook, nurse practitioner, ext 6579.

2. What's the patient's name?
You can avoid all ambiguity later by clearly identifying the patient.
Answer: Archie Spencer, 4 years old.

3. Which medicines are they taking?
A drug history helps identify e.g. potential interactions or other supply issues that you may be able to advise about.
Answer: Azathioprine 35mg OD; Tacrolimus 2.25mg BD; Prednisolone 10mg OD; Aspirin 18.75mg OD; Ranitidine 30mg BD; Co-trimoxazole 180mg ON. 

4. Why are you asking about this?
An open question should prompt the caller to give you an outline of the patient's clinical situation.
Answer: It’s Christmas Eve and a patient’s mother has presented to the Paediatric Assessment Unit with a nearly empty bottle of azathioprine suspension. Her community pharmacist normally orders it in for her especially but she forgot to collect her child’s prescription. Her child normally takes 35mg daily post renal transplant and they don’t have enough for tomorrow morning’s dose. The nurse practitioner was thinking of advising the mother to crush the 25mg tablets and then mix them with water and draw up the required dose.


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