In role development, we had a class where we had to communicate to the doctor using the SBAR method. Problem was that the teacher gave so little direction and by the time I realized this, it was much too late to contact her.
However, everyone else seemed to agree, so the teacher went over it in class. As such, I’m going to repost it here.
Question 3: Using SBAR, prepare your telephone communication to the physician.
Everywhere writes about how SBAR stands for situation, background, assessment, request. I even found a website that gave examples in this exact same method:
S : I have a patient here
B : This is why she came in today
A : I think she’s having renal failure.
R : I want something to lower her potassium.
However, when we got to class, she said that we want to do it differently.
S – I’m calling about this person with these symptoms.
B – This is her history, why she’s here, ect.
A – This is my current assessment of her. (Not what I think her condition is. This is that I found crackles half way up her lungs, an irregular heart rate, pitting edema, ect.)
R – This is only sometimes used. This would be used when the doctor hears a report and does nothing, or not what the nurse would want.
In our example, our patient had a 7.2 potassium level. (normal is 3.5 – 5). This level would be bordering on toxic, lethal dysrhythmias kind of level. So if the doctor said, “Oh, That’s nice. Talk to you later.” Then you might want to ask, “Well, can I get some Kayalate and an ECG machine?” And you’ll learn which doctors you have to say this to.
Now, document what you communicated to the physician
What, who and when you called.
what you told the doctor, including all of the lab results and assessment information.
You do not need to put in what the doctor ordered. If you do, merely put in something like, “See Dr orders.”
And that was pretty much all. Just keep in mind I’m not an authority on this topic. You can’t go back to your teacher and say, “But Abigail told me such and such.” I’m not a nurse yet. But that’s what my teacher told me, so maybe you’ll have better luck, and a whole lot less stress, than I did.