Some of the most important telehealth phone calls are the ones where the caller doesn’t think that their symptoms are serious. If an employee ignores severe symptoms, it can have a negative impact on himself, as well as the whole organization.
Continuwell nurses often take calls from people who are reluctant to call 911 or go to an Emergency Room, even when their symptoms warrant a hands-on evaluation by a physician immediately. Read the story of Beth, a Continuwell nurse, who helped save a caller with serious symptoms who did not want to go to the ER.
The Caller’s Symptoms
The caller, Tom was in his late 40’s, with a history of a previous heart attack and chronic lung disease (COPD) . He explained that he suffered from chest pain at times, but his medication was not helping him that evening. He was scheduled for an appointment with his cardiologist the next day, and was to have major heart surgery that same week. Tom had never contacted the nurse line before, but that night he was afraid and did not know what to do.
Tom reached Beth, an RN with years of experience in nursing and telehealth. He asked Beth if he should go to the hospital or wait it out. Beth calmly but quickly verified his information and three minutes into the phone call, Beth stopped and said, “You need to hang up and call 911.” Tom had reported that he was having chest pain and shortness of breath that had lasted for more than an hour. Reluctantly, Tom agreed to call.
Beth waited a few minutes, and as per policy, she called Tom back to be sure EMS was on the way and offer any reassurance she could until they arrived. When Tom answered the phone, he was gasping for air every 2-3 words and admitted that he had not called EMS yet. She reiterated that she wanted him to be seen right away. He hesitated briefly but said he would call this time.
Beth is not the type of nurse that leaves things undone. She still had a “feeling” that Tom may not follow thru and call EMS; so, Beth did another follow-up call to Tom. This time, when he answered she could hear the paramedics in the background. They were checking Tom over and said that his blood pressure and EKG looked good, so Tom was again contemplating not going to the ER. Beth told him that the only way he could be sure he was okay was by going to the hospital and being evaluated by a physician. Tom did agree to be taken by ambulance to the hospital where his cardiologist was on staff.
Lori, a Continuwell Nurse Manager, called Tom to see how his case was resolved. She found out that due to the severity of his symptoms, he ended up getting admitted and was waiting in the hospital for his surgery. Tom appreciated our follow-up calls and is grateful that he followed Beth’s advice to go to the hospital right away. At the hospital, he was able to be stabilized until his surgery.
Just image what the outcome could have been if Beth had not diligently made him go to the emergency room. The outcome could have been deadly!
Having convenient access to a medical professional can help your employees have peace of mind or save their life. Continuwell nurses make sure that each member gets the quality healthcare that they deserve. No question is too big or too small. Continuwell nurses go the extra mile to ensure that members do what is best for their health.
 Name and other identifying information has been changed to protect the privacy of the caller.