Patients Who Request Antibiotics

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  • 19 Mar 2014 2:45 PM
    Message # 1521009
    From your experience as a nurse practitioner with prescription authority, what have you found to be the best approach in dealing with a patient who is demanding an antibiotic when it is not warranted?
    Last modified: 19 Mar 2014 5:08 PM | Anonymous
  • 20 Mar 2014 5:30 AM
    Reply # 1521381 on 1521009
    Ann Geraci

    In my line of practice I do not prescribe antibiotics frequently (especially on an outpatient basis).  But many of my patients demand to have a certain drug and that behavior I can meet head on.  I make sure that I'm armed with the information as to why the treatment I'm suggesting is best. In the case of antibiotics, past over prescribing has led to antibiotic resistant organisms and now we face a possibility and fear of supra infections. If the patient listens to my reasons and still doesn't agree or seems upset I will attempt to dig into their feelings a little more.  Sometimes the issues is that they feel so bad that they believe they have more than "just a virus".  Or maybe they are afraid they will have to come back in the next few days just to get a antibiotic and have to pay for another visit.  I can address both those issues without having to "give in" and prescribe antibiotics, and hopefully to their satisfaction as well as mine.  They may not leave exactly happy but many times they have come back and said "Ann, you are right I didn't need that medication."  I try my best to give my patients the most respect I can even if they are responding to me disrespectfully.  Rarely the conversation may end with "You've heard why I won't prescribe this drug for you, since you seem so upset with this decision I would suggest you seek a second opinion."  

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    Reply # 3696914 on 1521009
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    Reply # 3696950 on 1521381
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