Endocrine Abstracts (2002) 3 P65

Is the Endocrine nurse too accessible?

SE Stewart & E McGregor

Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK.

In an attempt to audit one aspect of the endocrine nurse's workload, all incoming telephone calls to our office were monitored over a two month period.

Details recorded were the call source, the query raised and the time taken by the nurse to respond appropriately. We went on to analyse the information gathered to ascertain areas where improved clinical practice could alleviate the need for further calls.

Calls totalled 200 in the 8 week period, 121 from patients and 79 from other cources. 13 hours nursing time was expended in total, with 10 hours,30 minutes needed to deal successfully with patient calls. The majority of patient calls(59)(420 minutes nursing time)were requesting direct endocrine support and/or information. 43 calls (278 nurse minutes)were assorted administrative queries concerning appointments, tests and results. 3 patient calls concerned research studies (27 minutes).

With this data in mind we went on to review information given to patients regarding endocrine tests. Written individual test requirements and information regarding results are now available at the time of booking. To maximise the effectiveness of endocrine nurse time, an information sheet has also been devised detailing relevant outpatient service numbers. This will enable patients to access precise information from individual departments whilst allowing us

to remain an important contact point for endocrine problems.

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