You work in a public health agency. It is the agency’s policy that at least one public health nurse is available in the office every day. Today is your turn to remain in the office. From 1 PM to 5 PM, you will be the public health nurse at the scheduled immunization clinic; you hope to be able to spend some time finishing your end-of-month reports, which are due at 5 PM. The office stays open during lunch; you have a luncheon meeting with a Cancer Society group from noon to 1 PM today. The registered nurse in the office is to serve as a resource to the receptionist and handle patient phone calls and drop-ins. In addition to the receptionist, you may delegate appropriately to a clerical worker. However, the clerical worker also serves the other clinic nurses and is usually fairly busy. While you are in the office today trying to finish your reports, the following interruptions occur:
8:30 AM: Your supervisor, Anne, comes in and requests a count of the diabetic and hypertensive patients seen in the last month.
9:00 AM: An upset patient is waiting to see you about her daughter who just found out that she is pregnant.
9:00 AM: Three drop-in patients are waiting to be interviewed for possible referral to the chest clinic.
9:30 AM: The public health physician calls you and needs someone to contact a family about a child’s immunization.
9:30 AM: The dental department drops off 20 referrals and needs you to pull charts of these patients.
10:00 AM: A confused patient calls to find out what to do about the bills that he has received.
10:45 AM: Six families have been waiting since 8:30 AM to sign up for food vouchers.
11:45 AM: A patient calls about her drug use; she does not know what to do. She has heard about Narcotics Anonymous and wants more information now.
DQ: How would you handle each interruption? Justify your decisions. Do not forget lunch for yourself and the two office workers.