My run-in with a nurse practitioner at the ER

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Anonymous Reddit submission

I wanted to share my experience with a nurse practitioner at the ER last week. She came in with no badge visible and I called her “doctor”. She didn’t correct me.

I went in to the ER because of a very rapid heartbeat that woke me up around 6:30am. I took my blood pressure and it was 102/58. My heart rate was 157. My neck hurt. My hands were tingly. I am at the age where I’m just younger than my mom was when she had a triple bypass due to something called a widow-maker, so I wasn’t taking any chances. In addition, I have mitral valve prolapse. I didn’t know if it was related to that, but again, I’m not a doctor so my husband and I decided it would be safer to go.

I was quickly hooked up to a monitor by a nurse. It apparently confirmed inappropriate sinus tachycardia, which I saw in test results online after I got home. The nurse practitioner came in with a student trailing her, who she said was a medical student in for observation. (Spoiler, he was not yet a nurse practitioner.) After quickly asking what I was in fit and why I brought myself there, she asked when my anxiety and depression was diagnosed. I was confused. She said that I must be in here for elevated heart rate due to anxiety and that I take so many medications for it that she could see in the system, that’s the only cause it could be. I had to explain that the clonidine and very small dose of venlafaxine are for hot flashes because this location misdiagnosed me a year ago and I ended up with ovarian torsion that couldn’t be saved, therefore putting me in menopause at 39. And the hydroxyzine, which I’ve been on for years, is for chronic idiopathic urticaria. . She still dismissed me and made me feel like it was in my head.

A doctor came in about 20 minutes later. And then, I realized: that first person, who I called doctor, made me feel like I was a crazy person. He was nice and explained things to me, and now I have an upcoming appointment with a cardiologist.

Is this... normal? Do I have to literally ask for credentials when I am in the ER and thinking I may be having a heart attack? That just doesn’t seem right.

Thanks for reading.