Ask Courtney: The Kicker

Cue Captain Obvious: Fertility treatment is indescribably stressful. The months and years of trying with no success, the realization that having a child takes more work and money than you ever dreamed, the countless hours you spend waiting and hoping for a positive pregnancy test. Perhaps a scarier notion is just picking up the phone and calling the New Patient Center and scheduling an appointment? But you’ve done that, so what now?

Consider this for a moment: you’re playing in the Super Bowl and the stakes are high. As the underdog team, you’ve been through an entire season struggling to make it to this stage and here you are, so close to victory – but it’s never over until it’s over. Your quarterback just got sacked to complete the third down and your offensive line is 35 yards out from the field goal. Just seconds remain in the game and all eyes go to your kicker. It could be the moment where the Cinderella story comes to life. The often overlooked kicker steps up to the football and prepares to change history with the kick of a lifetime. No pressure, right?

SGF Nurse
All-Star Nurse Tina from Towson

You may be scratching your heads wondering if I’ve lost my mind, but here is my point: you and your clinical team comprise your team. In recent weeks it seems as though we have taken many calls from patients who have met with their physician for their initial visit and want to know what they need to do next. Who do they talk to? The simple answer: their nurse. Their kicker.

Here is what patients of Shady Grove Fertility can expect from their nurse:

Following the New Patient appointment, the nurse will contact the patient to answer any additional questions and to help schedule diagnostic tests around the start of the patient’s menses. A patient should receive their nurse’s direct contact information (i.e. phone number and/or email address) so that contact can be maintained. The nurse should also call following each appointment to keep active communication with their patients. I will submit that our nurses truly do their best to make sure this expectation is met. So if you don’t receive a prompt call back or if they are not immediately reachable, please do not fret – they have not forgotten about you. They work very hard to make sure they can attend to everyone as soon as possible. Given that, if you are having difficulty reaching your nurse and need assistance, please refer to the following schedules to reach a contact:

  • Answering Service for Emergency Questions — 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. is answered daily by one nurse with a physician on-call for questions. Patients should call (800) 239-5613.
  • Weekend and Holiday Service — 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. is answered by a nurse for non-emergency calls at (301) 340-1188. Patients may be prompted to leave a message and the call will be returned within 30 minutes.
  • Weekend Front Desk Line to Make/Change/Cancel Appointments — 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Patients should call (301) 340-1188. There may be a prompt to leave a message and calls will be returned as soon as possible.

During the New Patient appointment, the nurse will help their patients to schedule a time to come in for a follow-up visit after the diagnostic tests are conducted to discuss results with their physician. From there, treatment plans may progress as prescribed by the physician.

As the old adage goes, there is no I in TEAM and the same can be said for your clinical care team here at Shady Grove Fertility. Should you have any positive feedback, questions, or grievances regarding your clinical staff, please submit to Kathy Bugge, RNC/Service Quality Supervisor, at [email protected] or 301-545-1221.

Seeking infertility treatment is certainly a journey, to say the very least, but the good news is you are now a part of a fine-tuned team dedicated to winning the game – thanks in large part to our hardworking kickers.

If you have questions about fertility or are ready to schedule an appointment at Shady Grove Fertility, please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons at 877-971-7755.