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January 2012, Volume 42 Number 1 , p 10 - 11



I'm planning a trip to Europe with my parents. They're both in good health, but because of their advanced age, I want to be prepared if either of them has a health crisis while we're traveling. Can U.S. embassies help arrange for hospital care or transport home in an emergency?-P.A., MASS.The answer depends on where you're traveling and the nature of the emergency, says our consultant. Both embassies and consular offices can provide some limited assistance-for example, referring you to local medical resources or helping you contact family and friends in the United States who can help transfer funds to cover expenses. But paying for evacuation back to the United States is the traveler's responsibility.Check your health insurance plan beforehand to see what's covered. For example, it may pay for reasonable medical expenses but not for medical evacuation, which could cost thousands of dollars depending on the situation. Also check with specific embassies or consulates in the countries you'll be visiting to find out what services or assistance is available in an emergency. Travel and insurance agents can provide information and advice tailored to your travel plans.When you've covered all the bases, relax and enjoy your trip!While admitting a patient, I called a patient's physician to clarify orders. His wife answered the page and stated she was "Dr. D's nurse." I know for a fact that she's not a nurse. When I insisted on speaking to the physician, she became angry.I understand that she sometimes calls in orders to unsuspecting nurses in my facility. Should I report this to anyone?-L.C., N.Y.The State Board of Nursing and the Department of Licensure are the legal entities that monitor practicing nursing without a license, which is illegal. But rather than alerting these agencies yourself, bring your immediate supervisor into the picture. Ask your supervisor to contact the physician immediately and report this serious breach of conduct. He may not know that his wife is misrepresenting

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