How the Nurse Health Line Works
Right now my hearing is muffled out of my left ear. It’s been this way for 2 weeks.
Whether its an ear infection, sinus infection or build up of ear wax, I should probably see a doctor about this.
Maybe you’ve experienced a similar nagging medical condition and didn’t see your doctor about it. Why we do this to ourselves is a topic for another post. In this post I’m going to tell you about a free service to provide you with answers to your most pressing medical questions.
What is the Nurse Health Line?
The Nurse Health Line is a Godsend thats what it is!
Memorial Herman hospital set up the NHL to answer any medical question you may have, anytime of day. The NHL is staffed 24 hours, 7 days a week by experienced nurses. These nurses help you decide what to do and where to go for medical care.
Who can call the Nurse Health Line?
Essentially anyone living in the Harris County and the surrounding areas. Memorial Herman operates the NHL although you do not have to be a patient to use the line.
If you speak Spanish or something other than english they can also help you. Recently, I called the NHL for a client who primarily spoke Spanish. Because I speak “poquito espanol” there was a language barrier. We called the language line and I asked if there were spanish speakers I got an emphatic yes! The NHL was able to answer all my client’s questions and even helped him avoid an emergency room visit with sound medical advice.
How the Nurse Health Line works?
To speak to a nurse at the NHL you simply call 713.338.7979 or 1.855.577.7979.
A nurse will begin by asking for your name, date or birth, phone number and whether or not you have insurance.
Note: On some occasions the NHL is extremely busy so they will briefly speak to you about your need and collect a telephone number to call you back.
Once the demographic information is collected the nurse they will begin asking you questions to learn more about your medical condition. Below are examples of the question they could ask you on the Nurse Health Line:
- What medical condition are you calling in regard to?
- Do you have any chronic conditions (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease)?
- Are you taking medications?
- What are you currently doing to treat your condition?
- If in pain where is it on a scale of 1-10?
- Do you have pain medications?
Although you may have multiple medical conditions it’s best to focus on one at a time. Allow the nurse to ask questions to better understand your condition. The better they understand what you are going through, the better medical advice they can provide.
Once the nurse finishes asking questions they will then provide you with follow up steps. This could include taking pain medications, following up with your doctor in 2-3 days or visiting the emergency room immediately. They will even
Why its important to call the Nurse Health Line
There are many people in Harris County who visit emergency rooms for minor issues. Despite the discomfort it causes you headaches, rashes, sprained ankles are all considered minor issues.
If you are considering a visit to the emergency room for anything that isn’t life threatening you should call the Nurse Health Line. Here’s why.
The way the nurses on the NHL respond to your medical condition is likely how an emergency room will If it’s not a life-threatening situation the nurse will tell you that your condition is not worthy of hospitalization. Regardless of what a nurse tells you its entirely up to you whether you visit a hospital or not.
A past client wanted to visit an emergency room for swelling in his finger. We contacted the Nurse Health Line and they informed client that his finger was not worthy of a hospital visit. The nurse instead provided step-by-step instructions of something he could do to reduce his pain. The client followed the nurse’s instructions and the swelling subsided.
If you don’t want to spend hours in a crowded emergency room consider calling the Nurse Health Line because if they deem your condition as minor, most likely the hospital will as well.
On the other hand if you are experiencing a life-threatening situation (difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, ect) they will help you connect to 911 and get to the nearest emergency room.
Remember my muffled hearing I told you about earlier?
Well I actually called the Nurse Health Line for myself and I was encouraged to follow up with a medical provider within the next 3 days. Based on my answers, my muffled hear wasn’t serious enough for an emergency room.
Look if I can do this so can you. Should you have lingering medical conditions don’t put them off any longer, instead call the Nurse Health Line at 713.338.7979 or 1.855.577.7979.
Nick Bryant is a Counselor with 10 years of experience working in community health. He enjoys concerts, mocking Dallas Cowboy fans and creating easy to understand community resources on his site HoustonCaseManagers.com. To become a more saucy social worker, hop on his free email list and receive weekly community resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.