Using Dr. Google
I had a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica when I was growing up. I was so excited when my mom purchased the set from the door-to-door salesman! They sent a new volume or two every month until the set was complete. It was awesome – if I wanted to know something, I would just go to the correct letter of the alphabet, get the book down from the shelf, and look up what I wanted to know. It was easy. Simple. One source for information – and I never questioned it.
Fast forward 30 years… We have more sources of information at our fingertips than we know what to do with…books, journals, news stories, patient inserts, bloggers, Wikipedia, anything .org, .gov and .edu., not to mention infinite results in a Google search. Patients now have the ability to find out about anything and everything related to fertility and treatment with just a few keystrokes. This can be a double-edged sword.
Fertility clinics across the globe all have protocols they follow in general. Treatments often vary greatly from one clinic to the next. HCG timing, embryo transfer protocols, ovarian stimulation medications, and supportive medications can all be used in many, many combinations. When a patient gets a protocol from her physician and then googles what other clinics do, the results can be overwhelming, resulting in unnecessary stress.
When a patient gets a protocol from her physician and then googles what other clinics do, the results can be overwhelming, resulting in unnecessary stress.
As nurses, our advice is simply to not google this type of questions. Here at Dominion, we encourage you to be a part of your treatment, be educated about the process, and always ask questions. But, keep in mind – your treatment plan is individualized for YOU and treatment protocols are adjusted for you specifically. Of course, we have guidelines, but we do not take a one-size-fits-all approach. If something isn’t working, or there is something you don’t understand, ask us questions! We can help guide you in getting the information that is relevant to YOUR cycle and YOUR treatment while you are with us.
If you do find yourself looking for more information about a particular treatment or medication, try looking on the American Society of Reproductive Medicine website. The ASRM provides a wealth of reliable, up-to-date information on a variety of topics, from testing to treatments. If you are looking for something less scientific, try our blog. This site has Medical Expert Blogs, and Patient Discussion Forums to peruse for all sorts of information, and is unique in that the information is directly from our physicians here at DF. If you still need answers, or just need to chat about something, give the nurses a call - as always, we are here to support you regardless of where you are on your journey!
Samantha Smith, RN, BSN