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Part B: For more than two years, medical assistant Linda Lewis had been employed by Drs. Norek and Klein, who are gerontologists. Also on staff are two registered nurses, a medical laboratory technician, and a medical social worker. The daughter of one of the doctor’s patients has just called the office. She is very distraught at the seemingly diminished capacity of her mother and insists on speaking to the doctor. Linda explains that both physicians take only emergency calls during patient appointment hours, but that she will take a detailed message. This caller, however, suggests that not only should her call be considered an emergency, but that she will sue the doctor if the call is not handled accordingly. Provide detailed answers for each of the following questions. Your response should be two (2) pages in length. • What should Linda do immediately to diffuse the situation? • Is this clearly a case when the call should be passed on to one of the registered nurses or the medical social worker? • Is this a case when the physician should be called to the telephone because of the threat of an impending suit? • How could Linda ascertain whether or not this is indeed an emergency? Is it up to her, as a medical assistant, to make such a determination? • Because this is the patient’s daughter rather than the patient herself, does Linda have any reason to enter into a conversation with the caller? Could Linda be ethically bound by confidentiality not to admit the woman’s mother is a patient?
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