Does anyone prefer seeing rheumy nurse to Rheumatologist?

I have had poor experiences every time I have seen a Rheumatologist for as long as I can remember (it's always been someone different each time). I was put on MTX initially and they wouldn't have it that it was making things worse. Okay my knees were a bit better but I was getting virus after virus and had a constant 'foggy' feeling that I knew wasn't the arthritis. RA makes us tired but this was different.

I kept asking if I could try a less toxic drug and see if that worked before getting out the big gun mtx, but its 'the gold standard' so they wouldn't budge. In the end I just stopped them.

I saw my rheumy nurse today and I was so pleased. I was stressed about seeing a rheumatologist. I told my partner there was no way I was letting them prod my knees as they had no consideration for how much that hurts. But it was my nurse. It still hurts when she touches my knees but somehow it doesn't seem as invasive. She started me on Sulfasalazine (provided my bloods come back okay tomorrow).

Does anyone else prefer to speak to the nurse rather than the consultant? Or are my rheumatologists just super inconsiderate?

11 Replies

  • I prefer the nurse. The consultant just asks if anything is wrong and if so just writes it down in the file. Often in and out in 5 mins. The nurse takes time to talk properly, gently examines me and takes action if needed. And is friendlier. Much rather see her any day.

  • Prefer to see Rheumatologist, nurses don't want to change anything or make decisions.

  • Depends on the rheumy nurse. I had a great one and she has just left. The new guy doesn't fill me with confidence as he was transferred from A&E and my dealings with him on phone has been appalling. He is sweet but does not seem to know much at all. I never see same doctors which is bad but I think its cos I am in big hospital in London and they are teaching young medics all the time and they just pass through to gain experience. When I started out I was in my little local cottage hospital and had same lady each time.

  • Hi Cathy777, i go to UCLH in london, excellent treatment from both Dr and Nurse.

  • Yes Anne I heard UCLH is good. I am at Royal Free in Hampstead and after my PIP claim goes through (either way) I am determined to ask for transfer. I saw the new nurse today and he got me angry cos he couldn't answer anything I asked. Just kept telling me I needed to ask the doctor. I said it was a complete waste of my day going to see him.

  • Oh yes definitely. They explain listen examine you and offer treatment and change my doses of drugs etc. I am due to see Con although it won't be in 2 weeks. I am dreading it. I have asked if I can see Nurses instead but I have to see him.

  • I was started on sulfasalazine but it made me feel so sick all time was taken of off it now on mtx and feel fine. Both my nurse and doctor are ok

  • My Rheumatologist is lovely. It is like seeing a long lost friend when I go. She never rushes me and is really interested in anything I have to say. She is also very considerate when examining me and almost looks like it is hurting her more than it hurts me. On saying that the specialist nurses are lovely too but I would always prefer to see Rheumatologist as she makes the important decisions. x

  • Every time! she is brilliant and only a phone call away, I consider my Rheumatologist to be a bit of a nutter. I always walk away from my consultations with him shaking my head. I will avoid seeing him as much as possible.

  • I'm glad some of you have good rheumatologists. It seems as far as rheumy nurses are concerned there is a big difference in what they are allowed to do in different parts of the country. Mine is allowed to change my medication. Not just the amounts but the actual type. She is allowed to interpret my blood results when I am being monitored on different medications. She is the one who injects my knees when they are painful and I am so glad she can, it's a grotty enough experience without having it done by a consultant who couldn't care how I feel. I have seen a fair few now. Not one has asked if I work, if I have children, if I get any help at home. I am not a person to them I am a body with RA.

    Strangely my Neurology consultant is the complete opposite. I have never felt worried to ask her a question for fear she might think I am being silly. She asks about my daughter, how I am managing my voluntary work. And the thing is my epilepsy has been under control for nearly three years so apart from a bit of memory loss (not ongoing now it's drug controlled) I have no problems with it. I didn't see her last time because she is on adoption leave, so I passed on my congratulations and best wishes. The relationship is entirely different.

    Maybe it's because I never see a rheumatologist more than once, they have no reason to invest any thought into my overall well-being, 6mths and they have moved to another hospital.

  • Rheumatologist every time, No confidence in the nurse she just keeps asking the same questions over and over again just keeps handing out leaflets about phisiotherapy, Did phisio after first visit and was bed ridden for 2 days after doesn't inspire confidence

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