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The Nurse Becoming Podcast 

#039 How to Call a Consult

As far as anxiety-inducing situations go, there was one task that, in my early days of being a new NP, caused me to feel unusually… sweaty:

Calling a consult was one of the most intimidating parts of my day in the ED. I’m not typically a nervous person, but navigating this conversation within the “charged” relationship between NP’s and physicians used to feel daunting. 

In truth, I wanted to be taken seriously. I wanted my decisions and assessments to be valued. And I wanted to be a strong, positive influence with the ability to powerfully and respectfully communicate with my professional colleagues. So what did I do about it?

Over the years, I’ve refined my approach for calling effective consults. 

There’s a certain level of thought and finesse that goes into building good rapport and fostering collaborative conversations.

In today’s short and sweet episode, we’ll be discussing:

  • Why and how to ask actionable questions
  • The “mirror” story and how implementing this behaviour helps control and improve the quality of patient care
  • How to intro your consult so that you can effectively “hook” the physician in on a collaborative conversation
  • How to communicate the corroborating information about your patient
  • Dr. Chad Kessler’s 5 Framework For Calling A Consult that you can use in the emergency department (or adapt to any specialty)
  • The part of the consult you can’t prepare for – How to handle push back on your decision making


I also share a few word-for-word dialogue examples for each, including how to disclose yourself if you’re a student.

This episode is great for nurse practitioner students and new NP’s – especially if you’re in a rotation where you’re calling physicians or other providers with clinical questions. 


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