When a vet calls a local VA medical (Charleston, SC) an operator answers in about 3-5 minutes. You are asked for your name and last 4 of your social security number. They then review your records and ask you questions about the reason you called.
1. They are operators and are not associated with any of the clinics.
2. They are not nurses, doctors, PA's or professionals of any type. They are operators.
3. When asked why they were asking 20 questions, the answer was to see what help they could provide.
4. When asked if they could prescribe medicine, the answer was, "No."
5. When asked if they could provide medical advice, or offer a diagnosis, the answer was, "No."
Bottom line is;
1. that the operators in the VA clinics have access to everyone's medical files.
2. the operators review the records and try to provide medical help--when they are not qualified.
I asked the nurses and doctors why the operators have access to everyone's files and where was the privacy that is so highly talked about. The answer was there is no privacy, anyone who has access to the system can ogle your files to include pictures and x-rays.
Thanks for letting me present this.