I worked for 15+ years in a small rural hospital. I worked Med/Surg as a LPN, ER as a new RN in 1999, and ICU starting in 2002 and was there until I left in May of this year. I love nursing and loved critical care. Now, our ICU was not a big ICU by any means. We shipped MIs, hemorrhagic strokes, major traumas involving head traumas. We did, however, have some pretty critical patients over the years, some with multiple comorbidities. Sepsis, ARDS and other respiratory problems required patients be ventilated, CVAs, pts with multiple gunshot wounds...these are just to name a few. Not too many drips that I have not managed. Also, we had to be respiratory and manage our vents during the times respiratory was not their, namely at night. Not too many CVP lines until the last year. I learned a lot and enjoyed my job until....
We had a pulmonologist come to our facility that was suppose to really be pro patient and help make our unit better. This is not at all how things played out. Apparently, this pulmonologist had been ousted from every pulmonology group in the surrounding area and nobody bothered to ask why. We may have found the answer.
In our unit, we had a mix of seasoned nurses and young not so seasoned nurses. But most of these young nurses are good nurses and always willing to learn from the older gals. Dr. X, we will call him, apparently had an affinity for young, slim nurses and could have cared less if they knew squat. You could be asking him a question about a patient or trying to tell him something about a patient and he would act as if he did not hear you...would not even look you in the eye. However, if one of the younger nurses asked him a question while you were waiting for an answer, he would be on them like white on rice and more than willing to answer any question or listen to any comment they had. Of course, he always added his little brand of silly humor in attempts to impress them. We noticed it and the younger nurses noticed it to and actually played around with him just to see how ridiculous he was.
Apparently, he had enough of us older and wider nurses. He came up with a list of "complaints" against nurses and even went as far to tell admin that he did not think he could safely put his patients in the ICU. Did I mention how rude he was to the patients and the families of the patients in his care? Anyway, not a single nurse on his list of grievous acts was one of the younger nurses except one and the poor thing just happened to be on the "wide" end of the younger nurses, a heavy girl. We were all called to a meeting and the ones asked to stay after the meeting were the ones the CNO needed to speak with about Dr. X's complaints. Interesting how all of us noticed the nurses that walked out and down the hall and the ones of us that stayed. It was so blatantly obvious.
Naturally, when it became my turn to go before HR, my manager, and the CNO, I asked them could they not see what was going on.....that every nurse here was either big, over fifty, or big and over fifty. I was told we were not here to talk about that to which I replied, "No we are not but that is why I am here!" I was told by the CNO that I would not be allowed to disrespect Dr. X to which I replied, "I am more of a professional than that. He is the doctor taking care of my patient, and I will not disrespect him. However, I do not have to put up with his crap, either." The mess he came up with on me was something about a pt not having a CVP reading all night. I told them that was lie and I could show the the text he had asked me to send him with ABG values and the CVP reading. She softened somewhat. I further told them that if they wanted our ICU to be a "real" ICU, they should TEACH us and educate us and not just expect us to know something we have never been taught.
The meeting ended well with me making my point regarding education. I left the meeting fully intending not to let Dr. X and his fetish bother me and to continue on with good quality patient care that I had always delivered. However, the next day after the meeting, I received a call from a large hospital that I had applied to about 3 months prior to all of this. I was offered a job on the cardiovascular floor. It was not the ICU but it was an opportunity to be in a very well respected hospital that I could learn much from. I took the job and left a job I had been at for over 15 years and started again.
I have 6 months to be in this department before I can even consider asking for any type of transfer. The floor takes care of post op fem pops, carotids, pacemaker inserts, caths, and open hearts after they leave CCU. However, with a low census, we have been combined with a tele floor that still has semi private rooms....I did not realize tiny semi privates still existed. I want to go to MICU or even PCU but there is a problem....Seems Dr. X is an intensivist at this facility one weekend a month. Now, at this facility, docs are not as "godly" as they are at the Smallville Hospital where I came from. However, dare I attempt to work with Dr. X again???? I have seen the ICU nurses at this facility...many are over 50 and many are on the heavy side. LOL...he must not have a lot of clout here....Any advise???? Any suggestions???? Am I too old and too big???
Jul 24, '13
No...and no. sounds like this MD wants an adoring mindless following of groupies. Unfortunately....many facilities are laying of experienced nurses because we don't take crap and make a higher hourly.
Jul 25, '13
I don't think you should worry about Dr. X too much. He is only there occasionally, he will probably stay out of your way. More important that you gain the respect of your coworkers you work with on a regular basis for being a good nurse. If you do have to interact with him: document, document, document! Try to let the "appearances issue" go, its a waste of your energy.
Jul 25, '13
I so appreciate the input. I really miss critical care. Actually, I never thought I looked so horrible but by his standards, I suppose I do...but believe me, I really do not care. It would take more than Dr. X to make me feel like a bad nurse. No, I'm not a Barbie Doll and never really was. I'm just a caring nurse that enjoys taking care of her patients and their families, too.
Jul 26, '13
I wish you luck and I hope that you come out ahead no matter which path to go down.
On another note, just because somebody is young, slender and pretty does not make her an airhead or a mindless groupie.
At my second job I was about 5 years into nursing and only 25 years old and older nurse would constantly harass me. I suspect she had a crush on the medication delivery man and she would insult me in front of him. She accused me of trying to be too pretty, and acted as though I was trying to take her "man" from her....untrue, bizarre and hurtful.