Hateful ER Docs

  1. :angryfire Does anyone else ever have to deal with ER docs that are demeaning, disrespectful and just downright hateful? We have one ER doc that could take the award for Ahole of the year. He has been this way for years, has had numerous complaints by staff made against him, yet continues to be allowed to verbally abuse the staff. How do you handle a doc like this? I usually just nod my head, and then go over in the corner and cuss him out to myself, but it is getting really old. If I treated one of my coworkers like he treats us, I would be fired after the first complaint, I wouldn't be allowed to continue to abuse my coworkers time after time. Anyway, just needed to vent; it was a long 4 hours with this Ahole last night :angryfire Thank goodness I only had to work that long with him. Anybody have any suggestions on how to handle him and what his problem might be?

    Thanks, Pam
    •  
  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   z's playa
    I guess his problem is being an Ahole. Now I am a strong believer in confronting the problem head on. I hate when things stress me out. He acts like this to everyone? Maybe you could write him a letter signed by et al and send it to him. email him? Privately yourself? Let him know he's bothering you. Obviously the public complaint thing isn't working so he could resond this way. He may even appreciate it that you came to him personally. Now I'm probably dreaming here. :chuckle

    He sounds like a real tool.

    Z

    Why is it that doctors get away with so much? If I had a doctor talk to me like that I'd respond the same way. I think I'm going to need to walk around with a hidden mike to make sure my words aren't twisted around.
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Your hospital should already have a policy in place to deal with this. Write up an incident report and send it through the right channels. We have a liason between the docs and nursing staff. The information is given to all the docs and then they have a disciplinary policy in force that they use to police themselves. It has worked well for us.

    Check to see if your hospital has a policy in place - I'm pretty sure is it a state or federal regulation to have a policy but I'll have to defer to the more knowledgable nurses. And the docs have to have a way to deal with this too. I think that is also mandated.

    And never put up with this.

    Our docs are for the most part great - and I work part-time in the ER here.

    steph
  5. by   rjflyn
    The biggest problem is that alot of ED's contract their doctors and thus have no control over them. It seems almost every ED I have worked has one of these kind of personallities. I have found the best way to handle them is to not let them know that they bother you. The more you try to change/fight them the more they tend to focus their bad attitude towards you. Some of them also respond better if you give it right back at them. Im not saying you should do this as it could get a complaint filed against you.

    rj



    Quote from stevielynn
    Your hospital should already have a policy in place to deal with this. Write up an incident report and send it through the right channels. We have a liason between the docs and nursing staff. The information is given to all the docs and then they have a disciplinary policy in force that they use to police themselves. It has worked well for us.

    Check to see if your hospital has a policy in place - I'm pretty sure is it a state or federal regulation to have a policy but I'll have to defer to the more knowledgable nurses. And the docs have to have a way to deal with this too. I think that is also mandated.

    And never put up with this.

    Our docs are for the most part great - and I work part-time in the ER here.

    steph
  6. by   LPN1974
    You answered your own question.....his problem is he's an A**hole.

    Your post reminds me of the old country song that asks:
    Were you born an A**hole or did you work at it your whole life?
    Either way it worked out fine,
    Cause you're an A**hole tonight.
  7. by   Rena RN 2003
    you deal with this by telling him to speak to you with respect and until he can do that you will not respond. then walk away. if you wouldn't take that kind of crap from your children/husband/mother/father (and i'm guessing you probably love those folks), why take it from a doc (which you obviously don't)? nothing says he has to like your nor you him. but respect is a must. end of story.
  8. by   needsmore$
    I agree with discussing his behavior with him but not at a time when both of you are trying to work-or the department is really busy--try to find some down time and be professional-- use privacy, use "I" words and describe your feelings to behavior directed at you and how it impacts the care that your (both of yours) patients are receiving. Find out if there is anything you are doing that could be adjusted to improve your working relationship (better to be pro active than reactive). Don't be accusatory. If the doctor just resorts to old, prior, inappropriate behavior then the situation needs to be addressed to your supervisor and or his. don't be afraid to document what you tried to do to remedy the situation professionally, on your own and their response to this.


    I had an episode with an orthopod--he was acting like a jerk and yelled and belittled me in front of my patients (that were soon to be his patients). Not only did he make himself look like a class 1 jerk in front of them, but I took him aside to the consult office and told him that his display towards me was not professional in the least. I reminded him that I am a professional nurse and if he had questions or issues about the care I was giving, then I would be happy to discuss this with him but only if he acted like a professional as well.

    After that event-- he treats me with quite a lot of respect, (and was quite worried when he came to the ED with a laceration on his head and I was his nurse--------with the tetanus booster in hand) Respect yourself enough to not be afraid to stand up for yourself and ultimately your patients. Don't be antagonistic---be calm, factual, use specific examples-- not things like "You always...."

    Easier said than done sometimes, especially if you're a newer nurse- but done correctly, you'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel about yourself in the end- whether the doc changes their attitude or not.

    Good luck

    Anne
  9. by   ERNURSE4MS
    Quote from rjflyn
    The biggest problem is that alot of ED's contract their doctors and thus have no control over them. It seems almost every ED I have worked has one of these kind of personallities. I have found the best way to handle them is to not let them know that they bother you. The more you try to change/fight them the more they tend to focus their bad attitude towards you. Some of them also respond better if you give it right back at them. Im not saying you should do this as it could get a complaint filed against you.

    rj
    We have all contract ER docs at our hosp. For the most part they are great but I agree that there is very little control over them. We have 1 ER doc who terrorizes the whole ER. Our NM is very aware of what is going on. The responce I received is that ALOT of documented evidence is require to remove him from our ED. I have decided to take a firm stand against him. If he is disrepectful I pretend he doesn't exist. If he is verbally abusive I DOCUMENT EVERY TIME. Also he had a tendancy to shout orders and not write them leaving nurses out on a limb. Due to a policy, I now tell him he MUST write every order down or I won't do it. I am not suggesting you do any of this. You need to research your reactions before hand to make sure you cya. Always be respectful and polite in your responce, but stand up for the policies and procedures. You look professional and the doc looks foolish and rude.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from rjflyn
    The biggest problem is that alot of ED's contract their doctors and thus have no control over them. It seems almost every ED I have worked has one of these kind of personallities. I have found the best way to handle them is to not let them know that they bother you. The more you try to change/fight them the more they tend to focus their bad attitude towards you. Some of them also respond better if you give it right back at them. Im not saying you should do this as it could get a complaint filed against you.

    rj
    We contract with our md's too . . . .but they still have to abide by the p&p's.

    There is a structure in place that deals with this issue - I just wish I knew what to call it.

    steph
  11. by   Speculating
    Please, quit telling Pam to do a 1:1 . It obviously hasn't worked in the past - he'll eat her alive if she tries :smiley_ab. How big is your ER? You take all your staff from a couple of shifts surround him and have a 12:1 :deadhorse. HE'LL LISTEN! Infer that if he isn't nice you'll throw a blanket party out back!:lol_hitti Let him know he has one last chance to be tolerable. If remains the same you'll make him dot his "I's" and cross his "T's". Question every order as if you can't read it :bowingpur. And take no more verbal orders make him write it all down . It is the ER you don't have to take verbals it's only done for convenience Federal law states you have the right to work in a hostile free environment . I always jumped at every opportunity to let these folks know I worked there They were only contract labor
    Last edit by Speculating on Apr 18, '05
  12. by   z's playa
    Actually a 1:1 wasn't mentioned as failing in the past. He was only written up. A 12 :1 although a nice thought will only get his back up and he'll be on the defensive even more so than w/ the 1:1.


    Z
  13. by   MrsWampthang
    Our ED nurse practice counsel is starting up again next month and I think I will bring this doctor up as an issue to deal with because it does effect the way we practice in the ER. You're right, I don't have to work in a hostile environment and the hospital does have a responsibility to see that I don't. Something has to be done. The last time he was written up, he was heard threatening the PCC that if that was the game the nurses were going to play then he was going to start writing the nurses up for things he thinks were done wrong. Yeah, that's the right attitude. Don't take responsibility for your actions, just go on the defensive. What, are we back in first grade ? Anyway, I think as nurses, the time has past for us to bow when a doc walks in the room, and it certainly past time for us to be taking disrespect from anyone, even if it is a doctor. Most of the other doctors aren't like that. We have one doctor that is slow as pond water when it comes to taking care of patients but I will work with him anytime rather than the Ahole doc, because the slow doc is nice and is never disrespectful to the nurses. A 1:1 with this doc won't do any good, he will just put me on his list to treat even worse than he does now. I think the NPC could be just the thing to deal with his attitude. Again, thanks for the input.

    Pam
  14. by   needsmore$
    Good luck Pam

close