Yelled at by a doctor for the first time.... - page 2

So today I was yelled at for the first time by a doctor today. I wont get into the whole situation simply because I just got off shift and I don't feel like reliving the day. But, I just want to... Read More

  1. by   UM Review RN
    Funny. I just had a similar situation happen to me. Since I hardly ever see the doc, I was going to just let it roll off, but now I think I'll write it up. Who knows how many nurses have quit because of this kind of treatment day in and day out?

    Why are we always excusing and justifying their behavior?

    Even if a doc was right, is it really OK to yell at someone like that??

    Suppose you had a similar situation. Would you be allowed to yell at someone about it?
  2. by   VivaRN
    Quote from KnitterMama
    Heck NO you don't have to get used to it!

    Nursing Against the Odds by Suzanne Gordon - read and learn, sister. Read and learn.

    Also, I am really icked-out at the idea of pulling the "crying card". Last thing we need is to confirm MDs suspicions that nurses are just hysterical women. Ick.
    Love that book. Helped me define the issues of nursing and what creates, surrounds and perpetuates harmful RN/MD interactions. It hurts patient care when our knowledge is discounted and subjugated. We need to stand up and say we won't take that kind of treatment. Read that book - it's a good one.

    ~ VivaRN
  3. by   RNtigerEMT
    PLease don't "get used to it". I have many times faced a Dr down who was yelling, swearing, being plain disprespectful. If you went off on one of your subordiantes, or equals the way Drs think they can go off on nurses, you would be fired. Almost went toe to toe with a Dr that I am actually very good friends with ove rhis behavior towards a fellow nurse. Shift change, new nurse just walked out of report and Dr went off on her over something that had been ordered 6hrs earlier and was not completed. He had every right to be angry, but had the wrong nurse and I told him so. He apologized to the entire oncoming shift,(also bought me and the new nurse a beer later post shift) then got the nurse responsible, and pulled her into the "Dr office" to discuss issue.
    Don't EVER EVER let them walk on you, Stand up for yourself and your teammates.
  4. by   Altra
    Quote from a21chdchic
    I would not pull that card (crying) if my life depended on it! Stand up for yourself! If we all roll over and let people walk on us, they will keep doing it!

    Agree. Crying is unprofessional at best, passive-agressive at worst. Seriously, do you want MDs to "behave" better because you'll cry if they don't????

    To the OP: this has been said a thousand different ways, but I like Eleanor Roosevelt's quote best: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

    Sometimes you can let "yelling" roll off of you. But if it offends you, say so.

    "I'll come back when you've calmed down." (said while walking away)

    "Please lower your voice."

    "So you want x med and y fluids at xyz rate. I'll do that now." (cuts off the temper tantrum)

    Or you can simply ignore the loud voice, abusive tone, whatever ... and pay attention only to the content of the conversation.
  5. by   EmmaG
    Quote from Mommy Nurse2b
    Anyway - I was pretty intimidated as my FIRST day as a new grad. But on the other hand, the pt had been there ALL day with no fluids AND she was NPO to boot. This woman is very frail and weak anyway. I can kind of see why the doctor was so mad. If I "had' been the nurse would she have had a right to be so pissed at me? Did she have a right to be so mad at the patient's nurse?
    Yes she would have had the right to be that pissed.

    Sorry, but I have to agree with the doc here. Eight hours without fluids and pain meds is FAR too long. Absolutely inexcusable. And do I understand your post correctly? Your floor doesn't stock NS IV's? Still no excuse if they don't; someone can run to pharmacy to pick it up.

    If the primary nurse was "too busy" to carry out these basic orders, then the charge nurse or another staff nurse should have stepped up to do so.

    I hope the doc wrote this up and reported the incident.
  6. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Emmanuel Goldstein
    Yes she would have had the right to be that pissed.

    Sorry, but I have to agree with the doc here. Eight hours without fluids and pain meds is FAR too long. Absolutely inexcusable. And do I understand your post correctly? Your floor doesn't stock NS IV's? Still no excuse if they don't; someone can run to pharmacy to pick it up.

    If the primary nurse was "too busy" to carry out these basic orders, then the charge nurse or another staff nurse should have stepped up to do so.

    I hope the doc wrote this up and reported the incident.
    She IS right, but that does not GIVE her the right to actually yell at the nurse. Coaching is certainly indicated, but not a shouting match in the middle of the hallway, which is how most doctors "punish" nurses.

    Two wrongs don't make it right for the patient.

    PS Strongbad fan here too.
  7. by   Tweety
    Quote from KayceeLeeRN
    ...... why is it accepted/expected for physicans to "yell", correct (in a very arrogant manor), look down on, or be just plan RUDE and unprofessional to nurses???

    Perhaps it's a regional thing because that is not excepted here. Nor is it the normal. In the 15 years I've worked here I've never seen/heard an MD "yell". Have I seen anger and arrogance? Sure I have. I've seen that out of nurses. We're all stressed and have our ways. But yell? Unacceptable.

    We as staff nurses have resources as well. There's a "Physcians Incident" report we can file. The one time I filed one, when I felt and MD blew me off when I reported an 02 sat in the wee hours of the morning one night shift. To my surprise the chief of staff contacted my director who contacted me for further details.

    We are a collaborative team and as a charge nurse I deal with doctors often and do not think of myself as a servant following doctors orders. They listen to me, the often follow my suggestions, and I'm not afraid to approach them as a peer. I have seen on occasion bad behavior, usually when they have a legit complaint about us. I try to look beyond the behavior and address the issue.

    Fortunately though I've never experienced a doctor yelling and screaming or going balistic. That's not acceptable, or conductive to communication. I already know myself well enough now after all these years that I wouldn't accept it. I'd more than likely walk away, end of dicussion.

    I do know as a male nurse, I'm probably less likely to get yelled out. But I still haven't seen a doc yell at a coworker, nor have I heard a coworker complain of a doctor screaming.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jun 2, '07
  8. by   CarVsTree
    Let me share the following with you. I was proud of the way I handled this doc. I'm not perfect, but you may be able to use it in the future.

    I work trauma where PE's are a common occurrence. We had a visiting resident who did not know our protocols or the capability of the nurses on the Transitional Trauma Unit. We are highly specialized and are experts at caring for the trauma pt.

    Anyway... My pt. had elevated HR, low grade temps and desated to 89% on 2L, came up to 96% on 4L just after change of shift, lungs CTA and equal. I called the Trauma Resident (Residents do trauma only 2 weeks out of their first year of residency), gave a full SBAR, suggesting a CT of the chest to rule out PE. He said he wanted to see pt. So Dr. Knows It All, in a hospital he is unfamiliar with, shows up. He sees pt. (who is already on telemetry) and starts screaming at me in front of my patient, "why is he not monitored," I replied, "this is transitional trauma, not Trauma/Neuro ICU, we are not a monitored unit." "Then he needs to be on a pro-pac." I reiterated that he is on telemetry and explained that last VS were 5 mins ago and what they were. He then stormed out of patients room. I reassured pt. that he is fine and we would be getting some tests to find out why his oxygen level has dropped.

    Dr. KIA orders an ABG (not our normal protocol) and a chest XR (again not our normal protocol) esp. with normal sounding lungs. I again asked, are you sure you don't want to get a chest CT? "No, the pulse ox probably was not accurate." Hmmm, funny that it accurately noted 89% on 2L and is now accurately reading 96% on 4L, but I digress. BTW, I still have not addressed him yelling at me (I want my pt. taken care of first). So... he's now done with his orders, and proceeds to go to waltz off the unit. I said, "excuse me," He stops. "Don't ever yell at me in front of my patient again." "I didn't yell at you." "You most certainly did, and you should find out what our protocols are before you yell at at a nurse for not monitoring a pt. properly. The pt. is on telemetry and I was monitoring his O2 sat frequently while waiting for you to come to the floor." He continued to argue that he didn't yell at me and that it would be stupid to treat nurses badly. I stood firm and said, "had you not yelled at me, we would not be having this conversation." He stormed off the unit.

    Shortly thereafter, I got a call from the lab with a critical lab value. I think it was a PO2 of 50 or 60 (for a young healthy guy on 4L O2). So... I now had to call Dr. KIA. I called and was very, very polite. Of course, after hearing the ABG, he knew he HAD to order the Chest CT (poor guy was eating quite a bit of crow). Get this, he apologized! It was kind of like, "I'm sorry if you thought I was yelling at you, blah, blah, blah." But it was close enough for me. This happened at the beginning of his 2 weeks with us. He always addressed me by my first name, said please and thank you and was very polite to the rest of the nurses on my floor for the rest of his 2weeks. It was priceless. Don't know if he's changed much as a doc after that, but at least he was nice to us. BTW, the pt. did have a PE.:wink2:
    Last edit by CarVsTree on Jun 2, '07 : Reason: grammar, missing words, anything else I found wrong.
  9. by   EmmaG
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    She IS right, but that does not GIVE her the right to actually yell at the nurse. Coaching is certainly indicated, but not a shouting match in the middle of the hallway, which is how most doctors "punish" nurses.

    Two wrongs don't make it right for the patient.

    PS Strongbad fan here too.
    I just re-read the post; granted I'm pretty sleepy right now (night worker lol) so maybe I've missed it... but that story doesn't say the doc yelled. MN2B posted the doc "said", was "fuming mad" and "pissed". I didn't see anything about yelling. Just that the doctor was very upset and let it be known. A patient in pain, with blocked biliary stents, waiting over 8 hours for IVF and pain meds?

    The doc had every right to be so, IMO.

    Edit: just so I'm clear here, I am addressing this particular incident, not the OP. Docs have no right to yell at anyone on staff.
    Last edit by EmmaG on Jun 2, '07
  10. by   NursingAgainstdaOdds
    Quote from suemom2kay
    Let me share the following with you. I was proud of the way I handled this doc. I'm not perfect, but you may be able to use it in the future.

    I work trauma where PE's are a common occurrence. We had a visiting resident who did not know our protocols or the capability of the nurses on the Transitional Trauma Unit. We are highly specialized and are experts at caring for the trauma pt.

    Anyway... My pt. had elevated HR, low grade temps and desated to 89% on 2L, came up to 96% on 4L just after change of shift, lungs CTA and equal. I called the Trauma Resident (Residents do trauma only 2 weeks out of their first year of residency), gave a full SBAR, suggesting a CT of the chest to rule out PE. He said he wanted to see pt. So Dr. Knows It All, in a hospital he is unfamiliar with, shows up. He sees pt. (who is already on telemetry) and starts screaming at me in front of my patient, "why is he not monitored," I replied, "this is transitional trauma, not Trauma/Neuro ICU, we are not a monitored unit." "Then he needs to be on a pro-pac." I reiterated that he is on telemetry and explained that last VS were 5 mins ago and what they were. He then stormed out of patients room. I reassured pt. that he is fine and we would be getting some tests to find out why his oxygen level has dropped.

    Dr. KIA orders an ABG (not our normal protocol) and a chest XR (again not our normal protocol) esp. with normal sounding lungs. I again asked, are you sure you don't want to get a chest CT? "No, the pulse ox probably was not accurate." Hmmm, funny that it accurately noted 89% on 2L and is now accurately reading 96% on 4L, but I digress. BTW, I still have not addressed him yelling at me (I want my pt. taken care of first). So... he's now done with his orders, and proceeds to go to waltz off the unit. I said, "excuse me," He stops. "Don't ever yell at me in front of my patient again." "I didn't yell at you." "You most certainly did, and you should find out what our protocols are before you yell at at a nurse for not monitoring a pt. properly. The pt. is on telemetry and I was monitoring his O2 sat frequently while waiting for you to come to the floor." He continued to argue that he didn't yell at me and that it would be stupid to treat nurses badly. I stood firm and said, "had you not yelled at me, we would not be having this conversation." He stormed off the unit.

    Shortly thereafter, I got a call from the lab with a critical lab value. I think it was a PO2 of 50 or 60 (for a young healthy guy on 4L O2). So... I now had to call Dr. KIA. I called and was very, very polite. Of course, after hearing the ABG, he knew he HAD to order the Chest CT (poor guy was eating quite a bit of crow). Get this, he apologized! It was kind of like, "I'm sorry if you thought I was yelling at you, blah, blah, blah." But it was close enough for me. This happened at the beginning of his 2 weeks with us. He always addressed me by my first name, said please and thank you and was very polite to the rest of the nurses on my floor for the rest of his 2weeks. It was priceless. Don't know if he's changed much as a doc after that, but at least he was nice to us. BTW, the pt. did have a PE.:wink2:
    You GO WITH YOUR BAD SELF!! umpiron:

    Can I be you when I grow up?
  11. by   CarVsTree
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    She IS right, but that does not GIVE her the right to actually yell at the nurse. Coaching is certainly indicated, but not a shouting match in the middle of the hallway, which is how most doctors "punish" nurses.
    I agree that yelling is inexcusable. Don't know if this doc was yelling or if she was using strong words and her anger was just coming through in her tone of voice. Can't blame her if she was angry. If pt. came up shortly after shift change, that would be around 0730-0800, pt. still had not received fluids @ 1500 that's at least 8 hours @ 200/h (which is a pretty high rate, which I assume indicates a pretty sick pt.). Pt. is now @ least 1600ml behind. I hope that pain meds were given. If not, that is cruel and unusual. Yelling, is not the answer but angry words, I know I'd be pissed if it was my patient. Too bad a new grad took the brunt of it. I wonder where the primary nurse's head was at. Sounds like OP was PRN and could have easily hung the fluids if the primary nurse had asked her or told her she couldn't get to it. The whole situation just makes no sense to me.
  12. by   CarVsTree
    Quote from NursingAgainstdaOdds
    You GO WITH YOUR BAD SELF!! umpiron:

    Can I be you when I grow up?
    Thanks! Just be yourself and advocate for your patients and the rest will come together.
  13. by   summersent
    I think some doctors have big ego's. what they dont realize is that they need everyone in the hospital from the RN's to the CNA's to the cleaning workers. Everyone needs each other. Everyone works together to get the job done. If it weren't for one person, the other couldnt do their job or it would make it longer to do in some cases.

    When I do become a nurse and if that situation happened to me, I'd make sure I'd talk to the doctor and tell them to lower their voice and basically make them feel ridiculous and remind them this is a professional setting AND I'd talk to them later on as well. Everyone makes mistakes. They need nurses and a doctors job is no way superior then the next and I'd make sure they would understand that. I would never cry. no reason to. if anything they should be the ones feeling bad about their behavior.

    I do understand that some people are afraid to speak up but I'm the person that I just have to speak up and I have walk away with my dignity and let them know I cant be disrespected. We dont have to like each other but we need to respect each other. this goes for any situation in life. respect. thats all its about.
    Last edit by summersent on Jun 7, '07

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