Doctor apologized - page 2

Last night when I called a doctor with test results, I also told him that a family member of that patient had just called with a request (actually demand) for an ortho consult for that patient. He... Read More

  1. by   RNOTODAY
    Yes. I was (well, still am!) new to the OR, and I was learning to scrub. It was a difficult laparoscopic case, and I was unsure of what instrument to pass the surgeon when he asked, and I hesitated... He yelled that he didnt have time for this,(me learning, thus taking a second more to pass) and to go and learn on another docs case... so I just stepped back, and let the preceptor take over. I left for the day before that case ended, but the next day, the staff that was in the room said how he expressed how bad he felt for yelling, and he was just stressed, and to please apologize for him. I was shocked at that, then, about 4 days later, when I saw him again, he remembered and apologized to me personally. I was really impressed at that one.
  2. by   miko014
    Sort of...I had one yesterday who asked me to take a telephone order that violated policy (one that I am told is based on state law, but I'm not sure). I wouldn't do it (I was very nice, but I said no). She said she knows about this policy, but that "everybody else always does it". I said, "not on this unit we don't". She laughed at me on the phone, like she coudn't *be-LIEVE* this, and said she'd be up, then hung up on me before I could say anything else. When I saw her later she said, "I'm sorry if I was rude earlier, I didn't mean to be, this is just a huge waste of my time. I have 10 hours of work to do in the ER". I know the ER was busy - I was working on my 3rd admission of the evening (all 3 within an hour and a half, all full paperwork admissions...in my 8 hour shift, I had 2 discharges, one death, and 3 admissions). I said I knew it was busy, and then she half-assed what she was supposed to do and left. So it was a crappy apology, but it was an apology.
  3. by   Indy
    I got one apology when I wasn't owed one; the doc can mumble an expletive over the phone if it's the perfect word to describe the shape the patient is in, if he got his tuckus up to see the patient immediately and gave the orders that were needed. But he's the exception to the rule.

    Usually the halfway nice guys will hang up without saying "bye" when they're pretty cranky, and that's a little short, but I don't care. I can usually tell what their night is like by the ER census and whether or not the house supervisors have time to walk around and say "hi."

    We do have one who's some kind of bipolar devil. He'll go out of his way to make those who call him feel about two inches tall, then apologize and make nice in the morning. His apologies really aren't welcome! I don't think they make up for otherwise abusive, hostile talk. He's learning, though. I keep an even keel with him; no extra niceness and no slack; I get my act together and react very cooly if he has the need to apologize to me. I know better than to relax with this guy. The rub is that his patients adore him, for the most part. Except for one! I met one ole cranky patient who told me "Dr. so and so called me a bonehead, so I told him it takes one to know one!" Just made my night to hear that.
  4. by   miko014
    Quote from Indy

    He'll go out of his way to make those who call him feel about two inches tall, then apologize and make nice in the morning.

    I work with an RN like that...very self-centered, not a team player at all...you know, the type who expects you to bend over backward to help her, but wouldn't condescend to toss a glass of water on you if you were on fire. Anyway, she did at one point have some friends on the unit, but she would treat them the same way she treated everybody else - give them total h*ll one day and then apologize the next. But then as soon as you turn around, she's upset with the same person again. It's basically "I can do whatever I want as long as I say I'm sorry later", but the apologies are meaningless because you know she's just going to turn around and yell at you again.
  5. by   TrudyRN
    I don't recall a doc ever apologizing to me. On the other hand, I have, remarkably, had to deal with very, very few in my time who were impolite.

    The ones who are crabby in the middle of the night I understand and excuse them. I know it gets old being on call so much and I really don't know how they adjust to that life.

    And the ones who are arrogant I deal with in my own special little way. I just tell them that I am just trying to keep both myself and them out of court. That is usually met by dead silence, followed quickly by giving me whatever I have asked for. LOL Hmm, maybe I should ask for gold, not just lab, xray, or the like.
  6. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from miko014
    I work with an RN like that...very self-centered, not a team player at all...you know, the type who expects you to bend over backward to help her, but wouldn't condescend to toss a glass of water on you if you were on fire. Anyway, she did at one point have some friends on the unit, but she would treat them the same way she treated everybody else - give them total h*ll one day and then apologize the next. But then as soon as you turn around, she's upset with the same person again. It's basically "I can do whatever I want as long as I say I'm sorry later", but the apologies are meaningless because you know she's just going to turn around and yell at you again.
    Just a thought on this kind of person - my growing up years were spent with a Dad who loved us all dearly and was a wonderful husband and father. However, he had a rough temper and we had a lot of yelling in our home. He'd get rather out of control but would calm down later and apologize. He'd say that "You know I love you, don't you, Sweetheart?" to whoever he'd yelled at. Well, yes, we did know that so we just let the other go. What I'm trying to say is that maybe your coworker grew up in a home like that and her apology is quite sincere and she just has not yet learned a better way.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    THe ones with integrity often will apologize when they have made a faux-pas. Those who don't just can't seem to. Either way, it sure does feel good to be vindicated, doesn't it?
  8. by   ARBY
    Years ago I worked in the office of a GI doc. He asked me to call his PA and get some info. When I reported to him what she said, he ranted and raved at me in front of other staff and some patients. At the end of the day I walked into his office and said something like, "I did just what you asked me to do and I'm sorry you didn't like what your PA did, we don't have to eat together here and we don't have to socialize here but we DO have to work together here. I can walk out that front door the same way I walked into it 2 years ago and I EXPEXT to be treated with respect when I'm here." I turned around and left for the day. Nothing more was ever said but a year later when I was leaving for another job, he stopped into my "going away dinner", bought me a gift and said something like, "Well, we may have not always seen eye to eye but you are one of the best nurses I've had." Not EXACTLY an appology and a little late but from him it was REMARKABLE.:flowersfo
  9. by   outcomesfirst
    Quote from CVICURN2003
    Yes. Especially, when they learn that you snap back. I work with CT and vascular surgeons. At my hospital, they think they are God. Usually, you "earn" their respect. if they are crappy to a new nurse or one of our secretaries(like what happened yesterday) one of the older nurses will usually point out that their behavior was bad. And 9/10 they apologize. The one doc who laid into one of our "baby" nurses about four of us seasoned nurses instantly converged in the room (you can tell by his face his mood). He immediatley fixed his attitude. One thing I can say about my coworkers is we won't tolerate that from the docs. But, yes, they do apologize.
    Bravo! This is nurturing and not eating!!!!!!!
  10. by   arizonanurse
    Never had one apologize, but never had one be especially rude either. A little snippy is as far as they go.

    But, yesterday, the doctor was AWESOME and I just have to brag. First, he used my description of my 11 month old for his H&P instead of waking her up (she had cried since 5 am and finally got to sleep at 10 am right before he came in, so I was very grateful). Then he said I could wait another hour to draw her blood since she was sleeping, without me even asking, and then...drumroll please...he canceled the UA the ER doc had ordered so I wouldn't have to cath her. Can I just say, I love our docs!

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