Final Warning

  1. Has anyone ever received a disciplinary action because a doctor thought you were rude?

    I was given a "final warning" at my job yesterday because a doctor went to administration and complained that I was rude to her. The actual statement on the complaint states that she asked me about her patient's condition and that I failed to provided information about the patient's outcomes and rudely stated "why are you asking me".

    I actually thought this person was a CRNA. She never wears ID. That's besides the point. However, I was talking to another nurse about my patient at one end of the unit, and she walked in and said "How's my patient?". I did somewhat laughingly say I didn't know. I mean her patient is 3 stations away. It is a 28 bed unit. No one in administration has asked my side. Even my manager didn't take this seriously. I have never received a written anything before. This woman wanted me fired. But a final warning?? Plus she wanted the name of the nurse I was talking to because she thought we were talking about her. I had a patient trying to die all morning, I'm sorry if I was discussing it with a coworker.

    Was I supposed to know to take this doc by the hand and walk her where her patient was (pts been there a week) and personally find her nurse for her or look through the chart for her and tell her about her patient. I was a bit busy myself.
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   eltrip
    Have you considered going to your human resources dept & discussing the issue at hand such as her lack of identification while in the facility?

    Perhaps you were a bit off-hand with her, but if she wasn't wearing her ID, I could understand how you handled your conversation with her based on your assumption that she was a CRNA as opposed to an MD. Would it have made a difference in your interaction with her?

    Good luck. Perhaps your manager would be willing to go to bat for you on this? The worst s/he could say is no, after all.
  4. by   heart queen
    okay, I'm NOT the best person to take advice from, tell ya up front. I push the buck quite a bit. me personally would have make eye contact with the doc. said "excuse me for just a moment, I was speaking to ....". And YES, then I would have needed to ask, hippa and all, I'm sorry who are you? looking for a badge. Then IF, I knew this was really a doc, I would have been VERY pleasant and given an update. I work with residents, they are in a learning process, I consider hospital norms and culture to be part of this.

    So now that you're in the hot seat, ( without my help, thank goodness)
    We have a greivance chain of command which is a written policy, check your HR or admin. policy. ours is manager, the bosses boss, then a review board with HR. Of course HR is there for you ALWAYS!... mine is a coffee clutch place, VERY fair in the end, but not so "confidential (I don't think many employees know this). so I'd be careful just in case. don't say your manager is a weak unassertive...even if it's true :chuckle .

    Or if you're a daring person, you could always approach the overly sensitive Doc, set up a meeting with your manager and the doc.. I think we have a misunderstanding.... do all that nurse lingo crap. This doc. didn't have the brass ones to approach you personally, maybe they'll back down with a non-confrontational let's resonve this.... although I don't think this works the majority of the time... it's an option. My manager would do this, act as mediator, and try to get the doc. to see this is beyond over the edge for one interaction!!!
  5. by   New Castle Ken
    This happens so often when doctors have too much control in a hospital. With a union hospital at least your side must be heard and the union will fight for you especially in ridiculous instances like this. Funny if you reported a doctor being rude you would have gotten no where.

    Quote from nrsjo
    Has anyone ever received a disciplinary action because a doctor thought you were rude?

    I was given a "final warning" at my job yesterday because a doctor went to administration and complained that I was rude to her. The actual statement on the complaint states that she asked me about her patient's condition and that I failed to provided information about the patient's outcomes and rudely stated "why are you asking me".

    I actually thought this person was a CRNA. She never wears ID. That's besides the point. However, I was talking to another nurse about my patient at one end of the unit, and she walked in and said "How's my patient?". I did somewhat laughingly say I didn't know. I mean her patient is 3 stations away. It is a 28 bed unit. No one in administration has asked my side. Even my manager didn't take this seriously. I have never received a written anything before. This woman wanted me fired. But a final warning?? Plus she wanted the name of the nurse I was talking to because she thought we were talking about her. I had a patient trying to die all morning, I'm sorry if I was discussing it with a coworker.

    Was I supposed to know to take this doc by the hand and walk her where her patient was (pts been there a week) and personally find her nurse for her or look through the chart for her and tell her about her patient. I was a bit busy myself.
  6. by   nrsjo
    well, my manager finds the whole thing a bit overblown. The doctor came to her with this and screamed at her. Thing is, we have nurses who have literally killed patients and have never gotten a write up, so I don't really get this. And since the doc is saying to administration she addressed me by name when she came into the unit I can't trust her story. She didn't know my name as she asked for it on the way out of the unit. They want the name of the nurse I was sitting with so they can write her up too. I just won't give it to them.

    I will appeal it to HR, but I will actively start looking for another job, since I don't feel it will be long before they find a reason to be rid of me. I've been a nurse for a long time, and I've just never run into this before. I've also been told that southerners just don't understand yankees and we're always considered impolite. Who knows. It's never been a facility that ever supports nurses in any way. Thanks for the input.....................
  7. by   cannoli
    You may have a point with that yankee thing in the south.

    Hope everything works out. I would be looking for another job as well.

    Good luck.
  8. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    I'm with Heart Queen... But I would start with an eye-contact statement like, "I honestly didn't mean to offend you, but I understand that I did. I'm sorry."

    Doesn't cost a red cent. Do it in front of your manager or somebody, or in that meeting HQ described. And don't do it with attitude!!!

    We all make the mistake of personalizing something that wasn't personal. I know I usually do it when I am hurt about something else. We never know what's going on in the other person's head or heart.

    If this plays right, you may wind up with a lot more kudos than if nothing had happened at all.

    If you can get this resolved, you might also see if you can get the final warning removed from your personnel file, since it appears that it is all over a misunderstanding.

    (BTW, I'd keep that business about you didn't know she was a doc under your hat, so to speak. We know what you mean, but others who don't know and love you like we do might misinterpret....)

    Let us know how it all goes, and good luck!
  9. by   cannoli
    A "final warning" sounds like there has been something before that. Were you given warnings before about the same thing or a warning about something else? Is this a third warning and you are out type of rule?
  10. by   MandyInMS
    That does seem weird..how the heck can you get a final warning if you didn't get a first warning? MD's are people just like you and I..no better or worse..so far, anytime I've had a conflict I've spoken directly to the doc about it..we may have not agreed but we understood each others points in a respectful way..Nine times outta ten it's just a simple misunderstanding that can be resolved peacefully.........best of luck to you (((hugz)))
  11. by   Agnus
    Quote from nrsjo
    well, my manager finds the whole thing a bit overblown. The doctor came to her with this and screamed at her. Thing is, we have nurses who have literally killed patients and have never gotten a write up, so I don't really get this. And since the doc is saying to administration she addressed me by name when she came into the unit I can't trust her story. She didn't know my name as she asked for it on the way out of the unit. They want the name of the nurse I was sitting with so they can write her up too. I just won't give it to them.

    I will appeal it to HR, but I will actively start looking for another job, since I don't feel it will be long before they find a reason to be rid of me. I've been a nurse for a long time, and I've just never run into this before. I've also been told that southerners just don't understand yankees and we're always considered impolite. Who knows. It's never been a facility that ever supports nurses in any way. Thanks for the input.....................
    The physician "screamed at" the manager. This says something. Is the manager listening?

    By the way the statement about nurses "literally killed patients and never go written up" has absolutely NOTHING to do with you or this situation. This is such a strong accusation by you that I wonder if your entire post is exagerated.

    You have tried to displace atention from you and your situation by directing attention towared killer nurses, which has no bearing on your situation. You also see to be prone to extreem exageration. Me thinks thou dost protest.......

    Try regrouping and rethinking this. Your current approach will not get you the results you seek. You are free to be angry with me. The bottom line is how you are handling this and you do not come across well. So shoot arrows at me if you must or reevaluate your way of handling this. Do which every you find most productive.
  12. by   LauraF, RN
    NRSJO- You are put in a rough spot. Why would this doctor come to you and ask you how their patient is if it is not your patient? Are you expected to know how everyone on the unit is doing? I think it sounds like this doctor was having one of those days and you were the butt of it. I have never seen a write up form that does not have a place for you to reply to it. There should also in your personel manual have the steps of write ups. It is should not be possible to get a "final warning" if the steps before (verbal warning, first warning etc....)have not been followed. You would have grounds for a lawsuit if you were terminated. I would also talk to your manager and look further into this. I don't think it is something to quit over, unless there are not guidelines for discipline. Good luck.
  13. by   mattsmom81
    I agree with those who strongly urge you to try to resolve this personally with the doctor and a mediator, honestly apologize for offending her, explain your side, you didn't know who she was, no ID, HIPAA laws, etc (ALL our docs must wear picture ID's now)...as a transplanted Yankee in the south, I was also told my manner is a bit abrasive and I am a bit too mouthy. Only you in your heart knows for sure if you should work on this. Is the doctor taking this too far? Yes. I have run into docs like this before too. If you are a good nurse your bosses should not bow to the whim of a doctor in a tiff....if they do you may have legal rights.

    Good luck to you...and hope you can resolve this easily.
  14. by   Tweety
    You've recieved some good advice here.

    I can't believe though you got a final warning. That seems extreme. I'm a bit sensitive and if I got written up because of an incident like that I'd be angry. If we got written up every time a doc thought us rude we'd all be fired, or we'd be going backwards to the days when docs walked on water.

    I had a doc make a complaint about me once, called me arrogant, etc. It's a long story. But administration talked to me about and everyone agreed the doc was over-reacting. Just because I have a brain and want to be talked to intelligently doesn't make me arrogant.

    Anyway, good luck! If you ever see her again, I would causually stop her and clear the air.

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