Has anyone here ever put a doctor in their place?

  1. I keep reading here that nurses are constantly walked on and berated by doctors. That doctors seem to have a God complex and see themselves as better and all omniscient as opposed to the nurses who they seem to percieve as lowly and worthless. Well, has anyone here ever stood up to a doctor thats been treating them like dirt? If so, what took place and were the consequences good or bad?
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  2. 58 Comments

  3. by   PANurseRN1
    There was one doc who was griping about me behind my back. Just the usual picayune stuff; I was new to the dept. and wasn't doing things precisely how he liked them.

    I got sick of hearing about it, so I went up to him one day and said, "Are we having a problem?" Of course he denied it. I said, "Good. Because if we were, I would hope that you would address your concerns to me as a fellow professional instead of going to my co-workers and complaining about me."

    That was the end of that.

    When a doc is having a temper-tantrum (which is rare, thankfully), my technique is to stop what I'm doing and just stare at him/her. That also is an effective way to stop the ranting right in its tracks.
  4. by   ava'smomRN
    i will share an experience from my externship. I was in the PACU and plenty of times the resident anesthisiologist who would give us report would sometimes rush through report, try and make you rush to take report, or be bold enough to say call me when you are ready and would walk away. I learned from almost all the nurses in the PACU that all you have to say is, " no I am not ready yet, give me a few minutes" Or just remind them that it is our responsibilty to assess the patient and his/her condition with anesthesia at the bedside incase theres a problem, and its their job to leave after the patient has been assessed and is stable. With that said the resident would usally change his/ her attitude and come around.



    i say with any case if someone needs to be put in their place, as long as they are incorrect and I am right and its for the good of my patient, yes I will speak up and defend myself and my patient. But of course always being respectful and professional.
  5. by   Jolie
    I have had the good fortune to work mostly with doctors who respected and treated nurses well.

    There has been one notable exception, though. He was an attending in the NICU where where I was working as a staff nurse. I never cared for him or his attitude, but had great respect for his abilities. One day, he made an error that resulted in harm to a patient. I discovered the error and reported it to his partner who was rounding that day. The partner corrected things, spoke to the parents, and that would have been the end of it, except the original doctor came in the next day and tried to cover things up by altering the chart. Unfortunately for him, I discovered that, too. We had it out (in private, with another RN as a witness). I never trusted the man after that day, and neither did any of the other staff members, all of whom knew about the incident.

    I have no problem with speaking frankly to a physician, but do believe that it should be done in private, as we would want if another staff member had a problem with us.
  6. by   banditrn
    I really like most of the doc's I worked with over the years - I treated them well and vice versa. I don't think treating someone with respect means letting them walk all over you.

    There was this one surgeon - he had a reputation for being a bully, and a lot of nurses hated, or were afraid of him. He had a very hot temper.

    He and I had made our peace, and I no longer paid much attention to his tirades - one nite tho he became angry at one of the new, male nurses in our unit, and came stomping over. I could see what he had in mind, so I blocked him, and every time he tried to go around me, I moved in front of him. It must have looked like we were doing some kind of weird dance!! When he realized he wasn't going to get around me to the other nurse, he turned around and stomped out.:wink2:
  7. by   txspadequeenRN
    I had to call a doc late at night once for a resident that was declining and the doc began to scream at me about the time of day it was and how he didnt want to be bothered. He claimed that we should keep the calls to a minimun and he had received enough calls from my facility already. He said " I want to make sure you understand this are you there".. I said "Oh yes sir Im here, just writing everything down you are saying ..if you can say it I can write it". That was all it took ...I got my orders and he never talked like a ARSE again to me at least...lol
  8. by   Tweety
    I think you're generalizing. Nurses are not constantly being walked on and berated by doctors and doctors don't have God complexes. Remember we come here to vent about our experiences and it's skewed a bit towards the negative.

    That said, there is the occasional problem doc with an ego. I had one doc take an hour to call me back and tell me over the phone "if you're going to get my ass out of bed at 2am you'd best be waiting by the phone" (I was off in a patient's room when he finally called back). My answer was "if you would call back in a timely manner I would be.....now about the patient's enterocutaneous fistula that just developed..........".
  9. by   Blee O'Myacin
    compare nursing to waitressing. He got put in his place. Nothing like being chewed out by a staff nurse and having two attendings applaud.

    I have too much self respect to be treated like dirt from anyone - from someone in the transfer center having a bad day to an anesthesiologist trying to get past our scrub sink without washing because bacteria doesn't grow in a hostile environment!!
  10. by   TazziRN
    Yes, and thank God most doctors do not have to put in their place. There was a cardiologist who would complain about me to my coworkers, always about things he thought I was doing wrong but that I'd had a reason for doing the way I had. I would hear about his comments later. One day I'd had enough, and when he came out of the cath lab I cornered him. I told him flat out I was tired of him talking to everyone but me, and that if he had a problem with my practice he needed to direct his comments at me. By the time I was done he was blushing and shuffling his feet. Never did it to me again and he treated me with respect after that.
  11. by   Haunted
    Sure, I would bring things to their attention quietly, privately and without going on the offense as one professional to another. However I don't suffer fools gladly when they are out to do a character assassination on you. I also stick up for my peers if we have bullies on the warpath.

    It's always a drag when you have to confront someone.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I do not "put people in their place" because, well, just where would that be?

    I have however, been forced to take certain people (doctors AND nurses) to task when they have treated me poorly or acted out of line. There are oh, so many good books about self-assertion and dealing with difficult people. I highly recommend anyone having trouble in this area be sure to check them out.
  13. by   Otessa
    YES.

    I did this as a new nurse(first year)
    Was to round with an MD- I did-went into a patient's room-some labs weren't there from the day shift-he proceeded to berate me and call me stupid, etc in front of co-workers and family and patient.

    I walked out(mostly so he wouldn't see me cry)

    I went out and called the Hospital Coordinator and then my boss and then wrote out what happened. i said that I wouldn't round with him again until he formally apologized and if he didn't I would lodge a formal complaint(ballsy)-this was not new for this MD to treat nurses this way and I had seen it for too many years as a CNA prior to becoming a nurse.

    It took him 2 weeks but he apologized and I NEVER had any other problems with him again-this was in 1992......
  14. by   ChocoholicRN
    Good for you Otessa!! Not only did you report this doctor, but you did it immediately after the confrontation ocurred so everything was still fresh in your mind. Glad to hear you didn't have to deal with his attitude again!!

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