HELP!

  1. 1 I can't say too much because I don't want anyone from work reading this but I've just been verbally assaulted by a surgeon.

    Basic story: Surgeon had poor behaviour even bragging about swearing at and insulting a nurse. I decided that I had to say something an so I spoke to them in private and rather than discussing the problem they went completely ballistic, accused me of pointing at them and decided to intimidate me by pointing their finger right in my face and threatening my job, threatening to report me to the head of surgical department etc. I'm just standing there flabbagasted.

    really I should have laughed and offered to ring the head of surgery myself and interrupt his lunch break because his junior surgeon is having a hissy fit because of the nasty nurse. But instead I asked them to calm down, was ignored and it got worse. At this point I had a witness (thank goodness) who saw the screaming, finger pointing, me asking for them to stop. To be honest I was afraid for my personal safety.

    Usually I don't get rattled because it's rarely personal, people yell because they are frustrated at lack of equipment etc but this was really the actions of an irrational person who clearly has issues.

    So I walked away and basically just lost it, cried for hours, had to get counselling and go home early. My managers are aware of this, one of them spoke to them about it and their response was that they was joking and was surprised that I took it so seriously.

    Any advice here? I'm dreading working with them again.
    Last edit by Scrubby on Jul 30, '09
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  3. Visit  Scrubby profile page

    About Scrubby

    Scrubby has '6' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Operating Room Nursing'. From 'Australia'; Joined Oct '07; Posts: 1,392; Likes: 2,114.

    19 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  SlightlyMental_RN profile page
    1
    :icon_hug: So sorry this happened to you! You said that one manager spoke to the...shall we call him "The Jerk." What about a different manager? Would they be able to support you better? What about your co-workers? I'm sure you're not the first victim of "The Jerk."

    I know that you're dreading working with "The Jerk" again, so here's my advice: Go in there with your head held high. Look him right in the eyes and give him a little smile that says, "I'm here and you'd better get used to it, Buster." Don't let him know that you're afraid, because that's what bullies like "The Jerk" thrive on. Get allies. Don't allow yourself to get cornered by "The Jerk" again. There's safety in numbers. Good luck!
    Scrubby likes this.
  5. Visit  Scrubby profile page
    2
    I've writen a letter of complaint about this, this is beyond a hissy fit this is verbal assault. I want The Jerk to understand that you can't get away with intimidating nurses. The hospital is cracking down on bad behaviour, and funnily enough the head of the department he threatened to complain to me about is one of the people in charge of dealing with negative behaviours.

    After a discussion with my boss, apparantly this isn't the first complaint about this particular person.

    I get so annoyed with myself, why do I have to cry like a baby? I guess I don't go to work expecting to be verbally assaulted.
    leslie :-D and AnnieNHRN like this.
  6. Visit  Zana2 profile page
    1
    Scrubby,
    sorry this is happening to you. It is stressful enough without some people's ego trips. What goes around, comes around. Sounds like you can get support from your boss. keep your act together and don't let him get away with it. Good on you for speaking up, I'd like to work with someone like you. X
    Scrubby likes this.
  7. Visit  Virgo_RN profile page
    1
    You did the right thing by reporting the incident. Sometimes it takes establishing a pattern of behavior before anything is really done. By doing your part in reporting this incident, you are helping to establish the pattern of behavior. It may take a few more reported incidents before anything is done, but that is part of the process. Each person who had this same kind of interaction with this surgeon needs to report it. Eventually, it will catch up to him.

    In the meantime, don't be afraid to cry like a baby every once in a while, and to be strong the rest of the time. You're only human.
    Scrubby likes this.
  8. Visit  Jjo19 profile page
    1
    No one expects to go to work to be intimidated or verbally assaulted. It's only a joke if someone is laughing and clearly no one was. You did the right thing.

    Crying is an outlet when faced with an impossible situation. You were attacked by a co worker. He has a different education but he is still a co worker. You sound like you handled yourself very well. You remained calm and professional through the altercation. He was the one witnessed flying off the handle. The head of his department will definitely have something to say to him.

    Don't dread working with him again, maintain your professionalism. You may find that he reacts differently because someone finally had the courage to stand up to him and follow it through !!
    Scrubby likes this.
  9. Visit  Kayartea profile page
    9
    more than just reportingit you need to fill out a patient safety net (or whatever your hospital uses for reporting sentinal event and patient safety issues).


    the joint commission has issued an alert on bad behavior among health care professionals and announced that effective january 1, 2009 a code of conduct that defines acceptable and unacceptable behaviors will be required to address rude language and hostile behavior, intimidating and disruptive behaviors, verbal outbursts, refusing to perform assigned tasks or exhibiting uncooperative attitudes during routine activities all potentially leading to poor patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, errors that impact safety all of which do matter.
    they go on to say individuals in ‘positions of power’ who display behaviors like impatience with questions asked or the tone of voice is condescending along with the message when questions are asked undermine team effectiveness and can compromise safety and are overt and passive behaviors that are unprofessional and should not be tolerated.
    they go on to include refusal to answer questions, return phone calls or pages and the list of those involved in this behavior include administrators, support staff, pharmacists, therapists, physicians and nurses and both genders.
    the announcement does state that intimidating and disruptive behaviors are such a serious issue that, in addition to addressing it in the new standards will also be in the new sentinel event alert.


    their behavior interfered with your ability to do your job for the day and thus put your patients at risk, which is the joint commission's point. anything reported in patient safety net must be addressed by tptb and is reviewed by risk management. this kind of behavior needs to be looked at in this way, it is too easy for their dept. head to allow them to pass it off as joking, "boys will be boys, you know." that's how this behavior has been allowed to proliferate for so long. we now have the means to address it and the backing of the joint commission, and we need to use it. i know that things are better than they used to be, but we still have a ways to go, and this is a tool to use to achieve progress in being treated like professionals.

    Last edit by Kayartea on Jul 30, '09 : Reason: Correct typos
    leslie :-D, Tait, VivaLasViejas, and 6 others like this.
  10. Visit  vivacious1healer profile page
    1
    Quote from kayartea
    more than just reportingit you need to fill out a patient safety net (or whatever your hospital uses for reporting sentinal event and patient safety issues).


    the joint commission has issued an alert on bad behavior among health care professionals and announced that effective january 1, 2009 a code of conduct that defines acceptable and unacceptable behaviors will be required to address rude language and hostile behavior, intimidating and disruptive behaviors, verbal outbursts, refusing to perform assigned tasks or exhibiting uncooperative attitudes during routine activities all potentially leading to poor patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, errors that impact safety all of which do matter.
    they go on to say individuals in 'positions of power' who display behaviors like impatience with questions asked or the tone of voice is condescending along with the message when questions are asked undermine team effectiveness and can compromise safety and are overt and passive behaviors that are unprofessional and should not be tolerated.
    they go on to include refusal to answer questions, return phone calls or pages and the list of those involved in this behavior include administrators, support staff, pharmacists, therapists, physicians and nurses and both genders.
    the announcement does state that intimidating and disruptive behaviors are such a serious issue that, in addition to addressing it in the new standards will also be in the new sentinel event alert.


    their behavior interfered with your ability to do your job for the day and thus put your patients at risk, which is the joint commission's point. anything reported in patient safety net must be addressed by tptb and is reviewed by risk management. this kind of behavior needs to be looked at in this way, it is too easy for their dept. head to allow them to pass it off as joking, "boys will be boys, you know." that's how this behavior has been allowed to proliferate for so long. we now have the means to address it and the backing of the joint commission, and we need to use it. i know that things are better than they used to be, but we still have a ways to go, and this is a tool to use to achieve progress in being treated like professionals.


    thank you for this information....i am certainly going to reference this the next time i have to deal with an uncooperative and condescending resident that refuses to return my pages, and then gives me attitude when they finally do. our jobs as rns is hard enough, but this kind of behavior is completely unacceptable!

    to the op, file that grievance with hr regarding the doctor! and give yourself an extra hug for keeping your cool during and extremely stressful confrontation. not many could have done it!
    Scrubby likes this.
  11. Visit  leslie :-D profile page
    2
    personally scrubby, (and the following advice doesn't necessarily pertain to anyone) i'd be filing complaints to whoever would listen...
    non-emotionally of course.
    but i would go so far up that chain, including senior surgeons and even agencies that overlook their performance.
    maybe even consider if there is anything illegal he did, and file police report and/or legal consult.

    but that's me.
    i can relate to your frustration of breaking down (knowing i would probably react the same), so in order for me to regain a modicum of control, i would try the aforementioned.
    this idiot needs to know that you are that upset, and, you are a person that no one can disrespect and get away with it.

    thank you for standing up for your colleague.
    now it's time to grab the reins of control and fight back.
    do not let him tell anyone that he was joking.
    do not let this rest until you are satisfied.

    hugs to you, my friend.
    time to deal with the scum.

    leslie
    VivaLasViejas and Scrubby like this.
  12. Visit  anonymurse profile page
    0
    I don't take anything personally. At first it was a decision that took considerable will power to enforce. Now it's second nature. It took years for me. It'll take years for you. But it's worth it. It lets me find solutions that work.
  13. Visit  Hopeful, RN profile page
    0
    I'm sure your facility has a harassment policy. Check your employee handbook. I know you're talking about a surgeon because I have worked with them. Some have an arrogant attitude and think they can say or do whatever they want. I had a fellow nurse who had a surgeon throw a dirty scalpal at her in the OR because she though the nurse wasn't moving fast enough.

    Your harassment policy should state that it does not tolerate the harassment of any employee or non-employee by any other employee, customer, patient, vendor, or agency employee. This includes Doctors! You need to file a complaint or he will do it again. I wish you the best. Work should not be so stressful.
  14. Visit  Scrubby profile page
    1
    I'll give some more information.

    Five minutes after bragging about insulting this nurse (the med student looked disgusted but I'm not hoping they will back my story because they won't want to get involved) this person threw a couple of incontinence sheets at me. After hearing the disrespectful nurse story I assumed that they had decided to treat me the same way. They saw the look of annoyance on my face, chuckled and left the room. At this moment I knew that I had to say something or go through the rest of the day fuming over it which is not healthy. That's when I left the room and told them that this is the last time you ever throw something at me and insult nurses. Then they went ballistic, denied throwing the sheets and accused me of finger pointing.

    Perhaps my approach was a little confrontational. However, this does not justify the response I received and threats made against me..

    I have spoken with my union and decided to file an incident report. Although patient safety was not involved, what if there were no staff to cover me after being screamed at? Am I supposed to just quietly do my work after feeling my personal safety was threatened?

    In three days time there will be a meeting. How I'm going to sit there and not cry I don't know, I have to somehow be cool, calm and collected. I am going to tell this person that their reaction was so extreme that I felt fear that I was going to be physically assaulted. This may sound a little over the top but they were pointing their finger right in my face, invading my personal space and were totally irrational. From my experience angry people who cannot be reasoned with are capable of doing anything.

    After telling this to my nurse manager I was told that this isn't the first time that this particular person has had complaints made against them. I really hope that the nurse they insulted previously reported it. Because if it's already on record and they were spoken to about it, then their bragging about it will really show that they are a liability to the hospital.

    I will update in a few days time, thanks for sharing advice and listening.

    Oh and yes we have a very clear policy and bullying and harassment. We also have laws against assault including verbal.
    leslie :-D likes this.
  15. Visit  metal_m0nk profile page
    1
    Hoping for the best for you as you move toward a resolution.

    Hang in there!
    Scrubby likes this.


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