How to handle the docs

  1. Hello. I am not a nurse yet, but I have read on numerous occasions that some doctors can be really rude to nurses. I have a question. Has anyone politely told that doctor something like "Dr.(insert name here) with all due respect, please don't talk to me that way. If it wasn't for the nurses, your job would be alot harder and you would make alot less money because of the time you would have to spend with each patient, not to mention the added stress. Let's respectfully work together."

    Or is that way off the wall?
    Do you stand up for yourselves, or just take it?
    Let me know some stories. Thanks.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from EJM
    Hello. I am not a nurse yet, but I have read on numerous occasions that some doctors can be really rude to nurses. I have a question. Has anyone politely told that doctor something like "Dr.(insert name here) with all due respect, please don't talk to me that way. If it wasn't for the nurses, your job would be alot harder and you would make alot less money because of the time you would have to spend with each patient, not to mention the added stress. Let's respectfully work together."

    Or is that way off the wall?
    Do you stand up for yourselves, or just take it?
    Let me know some stories. Thanks.
    No one likes to be put in their place. A doc who is rude is probably not going to react well to that, and one who is not rude doesn't need to hear it.

    I always treat people respectfully whether they are a doc or not. Interestingly enough, the toughest docs I've worked with treat me nicely and often take time to explain, answer, etc.

    Sometimes people will be curt or short--on the job or not. I'd encourage you to plan to just blow it off and let it go. Trying to teach someone manners will probably never be a part of a nurse's job and will almost certainly get you into trouble.

    Good thought, though. (Don't worry about it! Most docs are people too.)
  4. by   blueyesue
    I understand. Thank you.
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from EJM
    "Dr.(insert name here) with all due respect, please don't talk to me that way. If it wasn't for the nurses, your job would be alot harder and you would make alot less money because of the time you would have to spend with each patient, not to mention the added stress. Let's respectfully work together."
    EJM, I think "Dr. please don't talk to me like that" is perfectly appropriate. The long explaination is not necessary, is not totally true and before you'd be able to get it all out of your mouth the Dr. would be long gone.

    I have told doctors, "please don't be rude or I'm walking away" it works too!
  6. by   sharann
    You mean there IS somehing that is not a part of a nurses job?
    Oh well. I am all for the reply "Please do not talk to me that way" or something similar is fair to say when being spoken to rudely or yelled at. We can be assertive without being walked all over.
  7. by   weetziebat
    I try to be friendly and polite to everyone I work with, and find that there have been really very few nasty docs. But, years ago, I did work with a doc who just plain thought his you-know-what smelled like roses.

    Once we were working together in the ER and he said something downright rude to me (that truly made me look like an idiot - and totally uncalled for), right in front of the patient. I didn't say a word, waiting for the patient to leave. When he did I closed the ER door and said "I need to talk with you." No response, so I continued. "Don't you ever talk to me like that again. That was completely uncalled for, and if you have a problem you can discuss it with me in private. Do you understand?"

    I really didn't care what he did cause I knew I was right and wasn't gonna take no nonsense from that little twirp. He just sat there, continuing to write in the chart and never said one word. Wondered for a moment what I should do - couldn't just walk away at that point - so I said "I assume from your silence that you understand. Goodnight" then walked back to the nurses station. Was sooo glad that no one else came into the ER that night!

    From then on he basically ignored me, except to say what was absolutely necessary - and I did the same. When I left that job to move overseas, about a year later, couldn't believe it when he asked me to please be sure to send him some recipes from there.
  8. by   grimmy
    [font="book antiqua"]in the or we work side-by-side with physicans every single day. many i call by their first names, usually because they ask me to do so. i also answer many of their pages while they're scrubbed in. may i say that i can usually identify a nurse on the phone immediately, but with a few notable exceptions. why? because they sound very timid, especially new nurses - almost apologetic. other times they ramble off the problem so fast with as little pertinent information as possible. when i can break into the litany, and say that i'm answering for the md, i'm not the md, they are flustered. yes, you need to be brief and focused. most physicians will appreciate that. salient information is best. over time i've come to know how best to relay information, or where to refer you. i've also learned that every negative response by a doctor is not about me. taking it all personally is a) selfish, and b) a waste of your precious energy. certainly it is unacceptable to be rude to a colleague. but on some level you'll have to bring it all back to the most important person: the patient. if you can reinforce that issue when you feel attacked, it will serve you well.
  9. by   TypicalFish
    Quote from EJM
    Hello. I am not a nurse yet, but I have read on numerous occasions that some doctors can be really rude to nurses. I have a question. Has anyone politely told that doctor something like "Dr.(insert name here) with all due respect, please don't talk to me that way. If it wasn't for the nurses, your job would be alot harder and you would make alot less money because of the time you would have to spend with each patient, not to mention the added stress. Let's respectfully work together."

    Or is that way off the wall?
    Do you stand up for yourselves, or just take it?
    Let me know some stories. Thanks.

    To be honest, there really aren't that many bad-attitude docs anymore, and the ones that are won't change their ways, and would respond in a very negative way to the above statement. You have to find your own style of dealing with difficult people-there are many besides docs in a hopspital setting. I have seen a couple of nurses give back, so to speak, but they were women who had been nurses for a long time at the facility who had impeccable reputations as excellent nurses. I've worked OR, OB and now ACCU; I tend to be the one to let it roll off my back, let them have their tantrum, and then ask for what I need. Sometimes no reaction is the best reaction.
  10. by   Tweety
    I agree with the short statement approach...."don't talk to me like that", "whey you say things like that it makes me feel............"....."this conversation is now over...."(I've had to use that one once.)

    Usually, for the most part I just ignore them and get to the root of the problem. "I understand......" "that would make me angry too, I'll fix the problem..........". Sometime docs don't mean to be rude, but are tired and stressed and just letting off some steam at a situation and I try not to take that personally. Sometimes they have some legitimate complaints and aren't expressing it appropriately and you need to get to the bottom of that.
  11. by   unknown99
    Where I work, for the most part, the physicians respect the nurses. There are that few, however, who can get pretty nasty. One doc who can get real nasty, well, we write him up everytime. He is nice for awhile, then backslides. Another doc will call or show up on the unit ranting and raving all the time. Other nurses are afraid to say anything to him. Well, when I first started there 5 years ago, I did not know him from Adam. He came to the unit looking for a chart that someone else was using. He started ranting and raving. I politely told him that there are others involved in the patients care who also needed to use the chart and that he could wait his turn. He huffed and puffed and told me I was not a very nice person. I just laughed and told him that I give as good as I get. He stormed off. He came back 1/2 hour later and apologized to me. Now, whenever he comes to the unit he makes sure I am not there before he rants and raves. When ever I am, he just says "You know I love ya!!"
  12. by   Daytonite
    Totally agree with DutchgirlRN. The doc will be long gone after your 10th word. KISS (keep it short and simple) is always in order.

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