It's Your Fault

  1. A cardiologist stated "It's your fault he died" to the ICU nurses because we had no empty (staffed) bed when the patient needed transferred to ICU from the floor. The patient came to us and coded 20 minutes after arriving in ICU and he did not survive (so he had an EF of 15% to begin with...it was still our fault he died, ya know).

    The cardiologist came to the unit (after the code, of course) and stated it was our fault that the patient died; we should take SIX patients each if that's what it takes...if a patient needs to come to ICU we should just keep taking them regardless of the nurseatient ratio....

    I think I'm burning out fast here.....don't know how much longer I can take this s***, ya know? And we have signs all over the hospital now regarding "Service Excellence." Angry-looking patients glaring out at you from these posters with the admonition "Letting them know we care is by showing them we really do." These posters are in the hallways, in the cafeteria (life-size poster!), everywhere there are these patients glaring at you.... ACK. I can't stand it.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   donmurray
    My nursing diagnosis...A severe case of a**hole!, sadly all too common among our medical colleagues. This pandemic, persistent affliction does not appear to affect the carrier, but is only too obvious to those with whom they have contact. Counselling has little effect, as the carrier is often incapable of perceiving that anything is amiss, believing that colleagues can only benefit from their rapier wit, and insight. A vote of no confidence can occasionally inhibit the more florid symptoms, but more often, the carrier must be tolerated, if ignoring entirely is not possible.
    Don't let them grind you down!
  4. by   vicki444
    i've noticed when the finger pointing starts,as happened to you,it is a case of denial similiar to the alcoholic when sHE yells "it's your fault i'm drinking" Beings,the doctor is human too,sHE has had a bad day,made a mistake,or delayed in the reaction time to the illness of the patient resulting in harm or death. Society doestn't EXPECT a doctor to do that,therefore it look's 10x as bad when the ball has dropped
    in front of him/her and they didn't catch it. Come to US,we have ICU openings,with bonus relocation,and a recent contract offer of 19% over the next 11months,in the beautiful state of Oregon.
  5. by   oramar
    MDs in Western Pa are the most arrogant, egotistical jerks in the universe. Please do not internalize this. I have had them blame me for things beyond my control. Do they not know that their crappy treatment of nurses is like number 3 on the list of reasons why nurses left the bedside? They know it and they do not care. Take your beautiful triplets and go to some progressive state where RNs are not treated like body servants.
  6. by   kaycee
    Zee_RN

    Sounds like your in the West Penn Allegheny Health system. Those crazy posters are all over where I work too. Scaring little old patients when they see the life size posters in the hall. Who are all those people they ask?
    Anyway sounds like that angry cardiologist needs to redirect his/her anger to those that are really responsible. Like the big wigs of the system that pull in big bucs but refuse to do anything that would not attract but retain the nurses they already have.
    Hang in there it's certainly not the nurses fault. If you guys took that kind of pt load he/she was referring to there would certainly be more pt's at risk then that poor pt. that did'nt make it.
  7. by   Zee_RN
    Yep, kaycee, I work for WPAHS, out in the eastern suburbs. And this particular cardiologist is well known for his jerkness. It's just getting harder and harder to take with all the stuff going on. We are now down 11 fulltime RNs in our 18-bed ICU. Just last week we were *only* short by 9 RNs but 2 more have just moved on--one to Radiology and one to join our in-house registry. Coming close to the breaking point, myself.
  8. by   mustangsheba
    Sounds like the only way they can justify calling it an ICU is the acuity of the patients, not the care provided. Some managers just don't seem to get that. Intensive Care means nurses should have no more than 3 and usually no more than 2 patients. You could do better elsewhere. Good luck.
  9. by   kaycee
    Funny how the two largest hospitals in the WPAHS have been code red lately with supposedly no critical care beds. That's how they broadcast it to the general public and even to those other hospitals in the system that have to pick up the pt's they can't take. We all know there are plenty of beds just no nurses. Maybe that should be on the front page of the Post Gazette instead of what size signs should be allowed in the city. Sometimes it just seems like a lost cause.
  10. by   fiestynurse
    He's projecting his own feelings of inadequacy at not being able to save the patient. Let it bounce off!
  11. by   Tiara
    Why do nurses have to feel responsible for absolutely everything in the hospital? This is why they are leaving. If you don't have the staff or the administrative support to take care of patients appropriately and in a timely manner, then the consequences won't be pretty. What happened in your ICU is a perfect example of blame the nurses and scapegoating. I think I would have told Dr. A.Hole to take it to administration.
  12. by   CEN35
    i would have told dr a hole to walk out now, before there is a mass exodus! tell him...........hey theres the bedside? nobody is standing in the way to keep you from helping out (hands on) with care!
  13. by   Dplear
    You actually let this ******* (yes I said the A word) doctor talk to you like that? You should have told him right there to stop it and that you WILL NOT tolerate him saying something like that. DO NOT let him bully you. Be more aggressive in defending yourself and your co-workers. Do not take this type of behavior by anyone. I have told docs I would not accept that behavior from my kids and I sure as hell will not accept it from them when they strat to get accusatory.
  14. by   hoolahan
    I don't know who is worse, cardiologists or neursurgeons! Many doc in these depts, but certainly not all, are a-holes!

    I remember once in out Pedi CT ICU, we coded a child for over an hour, cracked the chest, tried everything possible to save that child! When the cardiac surgeon came in, he said to the surg fellow who was the smartest doc I have ever ever worked with, in front of everyone, "YOU killed this child!" And turned and stomped off. This fellow actually broke down and sobbed. It was horrible.

    So, telling them off is ideal, but after a code, emotions, of everyone, are running high, it's not always the best time, but I would follow up with a letter, have all the nurses sign it who were there, ask for an apology IN WRITING, and submit copies to you manager, risk manager, emphasize how this is verbal harrasment, and to the Medical Director. I did that once, a resident told the doc the pacemaker stopped capturing b/c I had not secured the swan. HELLO, the chest was open, and this stupid doc was manipulating the heart, THAT is why the pacer lost capture, it wasn't the first time they had repacked the chest and lost capture, like WHEN are you going to put in the PPM?? Anyway, long story short, I c/o to the surgical director in writing. HE apologized profusely to me, he knows I am a conscientious nurse, but I never got a written apology. He did have the resident apologize publically, in the middle of the unit to me, which felt pretty good for a change.

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