Nurse manhandled by doctor

  1. 7
    Hey guys remember how I was dreading coming to work on Monday? I'm starting to wish I'd called in! Sorry this is a long post!

    I've seen doctors verbally abuse nurses, seen them throw tantrums and swear at everyone. Have never seen anyone get physical on a nurse until today.

    Well today I could not believe the disgusting behaviour of one doctor.

    We had patient who had surgery with a very difficult airway who haemorrhaged. It was awful, patient thrashing around, only two of us nurses and a nursing student who were trying to keep him from falling out of the bed. Nurse rushing around trying to bet airway stuff etc. Patient lost control of bowels, bladder very messy, situation. Then it got worse.

    The other nurse was next to the doctor trying to staunch bleeding from wound and keep patients arms from thrashing. I was at the end of the bed trying to manage the legs, nursing student next to me. Both of us saw to the whole thing.

    The doctor just lost the plot completely. He manhandled the nurse (dare I say assault!), grabbed her right arm and started yanking it towards him (we have no idea what he actually wanted from her something to do with airway assistance probably, no verbal communication here) in a violent manner. He nearly had her off her feet, really pulling her in towards in hard by her wrist with both his arms. It's had to describe this but his whole body was sort of involved with yanking her towards him . The look on his face was pretty scarey, nursing student said he looked as though 'he wanted to eat her alive', I 100% believe the man just lost his temper completely and took it out on her because he looked so incredibly angry.

    The nurse (victim) handled it well at the time, didn't yell at him (I probably would have) but when the crisis was over she was really in a state. Could not stand, had to sit with her head down. She had to go home early which I encouraged her to do.

    I told her I witnessed the entire incident, that whatever she wanted to do about it I will verify because I saw the whole thing. She reported it to our CNC. CNC's response to this abuse was pretty much 'heat of the moment', 'patient comes first'. You need to speak with the doctor about it yourself'.'Just monitor your wrist and if it's injured we'll take it up further. No mention of incident reports, documenting this assault.

    Ok so it was a crisis. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR PHYSICAL INTIMIDATION! How on earth are we to focus appropriately in this situation if doctors are going to manhandle us, potentially cause us injury and give us all post traumatic stress disorder? How is this good for the patient?I was so angry all day I too left early to see a staff counsellor because I could just not cope with any more crap today at work. I needed to let it all out instead of taking it home and having my workplace problems affect my relationship like it's been doing of late.

    Before I left I filed a report on the whole thing. Instead of an incident report I filled out a risk register report. The reason being is that our CNC deals with all the incident reports and I don't want anyone no matter what their status handling this if they think 'it's ok, heat of the moment'. I strongly believe his behavior put every nurse in that room at risk because he was just out of control and it put the patient at risk because we weren't fully focused on the patient.

    If this doctor had of apologised afterwards it wouldn't have changed me reporting him, but it would have made a huge difference to how we all felt the rest of the day.

    And what a great experience for the poor nursing student. Afterwards she asked me is this is acceptable and everyday practice!

    Anyway feel better now for a vent. Anyone else have some similar experiences out there?
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 29, '08

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  2. 92 Comments...

  3. 10
    Disgusting, horrifying, totally unacceptable. This doc is a criminal.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 29, '08
    Melinurse, Jessy_RN, nuangel1, and 7 others like this.
  4. 14
    Make sure the nurse files a WC claim and gets to a PCP to document the injury. No matter how small, nothing gets response faster than an organization having to put out money for injuries sustained on the job. She should also file a police report, just to have it on file.

    I don't care what the heat of the moment is, the days of dragging people around stopped with the cavemen. It is well past time for any employee to be above the law. If someone did that outside I am sure the police would have been called.

    Criminals do not belong having access to sharp implements when they have such anger management problems either. Do you feel safe knowing he got away with this behavior, I would not.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 29, '08
    Melinurse, Jessy_RN, wooh, and 11 others like this.
  5. 6
    Absolutely unacceptable. If he loses control like that he is unable to think clearly enough to help the patient. He's unlikely to get the assistance he needs from other staff either. He's a liability waiting to happen.

    Did anyone discuss calling the police?
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 29, '08
    wooh, SmilingBluEyes, lindarn, and 3 others like this.
  6. 8
    They need to do a tox screen on this dude!
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 29, '08
    wooh, Bluehair, canoehead, and 5 others like this.
  7. 4
    Quote from canoehead

    Did anyone discuss calling the police?
    I let the nurse know that if she wanted to call the police then I would be more than happy to be a witness.

    The nurse involved is new to our department and country and her English isn't 100%. Today she seemed really confused on what to do because everyone was telling her different things. I thought the best thing for her was to go home and have a think about it because the last thing she needs is pressure put on her.

    If it were me I would definitely be calling the police. I don't care what management or the CNC would have to say about it because what he did was illegal.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 29, '08
    wooh, icunurse42066, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
  8. 8
    This is assault and the doc should be in jail! Simple.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 29, '08
    wooh, SmilingBluEyes, icunurse42066, and 5 others like this.
  9. 7
    Last night I got no sleep at all. I just keep thinking of what happened and the look on that mans face. I'm not at work today, yes I called in sick right now i'm in no fit state to care for anyone.

    I'm still pretty upset about the whole thing and can't let it go. I feel such guilt because it happened right in front of me and I was just powerless to do anything to help her! I wanted to scream at him that what he did was wrong, to get his filthy hands off her but because the patient was in danger I had to just push it out of my mind and prioritise.

    How dare the CNC even say 'patient comes first' when it's clear from the whole scenario that we did in fact put the patient first before the poor nurse?

    If management think this will be swept under the carpet with all the other problems they ignore then think again. I'm taking this to my nurses union and am considering calling the police about it.

    Because if he gets away with this because it all happened in the 'heat of the moment' I think it sets a very dangerous precedent. When do we then draw the line between what's acceptable physical force for a doctor to use on a nurse? Doctors should be made to understand there is zero tolerance to violence to nurses.

    I know by making an issue out of this my position may be threatened. I have decided I'd rather not work for an organisation that doesn't support nurses right to work in a safe environment.

    I will also request that I never work with this particular doctor again. I don't trust him and if another situation occurs I don't want to be a casualty from his irrational, violent behaviour.
    Last edit by Scrubby on Sep 29, '08
    wooh, MUUGUZI, icunurse42066, and 4 others like this.
  10. 3
    Quote from traumaRUs
    This is assault and the doc should be in jail! Simple.
    I wish it were that simple. Unfortunately I have the feeling he'll get away with no more than an insincere apology.
    wooh, MUUGUZI, and lindarn like this.
  11. 4
    Make sure the woman gets checked out by her doctor ASAP to be sure she didn't sustain an injury.

    I'm glad you made report of the situation. Your manager is a moron to think this is even remotely okay. It's not okay for this docotr or anyone for that matter to assault you. Period.

    I would urge the nurse to file a complaint as well. She can also still call the police if she so desires. I would also alert HR to the situation immediately.
    wooh, SmilingBluEyes, Scrubby, and 1 other like this.

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