Nurses and doctors...

  1. Hi,
    I am a senior nursing student that will be graduating in May. I just wanted to have your input on what I have been observing in clinicals... It just amazes me how nurses cater to md's and even some interns. Now i'm not saying that nurses should be mean or be nasty to md's but if an md can't even bother to say good morning or afternoon before asking a question then I have learned all the wrong things growing up.
    I have seen nurses get up from their chairs for md's that didin't even ask for a chair. I have seen nurses say good morning to md's that have walked on the floor and never bother to stick their noses up from the patient charts. Worse I have seen md's act like they didn't even hear the nurse say hi. I have seen md's walk without say hi to anyone, sit at a computer, couldn't figure out how to manage the comp but nurse so and so comes running to offer her services. And I can sit here and add to the list. I have seen these things throughout my rotations at different hospitals...
    Can someone please explain this general fear of md's? Is there something that I am missing? Is there a penalty?
    Sorry it was so long...
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   witnurse
    I have been in nursing for 33 years. I have worked in many different hospitals from small community hospitals to large university hospitals. I have seen the unfortunate behavior you are talking about it. Not so much lately. Collaborative practice is alive and well in New Hampshire. I will be interested to see others responses.
  4. by   zacarias
    It is frustrating isn't it to see nurses cater to docs this way. It is not everywhere trust me. Are you in smalltown USA? In large teaching hospitals in the Northwest, you will find nurses and doctors (from interns to attendings) are pretty lateral.
    I work at a medium-size hospital in a semirural area and had a hard time when I first got here because of the nurses behavior. I will not give a doc the time of day if he doesn't give me the proper respect, you know?
    If you feel you deserve respect as a nurse (and you do), then I would consider moving to a progressive metropolitan city and work at a teaching hospital with young docs and med students. The majority of folks coming through med schools these days are taught and expected to treat nurses as invaluable members of the team.
    I'll never forget the time a doctor had gone to visit a patient (waiting for a lung) and I get a call with the doctor in a panic saying, "Zach, can you come quick the patient is having trouble breathing!" LOL
  5. by   BETSRN
    Quote from nursing 101
    Hi,
    I am a senior nursing student that will be graduating in May. I just wanted to have your input on what I have been observing in clinicals... It just amazes me how nurses cater to md's and even some interns. Now i'm not saying that nurses should be mean or be nasty to md's but if an md can't even bother to say good morning or afternoon before asking a question then I have learned all the wrong things growing up.
    I have seen nurses get up from their chairs for md's that didin't even ask for a chair. I have seen nurses say good morning to md's that have walked on the floor and never bother to stick their noses up from the patient charts. Worse I have seen md's act like they didn't even hear the nurse say hi. I have seen md's walk without say hi to anyone, sit at a computer, couldn't figure out how to manage the comp but nurse so and so comes running to offer her services. And I can sit here and add to the list. I have seen these things throughout my rotations at different hospitals...
    Can someone please explain this general fear of md's? Is there something that I am missing? Is there a penalty?
    Sorry it was so long...
    There will always be wimpy nurses who won't require anyone to give them respect. Consider that their problem. Nurses do this to themselves. Just concentrate on NOT being like that. If you command respect for yourself as a practitioner and treat others the same, you'll be fine.
  6. by   nursing 101
    Quote from zacarias
    It is frustrating isn't it to see nurses cater to docs this way. It is not everywhere trust me. Are you in smalltown USA? In large teaching hospitals in the Northwest, you will find nurses and doctors (from interns to attendings) are pretty lateral.
    I work at a medium-size hospital in a semirural area and had a hard time when I first got here because of the nurses behavior. I will not give a doc the time of day if he doesn't give me the proper respect, you know?
    If you feel you deserve respect as a nurse (and you do), then I would consider moving to a progressive metropolitan city and work at a teaching hospital with young docs and med students. The majority of folks coming through med schools these days are taught and expected to treat nurses as invaluable members of the team.
    I'll never forget the time a doctor had gone to visit a patient (waiting for a lung) and I get a call with the doctor in a panic saying, "Zach, can you come quick the patient is having trouble breathing!" LOL
    I am in sunny town Miami! A very BIG city! Maybe it's the southern way!
  7. by   LPN_mn
    I have the feeling that since you are in Florida it is the southern way. I was reared in the south and now live in Minnesota. I am amazed at the people who show little or no respect for others. I have been quilty of offering my chair to a doctor who didn't ask for it and the look of shock on his face was priceless. I don't think that the nurses are scared of the Dr. it is just a sign of respect. My generation especially was taught to show respect to people in authority. Not to say that I don't stand up for myself when needed because I do but when you are taught a certain way it is hard to move away from that teaching. Try not to judge these nurses to harshly it is probably the way they were taught.
  8. by   dbsn00
    One of my nursing instructors was extremely classy southern woman in her late 60's who was also married to a MD. She told us some stories how early in her career nurses were expected to treat the docs with kid gloves & basically cater to them (her husband said that he was also taught in school how the nurse's role was to cater to the doc). She was amazed at the changes she saw over her career in the way that nurses began to take on a more vital role & become more assertive with the docs (she loved it). She always stressed that we were also professionals, to never just give up our seat to a doc (she really had thing about that-there must of been some incident in her career), question anything that needs to be questioned & to treat them like professional co-workers, not "demi-gods" (her quote, not mine). If you want to be respected as a professional, be assertive & command it. I hate it when I see nurses act overly accomodating or just weirded out talking to a doc - those are the nurses the docs usually treat like crap, although there are just some that are downright nasty people all around no matter what - you just try to make your encounter with them as brief as possible!
  9. by   kar212
    Grrrrr. This is one of my pet peeves! A nurse I used to work with who had been a nurse for over 40 years told me that back in the day, when a doctor came to the nurse's station, you were expected to give up your chair and run and get the doctor some coffee! Well, I don't know if this was actually expected, but probably encouraged.
    If a doctor doesn't appear receptive, I don't bother to say hi. If they appear friendly, then I'm friendly. I'm always respectful, but I don't kiss anybody's heiney!
  10. by   tiredfeetED
    Quote from kar212
    Grrrrr. This is one of my pet peeves! A nurse I used to work with who had been a nurse for over 40 years told me that back in the day, when a doctor came to the nurse's station, you were expected to give up your chair and run and get the doctor some coffee! Well, I don't know if this was actually expected, but probably encouraged.
    If a doctor doesn't appear receptive, I don't bother to say hi. If they appear friendly, then I'm friendly. I'm always respectful, but I don't kiss anybody's heiney!
    That reminds me of the ED doc (as a joke) gave a verbal order for coffee..the nurse came back with some coffee put on his station and then twirled her finger in it and stated "Here is your coffee nice and Sweet"
  11. by   mugwump
    I've only worked one unit in 5 years as my career as a nurse, Most of the doctors we (the nurses) get along fine with, only a couple who are difficult, I do notice that the ones we see all the time we are more personable with. Look at vacation pictures ask how kids and spouses are doing, I have been known to politly offer a doctor another chair so I can sit and chart. We feel free to question their orders (not to say we know better but we didn't expect that or we would like this teach us your thought process) I do notice that we are much more (concise with doctors we aren't familiar with) we don't question as much (usually because it is a consult not withing our specialty)
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    Our nurse's station is small - when the docs come in the morning, some stand at the counter and some sit in the station . . .when they are there it is only polite to let them have a seat to sit in - on one demands it. When dietary comes to review the charts, I get up and let them have my seat. When the social worker comes to review a chart in order to help a patient, I get up. This is only good manners.

    I work in a small rural hospital . . . for the most part the docs and nurses get along fine. Everyone has tiffs now and then - even the nurses with each other and/or the CNA's at times have "issues".

    Such is life and making generalizations that docs and nurses don't get along is, in my experience, not my experience.

    Maybe back in the day when there was a "handmaiden" mentality . . . those nurses might be a tad touchy about offering a seat to another person in a small nurse's station where there aren't enough seats for everyone.

    Live and let live . . .

    steph
  13. by   Peg804
    I work in a busy ED, here we work side by side with the docs and pa's, no one is any better than anyone else. The docs will give up a chair the nurses of they need to sit down to chart, and vice versa. If I am getting coffee, I will ask the doc it he or she wants one, and they will do the same for me. We work together-if MD is going to cafeteria for lunch, he will take orders from nurses to techs and sec, same for all. I think we work in a different atmosphere then the floors. My mother was a nursing supervisor for over 40 yrs (lots over) and the stories she tells about docs demanding chairs, throwing instruments, screaming, and even hitting nurses. Would never be tolerated today, She has even said that nurses and docs do not eat together. Not now, and not at my facility. Thank goodness.
  14. by   Tweety
    If I'm in the doctors area then I get up and offer them a seat if the need one. They are there to do a job, and it's my responsibility to cooperate and collaborate. Sometimes the unit is a bit unorganized and chaotic and the docs need a little guidance and assistance to help them get the information they need, nothing wrong with a little manners to assist them.

    I've also seen the flip side of the coin, nurses who treat interns and residents like 2nd class citazens and who don't give an MD the time of day.

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