Reporting a Doctor

  1. Has anyone reported a doctor for being verbally agressive and abusive?? What was the outcome?

    I really don't want to go into TOO much detail with what happened because I am still so shaken up by it... but I had to call a doctor (per our stroke protocol) at 0030 this morning and I was belittled, he demeaned my character, and yelled at the top of his voice... I swear, all I was doing was following the stroke protocol which is to notify neurology UPON admission. I know in the situation, I was damned if I did, damned if I didn't... because if I didn't, he would have came in in the morning and complained that no one notified him.... so anyways, apparently this is "just how he can be" with getting phone calls at night. I am sorry but that answer is NOT acceptable. I have NEVER EVER treated someone like this, nor do I feel I shoudl EVER be treated the way I was.

    I want to report him. I have been told he's done this numerous times to other nurses... so when is it going to stop? It won't if nothing is said. I don't know where to begin though. SHould I talk with my manager first?

    THanks in advance!!

    Jenn
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   powernurse
    Quote from NurseWi_JennJenn
    Has anyone reported a doctor for being verbally agressive and abusive?? What was the outcome?

    I really don't want to go into TOO much detail with what happened because I am still so shaken up by it... but I had to call a doctor (per our stroke protocol) at 0030 this morning and I was belittled, he demeaned my character, and yelled at the top of his voice... I swear, all I was doing was following the stroke protocol which is to notify neurology UPON admission. I know in the situation, I was damned if I did, damned if I didn't... because if I didn't, he would have came in in the morning and complained that no one notified him.... so anyways, apparently this is "just how he can be" with getting phone calls at night. I am sorry but that answer is NOT acceptable. I have NEVER EVER treated someone like this, nor do I feel I shoudl EVER be treated the way I was.

    I want to report him. I have been told he's done this numerous times to other nurses... so when is it going to stop? It won't if nothing is said. I don't know where to begin though. SHould I talk with my manager first?

    THanks in advance!!

    Jenn


    Call him out on the CARPET!

    Yes talk to your manager, find out what the chain of command is in your facility.....then follow through to be sure it is addressed and not just dropped.

    I am a home care nurse working weekends and get this type of treatment from docs every weekend....once i had the doc on speaker b/c it took them so long to page him to the phone ...as soon as he came on he started yelling about how he had "better things to do that to take calls for problems with patients that should be sent to the ER"!!!!!
    the details are even more brutal than I can describe here.

    the patient swore they were changing docs ...... i reported him to my agency....from now on i am going to report to the hospitals as well.... it is uncalled for.... they knew becoming doctors involved after hours and call.... they need to show some professional curtesy to those of us who are working on the "front lines". :angryfire
  4. by   moonrose2u
    to protect yourself, your reputation, and your license. always start with the chain of command. even i fyou know in advance what the response will be from your manager, start w:uhoh21: ith that person. as you go up the chain of command, that is if you need to progress upward in order to see that the appropriate people are notified of the behavior, document everything! always, as in any situation with a patient, document eveything. i was told, eon's ago by a superior, when there is a questionable situation, write it down, seal it in an envelope and mail it to yourself. when it arrives do not open it. file it away. if there is ever anything that goes through a legality, you have the proof that you recorded it at the time and it could save some salacious action.

    in addition, if you don't go up the chain of command you may be reprimanded for not doing so, or told to go back down the chain. by the time you have notified your manager he/she will have gotten wind of it already and will have her defenses or responses ready and waiting for you.

    and check your employee handbook. in it , it will state the procedure for reporting inappropriate behavior. you will be referred back to that procedure by superiors.
  5. by   powernurse
    Quote from moonrose2u
    to protect yourself, your reputation, and your license. always start with the chain of command. even i fyou know in advance what the response will be from your manager, start w:uhoh21: ith that person. as you go up the chain of command, that is if you need to progress upward in order to see that the appropriate people are notified of the behavior, document everything! always, as in any situation with a patient, document eveything. i was told, eon's ago by a superior, when there is a questionable situation, write it down, seal it in an envelope and mail it to yourself. when it arrives do not open it. file it away. if there is ever anything that goes through a legality, you have the proof that you recorded it at the time and it could save some salacious action.

    in addition, if you don't go up the chain of command you may be reprimanded for not doing so, or told to go back down the chain. by the time you have notified your manager he/she will have gotten wind of it already and will have her defenses or responses ready and waiting for you.

    and check your employee handbook. in it , it will state the procedure for reporting inappropriate behavior. you will be referred back to that procedure by superiors.


    i think this is good advice....especially mailing yourself the letter....interesting idea, never thought of it before but it does sound like a good way to send yourself copies of your documentation
  6. by   CaLLaCoDe
    If you can afford it, if this nursing neuro protocol can wait, I recommend calling the doc later in the morn, say 0530 or best at 0630; but if this doc is angry all the time forget it! Agreed, chain of command and good documentation a good follow through.
    :biere:
  7. by   GardenDove
    According to a very interesting article in this months nursing 2006 on nurse/physician relationships, this type of behavior is deleterious to pt safety by damaging communication lines between MDs and Nurses. They stated in the article that 75% of sentinal events can be traced back to poor communication between healthcare professionals.

    We have a weekend hospitalist who has tantrums and is at times verbally abusive. I've never had a problem with him, but a collegue of mine did and she did report him. The hospital is working with him, and the more complaints they get, the more ammo they have.
  8. by   Bluehair
    Quote from moonrose2u
    to protect yourself, your reputation, and your license. always start with the chain of command. even i fyou know in advance what the response will be from your manager, start w:uhoh21: ith that person. as you go up the chain of command, that is if you need to progress upward in order to see that the appropriate people are notified of the behavior, document everything! always, as in any situation with a patient, document eveything. i was told, eon's ago by a superior, when there is a questionable situation, write it down, seal it in an envelope and mail it to yourself. when it arrives do not open it. file it away. if there is ever anything that goes through a legality, you have the proof that you recorded it at the time and it could save some salacious action.

    in addition, if you don't go up the chain of command you may be reprimanded for not doing so, or told to go back down the chain. by the time you have notified your manager he/she will have gotten wind of it already and will have her defenses or responses ready and waiting for you.

    and check your employee handbook. in it , it will state the procedure for reporting inappropriate behavior. you will be referred back to that procedure by superiors.
    i agree, excellent advice! it is usually best to go up your chain of command. not a bad idea to keep some sort of diary with the date/time you talked to your manager, etc. and a couple of quick notes about the conversation. 2 reasons to go up the chain - it protects you from any future issues related to not going up the chain, and it also helps prepare your manager/director for what may already be coming their way from a different direction. no one likes to be undermined, or be unprepared for a conflict that is coming their way. i have never met a manager who didn't appreciate staff giving them some sort of 'heads-up' about a situation before hearing about it from upper management. in this case, going to them will help prepare your case against this abusive situation. there may have already been multiple complaints about this very physician, and you wouldn't know, but management may be waiting for 'just one more complaint' to do something.
    also, make sure you continue to follow your policy regarding when to call the md. if anything happens to a patient and you did not follow policy, you will have a much harder time of things. when you can stand on existing policy, your case is much more solid. the op who advised waiting til later in the morning might be setting themself up for trouble down the road by waiting, if that is their usual practice.
    good luck! it rots to be treated like that when you are just trying to do what is right!
  9. by   judyblueeyes
    I reported a Doctor for a similar situation recenlty- maybe 3 months ago. It's the first time I have ever felt the need to do that.

    I have had no repurcussions. I see the Doc around, but I don't think he actually knows who I am. If he does, he (and I) have managed to avoid each other pretty well.

    I don't have any regrets and felt a complaint was in order. If asked by the Doc, I would tell him exactly that.

    Try to keep your emotions out (hard to do), and stick with the facts. Even if you were wrong, you don't deserve to be abused about it.
  10. by   P_RN
    What I did was make an occurrence report, I kept a copy, I gave the weekend director and I slipped one under the DON's door.

    I then wrote a short letter to my service chief (Like say I was Med/Surg...to the Chief of that staff). And I kept a copy and sent one to the president of the hospital. I waited until all 4 letter words left my mind. I also had all the copies Notarized.
    No screaming, hollering, building up steam etc. You were a victim of harrassment.
    (Now I'm thinking I should have sent one to the medical licensing board and the city medical society. Hmmmm)

    So did Dr Crudd come see his patient? Does your facility have a backup who can handle a crisis patient in such a case as yours. That's why I will NEVER work in a private hospital. Teaching hospitals you ALWAYS have backup.
  11. by   ginger58
    I would QA it, call the noc supervisor and let her deal with him or send the complaint unto the medical staff director.
  12. by   TazziRN
    I never had to take it that far. I can think of at least three different times when I was treated badly by a doc, and each time I said something. The first time I said something right when it happened, the other times I waited until I had calmed down. Once the doc knew I was looking for him and kept avoiding me: he would either stay away from me or, if I saw him and asked to speak with him, he would make some excuse about being in a hurry. I finally cornered him and let him have it with both barrels. He never did it again, and in fact treated me with respect after that.
  13. by   lindarn
    Quote from GardenDove
    According to a very interesting article in this months nursing 2006 on nurse/physician relationships, this type of behavior is deleterious to pt safety by damaging communication lines between MDs and Nurses. They stated in the article that 75% of sentinal events can be traced back to poor communication between healthcare professionals.

    We have a weekend hospitalist who has tantrums and is at times verbally abusive. I've never had a problem with him, but a collegue of mine did and she did report him. The hospital is working with him, and the more complaints they get, the more ammo they have.
    Years ago, nurses that I worked with reported a doctor to Board Of Medicine. They were told that they wished that nurses would report things to the State Board of Medicine more often. They will then start a "paper trail" on them. Too often no one reports abusive/negligent doctors. Then, years later, the you- know- what- hits- the- fan, and when family, or nurses report them at that point, all the Board can tell them is that they have no record that this physician ever caused any problems. It is then, your word against them.

    The moral of the story is, REPORT THEM AND KEEP AN COPY FOR YOURSELF.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  14. by   NurseguyFL
    Good advice so far! Always best to follow the chain of command and document, document, document EVERYTHING! What some nurses do not realize is that we do not have to put up with any sort of abuse from physicians. None at all! Neither the hospitals nor the doctors can function without us. Of course, we have to use good judgment when deciding to call a doctor in the middle of the night because maybe the change in patient status isn't critical and can wait until later. BUT, if there is an established protocol which states that they should be notified immediately, and they are cursing at you when you call them, then this is an issue that needs to be addressed by both the CMO and the CNO.

    I've seen physicians reprimanded and even suspended for this behavior, so I know the chain of command system works because Risk Management would sooner get rid of a physician than pay a multi-million dollar jury award. Physicians who behave this way are not unaware of the liability issues, but if you act as if you are affraid of them and you don't make that call when you know you are supposed to, then all of the blame and responsibility for any negative patient outcomes will fall on you. They accepted the responsibility to provide medical care for their patients, and they legally own it until they either discharge the patient or transfer the patient to another provider. That responsibility doesn't stop just because the doctor is sleeping.

    I once had a doctor try to pull a similar stunt on me and slammed down the phone while I was informing him about his patient. I waited a few minutes then called him right back. In a very calm and profesisonal tone of voice, I repeated my report of the change in the patient's status. He again tried to cut me off, but I politely informed him that I am documenting my correspondence with him in the patient's medical record, and I ended by asking what orders I should document to address the patient's condition. The tone of voice immediately changed and I got the order.

    These rude doctors know they can be sued, and they only play this game with nurses who let them get away with it. Fortunatley, most physicians I've worked with are not the arrogant, nasty sort, and they appreciate when I call them with important updates about their patients.

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