To Scuttle or Not to Scuttle?

  1. [font=book antiqua]when i was back home in florida, we were instructed even in nursing school to follow the md's into the patient rooms in the morning when they checked on them. that was protocol in that facility, and the nurses were welcomed by md and patient alike. we were to keep track of what the md had planned, and then after the md left the room, 9 times out of 10 the patient would ask questions or mention things the md needed to know. the md's liked their orders started on and could talk to you about it in the nurses station while the patient was fresh in their minds. when i was displaced to tennessee, i confidently walked right on in behind the md into a patient's room and was mortified to have done the wrong thing. i was to scuttle under the nearest rock and be seen but not heard at my new facility. the other nurses were shocked that i would even consider being welcome at a time like that. i felt so low. the hospital i came from was small and the md's had a great report with the nurses. we were treated like valuable participants in the continuum of care. i was wondering what your facilities expect you to do when the md is there....here in tn they still give up their seats, where the male doctors gave up theirs to us in fl. i was confused but set straight directly. so..to scuttle or not to scuttle???
    •  
  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    At my workplace, the nurse is expected to give up his/her seat to the physician, because MDs are considered revenue generators for the facility, whereas staff nurses are regarded as 'expenditures'.

    I do not follow the doctors while they're making patient rounds, unless they specifically request for the nurse to follow them into each room. When I am accompanying a doctor during rounds, I usually say nothing unless he or she has a question for me. I typically do nothing, unless the doctor asks to see a surgical incision or body part.

    I do not hang around the nurses station when the doctor is writing new orders. Usually, I'll go off into a corner and finish up on my charting. I normally wait until the doctor leaves before I begin following through on the new orders.

    At my facility, the doctors have implied that they do not want any input from nurses. The nurses who attempt to report changes in condition or make suggestions are marginalized. Therefore, I tend to stay out of sight and out of mind unless my presence is specifically requested.

    In addition, some docs make bizarre personal requests for coffee, changing the channel of the television so he can watch the game, and so on. I am not a waitress, so I avoid the doctors who tend to make these demands.
  4. by   biker nurse
    No Way, doctors are co-workers NOT gods
    Be respectful not a butt kisser, I wouldn't give up my seat unless it benefited pt care.
    This is 2007 not 1947:angryfire
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from biker nurse
    I wouldn't give up my seat unless it benefited pt care.
    I was reported and disciplined by my nurse manager when I refused to give my seat up to the doctor. I can refuse to give up my seat, but I will also be reprimanded by my facility's administration, because staff nurses are considered very low on the interdisciplinary totem pole around here.

    The last time I refused to give up my seat, the doctor demanded, "I need a place to sit!" The supervisor began to coddle to the doctor, found him a plate of food, and changed the television channel so that this MD could watch the baseball game.
  6. by   EmmaG
    I don't see the issue with giving up a seat to a doc... When I do so, it's not because it's expected, but because I know their time on the floor is short, and they need access to charts and so on. It's a matter of mutual respect. I've seen nurses deliberately take up seats at the desk and computers when they truly didn't need to, just to prove they weren't beholden to the docs. C'mon...
  7. by   EmmaG
    Quote from TheCommuter
    At my workplace, the nurse is expected to give up his/her seat to the physician, because MDs are considered revenue generators for the facility, whereas staff nurses are regarded as 'expenditures'.

    I do not follow the doctors while they're making patient rounds, unless they specifically request for the nurse to follow them into each room. When I am accompanying a doctor during rounds, I usually say nothing unless he or she has a question for me. I typically do nothing, unless the doctor asks to see a surgical incision or body part.

    I do not hang around the nurses station when the doctor is writing new orders. Usually, I'll go off into a corner and finish up on my charting. I normally wait until the doctor leaves before I begin following through on the new orders.

    At my facility, the doctors have implied that they do not want any input from nurses. The nurses who attempt to report changes in condition or make suggestions are marginalized. Therefore, I tend to stay out of sight and out of mind unless my presence is specifically requested.

    In addition, some docs make bizarre personal requests for coffee, changing the channel of the television so he can watch the game, and so on. I am not a waitress, so I avoid the doctors who tend to make these demands.
    Ugh. What a toxic environment. I was very lucky. Our docs were amazing. They sought out our opinions and actually listened to what we had to say. I would often bring coffee or juice to the ones who made late (or insanely early) rounds...and they often returned the favor. Our hospitalists would always join in our night-shift "pot-luck" dinners. It was a very congenial atmosphere. I never felt as though I was being taken advantage of... not by the docs, anyway.
  8. by   Southernurse
    Quote from emmanuel goldstein
    i don't see the issue with giving up a seat to a doc... when i do so, it's not because it's expected, but because i know their time on the floor is short, and they need access to charts and so on. it's a matter of mutual respect. i've seen nurses deliberately take up seats at the desk and computers when they truly didn't need to, just to prove they weren't beholden to the docs. c'mon...
    [font=book antiqua]the antagonism doesn't need to be there on anyone's part. if there are mitigating circumstances, sure. i have no problem moving if need be. i would not deliberately show passive-aggressive behavior toward anyone. thinking about it, how long do i sit for anyway? if i am sitting, it is only because there is something pressing to be done, and it needs to be done quick! i was just wondering how others' facilities function when i was culture-shocked.
  9. by   bagladyrn
    Quote from TheCommuter
    At my workplace, the nurse is expected to give up his/her seat to the physician, because MDs are considered revenue generators for the facility, whereas staff nurses are regarded as 'expenditures'.

    I do not follow the doctors while they're making patient rounds, unless they specifically request for the nurse to follow them into each room. When I am accompanying a doctor during rounds, I usually say nothing unless he or she has a question for me. I typically do nothing, unless the doctor asks to see a surgical incision or body part.

    I do not hang around the nurses station when the doctor is writing new orders. Usually, I'll go off into a corner and finish up on my charting. I normally wait until the doctor leaves before I begin following through on the new orders.

    At my facility, the doctors have implied that they do not want any input from nurses. The nurses who attempt to report changes in condition or make suggestions are marginalized. Therefore, I tend to stay out of sight and out of mind unless my presence is specifically requested.

    In addition, some docs make bizarre personal requests for coffee, changing the channel of the television so he can watch the game, and so on. I am not a waitress, so I avoid the doctors who tend to make these demands.
    I don't need to know what state you are in (although I'd guess the South), but what DECADE is this hospital in??? Sounds like a time warp to me!
    If I move from my seat for anyone it's because it is convenient to me and I can see they need the equipment I'm sitting at (phone, computer, etc.) or they are much older than me (which is getting to be a rarity nowadays) or if I know from being around them that they've just had the night from H*ll. Basic consideration, never subservience.
    As for making coffee, the last time a doc made that request more than once, I took him by the arm, led him to the kitchen and said "Let me inservice you on operating this complicated piece of machinery..."
    There is no place in our profession ( or my life!) for slinking, cringing or kowtowing to anyone!
    Edited to add: If you want to have some excitement, PM me the name of the facility - I'll look for a contract there. Then you can sit back and watch the fireworks! ( A born rabble rouser, that's me!)
    Last edit by bagladyrn on Sep 14, '07 : Reason: Another thought..
  10. by   dusky1228
    when i first graduated from nursing school in 1980, it was expected that nurses relinquish their seat any time a doctor arrived, no matter what the nurse might be doing. that changed at my facility shortly thereafter. as a courtesy, i often would give up my seat when one arrived, because i always had enough things to do, and i knew they needed to write progress notes or review labs. with that same couretesy, i often offered to get some of them coffee, but that would be a courtesy i offer anyone who looks like they may need it. we had a great relationship with most of the doctors, residents and attendings alike, as a rule, and our input was not only appreciated, it was often sought out.
    i remember an old-time ob-gyn (who i then chose as my own doc after this comment) who had been around for a long time and had a lot of hospital "power"who said to me: "it is a very stupid doctor who doesn't listen to the nurses."
  11. by   fronkey bean
    If I am not charting, I will give up my seat, otherwise the MD can find aplace to sit. We have one who insists on "His" spot at the station and I'm glad to let him have it - when I'm done w/ it! W/ the computer charting syst. we have it is time consuming and confusing to try to close out a chart in the middle of an assessment and I tell him he'll have to wait. So far no one has said anything to me about it.
    As far as going w/ the MD's there are some that want you to, some that don't care and one that doesn't (yes, the same one). I go anyway. I have just been w/ that pt. for 12 hrs, I might just know something that will interest them. Also, as we still use paper MD orders (can't get the doc's on board w/ computer orders) so rather than spend an hour trying to decipher what they have written, I go w/ them and take the opportunity to ask questions. Most appreciate it.
  12. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    Reminds me of one doc we had that would round late at night. He would situate himself in a chair lounging backwards with his feet on the desk and request coffee from the nurses. He asked me once saying, "How about a nice hot cup of coffee?" I replied (smiling), "Oh, no thanks, I'm fine" and walked off.

    He never asked me again.
  13. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Quote from kriso
    Reminds me of one doc we had that would round late at night. He would situate himself in a chair lounging backwards with his feet on the desk and request coffee from the nurses. He asked me once saying, "How about a nice hot cup of coffee?" I replied (smiling), "Oh, no thanks, I'm fine" and walked off.

    He never asked me again.
    I was thinking along these lines. If someone made that request of me, I'd probably respond, "Yeah, that would be great. I take it with a shot of cream and a couple of sugars."
  14. by   GadgetRN71
    Quote from kriso
    Reminds me of one doc we had that would round late at night. He would situate himself in a chair lounging backwards with his feet on the desk and request coffee from the nurses. He asked me once saying, "How about a nice hot cup of coffee?" I replied (smiling), "Oh, no thanks, I'm fine" and walked off.

    He never asked me again.
    Either that, or "trip" when you're bringing it to him and pour it in his lap! LOL, that would be for a real jerk or a repeat offender though. In all seriousness, some of what I"m reading here makes me sad. That charge nurse that brought the doc a plate of food and changed the channel for him?:trout: WHAT? I wouldn't make a habit of doing that for someone I'm sleeping with, never mind a doctor. Who, incidentally, I consider a co-worker, not the boss of me.
    I have to say, there are some jerky surgeons out there but in the OR, there are ways of dealing with such nitwits. I think they learn real fast that nurses can make or break them, especially when it comes to getting their cases done in a speedy manner. I have found that the respect level and teamwork is a little better in the OR. I have had to teach docs how to use a piece of equipment or troubleshoot when something isn't working properly.
    As a side note to The Commuter: Commuter, you are worth so much more than how you are treated at your facility. You're a good nurse-I'd leave that toxic place if I were you. If I worked there, my personnel file would be nothing but write-ups for not catering to spoiled docs!

close