What does it take to earn respect? - page 3

I have been a nurse for 30 years and have done anything and everything to advocate for my patients. Why can a doctor.. scream at me ...when I ask for their guidance in a patient care issue?... Read More

  1. 6
    Why can he do it? Because you stayed there to be a receptacle for violence of the tongue.
    Walk away. What's the doc going to say..?"I was screaming at her and she walked away."
    Imagine. Just leave, smile in your heart because this jerk is someone else spouse, not yours!
    Epic_RN, tyloo, Latterlife Midwife, and 3 others like this.

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  2. 3
    Quote from Been there,done that
    I have been a nurse for 30 years and have done anything and everything to advocate for my patients.

    Why can a doctor.. scream at me ...when I ask for their guidance in a patient care issue?
    That stinks. It does nothing for patient safety, either. Your institution should have a policy in place to nip that stuff in the bud. If it doesn't (and too many places don't) it's a shame.

    If you must continue to work there, I think folks on the board had some good suggestions... Walk away... Make an incident report... I had one physician rant at me and hang up when I was calling about a patient issue. I called him again and he asked me why I was calling him again. I asked him if he wanted to do something about X or have me request for a consult. He assented to the consult. (The patient then got what was needed.) The MD was notorious for the bad behavior. Some people didn't bother to write him up as it made no difference. The institution tolerated his antics. I knew this and didn't bother, either. I did tell a manager. I also left that institution as soon as I could.

    Check out "Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals..." by Peter Provonost, MD. Good lines of communication are vital to patient safety. Rudeness and temper tantrums undermine it - and should not be tolerated.

    I think many healthcare institutions are behind in terms of respectful communication. It's shocking and shameful. Thankfully, I'm working at a place now that does not tolerate bad behavior.
  3. 5
    This incident occurred during a phone consultation. I wish I could have walked away or hung up.

    I had to swallow that **** sandwich and continue to communicate in order to obtain the order that I knew the patient needed.

    Advocating for patients should not require being demeaned.(aka treated like dirt)
    Last edit by rn/writer on Apr 4, '12 : Reason: Changed profantiy to ***.
  4. 2
    I am in a position that authorizes admissions, sometimes the patient/ member needs to be transferred from the ER to their network facility.
    In this case I felt the member was not stable for transfer.
    K+ 6.4 and EKG showed widen QRS and PR interval. I did not want the patient transported . I had one of those gut feelings we all experience.. . I did not want them in an ambulance going into v-tach or Torsades!
    The medical directer I consulted simply did not understand my concerns.
    FranEMTnurse and VykingRN like this.
  5. 3
    Oh I feel ya on that. Just the other night I called cardio because my pt has a HR in the 30's, arrhythmia's all over the place and he was not concerned because the pt still had a BP. WHAT, so we are just gonna wait til this person codes before doing something.. Hairy night but thankfully the pt recovered the next day, and at least his HR and BP are now normal.
    VykingRN, imintrouble, and Merlyn like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from Been there,done that
    I am in a position that authorizes admissions, sometimes the patient/ member needs to be transferred from the ER to their network facility.
    In this case I felt the member was not stable for transfer.
    K+ 6.4 and EKG showed widen QRS and PR interval. I did not want the patient transported . I had one of those gut feelings we all experience.. . I did not want them in an ambulance going into v-tach or Torsades!
    The medical directer I consulted simply did not understand my concerns.
    Now I understand. Now I am outraged for you! What a foolish, foolish, foolish doctor! He didn't even have the benefit of eye-balling the patient, and as we know, after being a nurse for about a thousand years, these "gut feelings" are often based on a patient's presentation that we may not even be aware of on a conscious level, but never the less, we feel something is not quite right. Most doctors seem to understand and appreciate the fact that the nurses are the eyes and ears and actually with the patient for more than 5 minutes. In this case, for the doc to not only disregard your intuition/assessment but to "scream" at you?? Totally insane. The only thing I can say is, was there another doc you could have called? Whether the answer is yes or no, this is a suggestion I have for you that actually worked.

    When the doc starts screaming, unless it's a STAT situation, calmly state: "You seem to be upset right now. I think we cannot have a meaningful conversation now. I will call you back in XXX minutes so you've had a chance to calm down and we can have a meaningful discussion. Thank you." then hang up on him.

    Do not take this ridiculous c**p. Good luck to you and give yourself a hug.
    Latterlife Midwife likes this.
  7. 5
    Quote from Been there,done that
    I have been a nurse for 30 years and have done anything and everything to advocate for my patients.Why can a doctor.. scream at me ...when I ask for their guidance in a patient care issue?
    Because you allow them to. I had an instructor in college who never let any physician talk to her nor us as they wanted to. She stressed the need for us to demand respect because WE, not them, are on the front line of the healthcare battle. I had a doctor raise his voice one day and gently grabbed his arm and explained I was a man before I put on this uniform and I am still a man. I said if you cannot respect my title respect me being a man. As I said this I locked eyes with him and he apolgized. Anyone who says because he's a doctor and that allows him to do that is weak and crazy. Demand respect and you will get it.
  8. 0
    From my experience I can tell you that when doctors yell, it is because they don't know how to articulate the right answer. I have seen more often than not a nurse correct a doctor, whether it was prescribing a particular med or procedure. Not saying that everyone has their own reasons or that one type of healthcare professional is better than the next, but I can personally offer that it is those that get the most heat that make the world a better place!
  9. 1
    Walk away! Ignore them! Then when they are not so unstable, take the matter up with them privately with a third person present. There are also such policies, named "Disruptive person" policies, required by JCAHO. Read this policy and speak with a chain of command person whom you trust.
    This physician behavior was targeted toward me several times, I walked away. Once a colleague of mine, a male, did the same thing, and a doctor choked him! An my colleague was a Nurse Manager at the time. By that time I was practicing law and my friend called my office to ask for advice. I told him to contact management and call the police. He did and the police went to the doctor's office, and long story short, this doctor received anger management classes and changed. He was an Oncologist and danced at my wedding! We loved the guy, but the pressure at the time, was for him, overwhelming and he sort of cracked! Good luck to you. You do not have to put up with rude behavior. The great thing is, they look like fools and you just keep smiling. You then win!
    Latterlife Midwife likes this.
  10. 6
    I'm feeling a little overwrought on this subject for several reasons. Background first...
    I too have been a nurse for 34 years this month. I have a very strong personality, and defend with tenacity, my passion for nurses-fighting for the practical tools needed to make our role more patient centered (really, not just words on a mission statement). I have earned certifications in all my specialties over the years, and have maintained current education during the 34 years+nursing school.
    My observations are these:
    1) nurses don't get respect because they don't demand it or don't feel confident enough in themselves to demand it

    2) nurses are still socially admired, but only if they stay in their socially accepted role (for the most part) handmaidens and assistants to doctors, follow orders, work for others

    3) nurses don't get respect because they still can't articulate what nursing is-we can't come together as a group of professionals who agree on what it is that we bring to the table. We do things that can't be quantified-therefore it's nebulous and if it doesn't earn money or payment, then it doesn't count

    4) we take in abuses on a daily basis-patients, their families, doctors, pharmacists, fellow nurses etc.

    5) we have been made to fear for our jobs or made to be the scape-goat for lost income for hospitals, errors made by others which nurses have been made to be responsible for even if we couldn't have helped it-we always could have done more or done better-our best is sometimes not good enough

    6) the little time we do spend with our patients has to be fought for and defended continuously

    7) mistake proofing or efficiency efforts are not sought from administration/supervisors by the vast numbers of staff-it's a top down decision without due diligence, which in a nutshell tells us that our suggestions are not always taken to heart when trying to find valuable solutions that would help the bedside nurse do a better job and increase quality of care

    8) most nurses have tried but have given up and have grown bitter and beaten down in trying to make a better situation for themselves and most importantly for the patient

    9) because we are mostly women in this profession, we are undervalued, and underpaid-our salaries are topped out in 15 years-what does that say about the value of experienced nurses staying in the field who have to face the economic pressures as everyone else?

    10) most people have no clue what certification in a nursing specialty is, which tells me that nursing(collectively) has not done a good job in communicating what excellence in nursing is to the public

    11) we are under pressure to comply with impractical mandates that have no bearing on quality patient care, just have to do with reimbursement from insurers to the healthcare facility-just look at the recent research on the patient satisfaction surveys and quality of care provided, they don't correlate.

    It's no wonder nursing is not respected. We are busy, we are trying to balance our lives with our families and work and at times undervalued at every step of our lives. We miss important engagements, we sacrifice alot of our time and talents during our career, and we save lives. Yes nursing saves lives-

    Knowing that you do make a difference, should give you great confidence regardless of the 11 reasons I gave-that are MY observations. You may have other reasons, but it's time that nurses articulate clearly and concisely what it is that nurses do for your patients. If you don't know, then you need to figure it out. Finding out that what you do as a nurse is more than task oriented activities during the day-checking boxes and doling out meds-will help you defend your role and give you a sense of great pride in stating proudly what you offer. Sometimes we have to be reminded.

    I know that a touch, a explanation of a procedure, taking time to explain or update family on their loved one, delaying a procedure for the patient to get that one last talk with the doctor, smiling, comforting, listening to the patient, doing the things that allay fears and anxiety, collaborating with other members of the healthcare team to give better care, or communicate a patient's issues or changes in status, performing procedures confidently, are SO very important.

    Nurses need to be respected, and as long as we stay quiet and fearful, we will never gain the respect we deserve.


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