Would you seriously consider quitting nursing - page 9

if you were treated badly--yelled at, disrespected, verbally abused--by the doctors you work with? How does this treatment affect you? Does it affect patient care?... Read More

  1. by   Silverhawk
    Quote from GingerSue
    I found that in community nursing, the doctors were respectful, responsive, and open to our suggestions re: treatments (just a couple of phone calls involved inappropriate doctor responses). Whenever I would call and idenitfy myself and organization, the receptionists would always put me through to the doctors. I guess I'm just suggesting - consider community nursing as an option. I have only good to say about my (former) community nurse co-workers - I do not recall hearing ANY negative remarks from co-workers about co-workers. Actually I heard positive. I even remember saying to one of my psych nurse co-workers (when I went to work in psych for a while and heard this complaining about "no respect") - I replied "you'll get respect if you work in community nursing" - and that was my experience. I would definitely consider going back into community nursing!
    What is community nursing? I work in LTC and am begining to H A T E it!
  2. by   mattsmom81
    I am currently taking a 'breather' from nursing so I know how you guys feel...my DH would prefer I NOT return to nursing, he feels it is a huge part of my problem with depression. So right now I'm being a housewife, learning about my new town/state/neighborhood, relaxing, thinking of my options, etc. It's a good thing.
  3. by   Quickbeam
    I'm a community health nurse...sort of an Occ Health hybrid. As much as I love this job, I have to warn those interested: I make a whole lot less money in it than I did as a hospital nurse or a case manager. Just important for anyone to know before they get jazzed up about the field. I do "career day" speeches to local nursing schools...always lots of interest until I say how much I make.

    In my job, I do planning and analysis of policy for my state's 4 million drivers. I oversee older driver programs and anything health related that impairs driving (diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's etc). I do 1:1 case management, about 40 public speaking events per year, teach inservices to DOT staff, testify to the legislature, keep up on research, run a crisis line etc. It is an RN job but I do no hands-on care. I work M-R, 6 am to 4:30 pm. I love it but it wouldn't be for everyone.
  4. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from mattsmom81
    i am currently taking a 'breather' from nursing so i know how you guys feel...my dh would prefer i not return to nursing, he feels it is a huge part of my problem with depression. so right now i'm being a housewife, learning about my new town/state/neighborhood, relaxing, thinking of my options, etc. it's a good thing.
    i'm soooo jealous!!! part of me loves my profession, it's not that i mind working. but it must be nice to get to know yor neighborhood and enjoy life. people who are not in the profession cannot understand what it is like to be a nurse. it's is emotionally draining!!
  5. by   paytonsnana
    Quote from mattsmom81
    I am currently taking a 'breather' from nursing so I know how you guys feel...my DH would prefer I NOT return to nursing, he feels it is a huge part of my problem with depression. So right now I'm being a housewife, learning about my new town/state/neighborhood, relaxing, thinking of my options, etc. It's a good thing.
    I hope things go well for you. I know exactly how you feel. If you are in a new town, get to know people, and places of interest. You will be surpeised just how much there is "out there" just waiting for you.
  6. by   MelRNNC
    I think about quitting nursing every day that I have to work... and I've only been a nurse for 6 months! I would say that 1/2 the doctors I talk to treat me like garbage. I go home and cry nearly every day. I try to think about the nice things that pts and families say to me and the things I do well, but it all seems to be overshadowed by the negativity I experience at work. We have a system to report physician abuse, but don't you think that they can figure out who reported them? Obviously they wouldn't get fired... and it would make working w/that particular MD especially hard after that. I'm trying to develop a "thick skin" like the other new grads on my unit suggest, but it's hard, maybe I'm too sensitive to be a nurse? Maybe I should try looking at things from the doctor's perspective? Who knows?
  7. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from MelRNNC
    I think about quitting nursing every day that I have to work... and I've only been a nurse for 6 months! I would say that 1/2 the doctors I talk to treat me like garbage. I go home and cry nearly every day. I try to think about the nice things that pts and families say to me and the things I do well, but it all seems to be overshadowed by the negativity I experience at work. We have a system to report physician abuse, but don't you think that they can figure out who reported them? Obviously they wouldn't get fired... and it would make working w/that particular MD especially hard after that. I'm trying to develop a "thick skin" like the other new grads on my unit suggest, but it's hard, maybe I'm too sensitive to be a nurse? Maybe I should try looking at things from the doctor's perspective? Who knows?
    I hope you don't choose to look at anything from the perspective of a doctor who believes it is acceptable to treat anyone that way, let alone a new nurse! Developing a thick skin is just something that comes with time. My cousin worked in a hospital for less time than you have and decided she didn't want to learn to live with that sort of treatment. She went to work for a dermatologist instead, and is very happy with her career decision. Is it possible for you to look for another job? Life is way too short to deal with such a toxic environment, and it doesn't sound like the type of situation that is likely to improve.
  8. by   dazzle256
    Quote from MelRNNC
    I think about quitting nursing every day that I have to work... and I've only been a nurse for 6 months! I would say that 1/2 the doctors I talk to treat me like garbage. I go home and cry nearly every day. I try to think about the nice things that pts and families say to me and the things I do well, but it all seems to be overshadowed by the negativity I experience at work. We have a system to report physician abuse, but don't you think that they can figure out who reported them? Obviously they wouldn't get fired... and it would make working w/that particular MD especially hard after that. I'm trying to develop a "thick skin" like the other new grads on my unit suggest, but it's hard, maybe I'm too sensitive to be a nurse? Maybe I should try looking at things from the doctor's perspective? Who knows?
    There have been times when I've felt like secretly tape recording some of the tantrums this one particular doctor had. There has to be a law against it. To me that is a hostile work environment. As time goes by however you put up with less and less. I'm a quiet person that will do anything to avoid an argument which unfortunately makes me a target. Anyways, one day I just belted right back and honestly this idiot doctor looked like he was going to cry. I guess you can say I developed a "thick skin". Got a lot of high fives from other nurses but to be honest its not in my personality to do things like that and decided to quit. Everyone kept saying "Oh just ignore him" la de da.... but why should I put up with it at all. While interviewing for other jobs sometimes they would ask "So how would you handle difficult doctors?" I didn't answer that question because to me that was a red flag that there is a problem and wouldn't accept the job anyway. So anyways I did accept a new job which the interviewer volunteered information about how the doctors are good to the nurses. Its a very small community hospitals and docs have been there for a long time. I really liked what they said about how they feel about patient care...etc. So I'm hoping this will be a totally different atmosphere. Sorry got off on a tanget.....what I'm trying to say is you don't have to put up with it and if you have to secretly start looking for another job then do so, because, I blame the facilities for allowing the doctors to behave the way they do. They are causing a hostile work environment if you ask me.

    Oh one more thing. It is situations such as this that really burns me up when I hear about the "nursing shortage". I read somewhere that the average nurse lasts 5 years at the bedside. Wish I could remember where I read that so the powers that be have these brain storms......Lets import a bunch of nurses (I do have nothing against foreign nurses but don't think its the answer) ......get as many people as possible to get through nursing school (I heard one nurse manager call them "bodies"... we need "bodies") So it can start all over.
  9. by   lossforimagination
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    But suppose you had to put up with this behavior over a period of years. Would you seriously consider quitting nursing because of the negative effects of this treatment on you and your practice?


    IN A HEARTBEAT! WHEN THE NEGATIVES FAR, FAR OUTWEIGH THE POSITIVES ....WHY WOULD ANYONE STAY FOR THAT? I want to be healthy and happy, not work where it's killing me.

    Perhaps there are people who feel they were ordained by The Lord himself to be a nurse; but I'm not one who finds it a calling. I went into nursing because I was interested in the biological sciences and it looked like a good opportunity.... unfortunately, I didn't really look into the negatives. If I'd only known at the time I would've steered way clear!

    As I see it, to work in a hospital you have to be wired to take a CONSTANT load of BS and abuse and I can't tolerate it. I simply have no respect for an MD or administrator or anyone else who is rude and arrogant. Same goes for manipulative; lying; or boorishly demanding patients or family members. After 10 years of working the floor; I can walk away from that without a second thought and say 'hallelujah to be out of there'. Hades will freeze over before I go back to another hellhole (which to me is any and every hospital).
  10. by   mydesygn
    Quote from Bye-Bye Birdie RN
    The doctors seem to get away with a lot, but it's the disrespect of managers and directors that crushes your (my) soul for Nursing. The attitude of "nurses are a dime a dozen, a monkey could do that, work smarter not harder"....etc. Once the Ivory tower elevator opens to (SOME not all) of the upper level positions...they seem to forget where they came from. That is what makes me consider an exit.
    I am making every attempt to get out of clinical nursing after 14 years. After accepting a position on a new unit, I was virtually ignored by the nursing staff, criticised by the new manager. After having received recommendations for nursing excellence and excellent evaluations in my prior positions, I was absolutely blown away by the absolute lack of teamwork and respect on this unit. In the 6 mos I worked there, 5 out of 7 nursing assistant quit or transferred and several nurses did not renew contracts or quit. I had never faced that situation before and have decided that I will never endure this type of treatment again. I'm looking for the nearest administrative job I can. They say nurses eat their young, I can assure you they eat their old also. I would rather work for a physician anyday because good or bad, I'll know where I stand.
  11. by   mydesygn
    Quote from celeste7767
    First, let me say that I have been in the profession for 30 years this June. Second, let me add that I have NEVER been disciplined or written up or had even one incident report written on me regarding a med error, an error in providing safe patient care, nor have I ever been guilty of making any mistakes. And for 24 of those years my record has been spotless. In 1999, however, I took a position at a very tiny hospital because it was less than one mile from the home we had just purchased. I had worked there previously on a PRN, but rare basis. The hospital had 20 med/surge beds, an ob unit which has since closed, and an ER . They were still on 8 hr shifts at the time. I worked nights with one of the 2 other Night Shift RNs. One, a male named James (not his real name) had begun his career as first an EMT, then a Paramedic, then an LPN, and finally had gotten his RN 10 years ago. He had been working for this hospital in one capacity or another for 10 years and had known everyone prior as an Paramedic before them. The other night nurse, Roseanna (a pseudonym as well), was a nurse who had come to the hospital a new RN 2 years prior and had had no previous medical experience prior to getting her RN. When I worked with James, he would take some patients and when someone came into the ER, I would "cover" his patients and we had a CNA as well who would help me answer lights. When I worked with Roseanna, I would work the ER and she would cover my patients. Although I had worked with James when I had worked PRN and we had had a good rapport, when I went part time regular at 32 hrs, he began to make it apparent that I had not been his choice for the position. I was hired by the Nurse Manager because she was "trying to beef up the unit with more experienced RN's; right now the only RN with more than 3 years experience is James and ALL BUT ONE have come here as new grads from the Community College and have little or no clinical experience in routine procedures." I later learned that James had had a hand in choosing nurses to fill each position that came open, and he chose the ones he got to know when they came to get their clinicals in on the night shift during he would "mentor" them. One night when I was working with him and we were sitting at the desk, he said, "I'd much rather get a new grad who hasn't developed a lot of bad habits than a so called 'seasoned RN' that thinks she knows everything". This comment made after I had made up a "hot pack" for warm moist heat by using a wet towel wrapped in a blue plastic chux that I had heated in the microwave; James nixed that idea by stating that " we don't do things like that here; what if a code was called and it caught on fire when you left it?" I could not believe that he wasn't aware that this is an accepted method of preparing a warm,moist heat pack when a K-pad is unavailable.There was no doctor in house on weekends; just a PA who was good but who was unskilled at intubation. During the week, the doctor went home at 2300 and would come when the ER nurse called him to see a patient. James often intubated "coding" patients if they were not brought by Paramedics so the hospital found his additional skill to be invaluable. I had never worked in an ER where we had to initiate the Medicaid approval, call the PCP's on certain groups and I got NO help in orientation on these things. My orientation consisted of the usual general safety training: fire extinguishers, lifting and bending correctly but NO NURSING ORIENTATION. I was told that an Orientation Packet was being revised. I never saw it in in the year and a half that I was there. The other nurse, Roseanna, who also worked nights and occasionally ER, said she hated to because she felt incompetent in that area; she had no more to offer me as far as protocols either. One night a 48 year old woman with benign history said she had eaten dinner at a restaurant about 2 hours ago and was having some gastric distress in the manner of some intermittent cramping and aching. She denied Nand V , diarrhea, flatus, eructation, headache, or Any OTHER SYMPTOMS OF ANY KIND. She lived less than a mile from the hospital. Because she lived no close and exhibited no guarding, grimmacing, and had no tenderness to palpation, I allowed her to go home and told her to come back directly if she should have any further symptoms. She didn't come back that night but 3 days later, she came back with a return of symptoms but accompanied with Nausea, vomiting, and severe cramping. She was admitted with a partial paralytic ileus; she was there 3 days on IV fluids and antibiotics and a Demerol PCA. I was later notified that I had breached the EMTALA Act by not doing a complete medical screening on her and having the MD come in and see her the night she first came in. They were just going to give me a warning a copy of the EMTALA Act for the next time, but to cover themselves, they said they wouldn't fire me but would ask me to resign and then without telling me they turned me into the State Board in ARizona which is known for its inability to see the forest for the trees as I will show you in a moment. The charge nurse, Roseanna, said she would have done the same thing and was unaware of EMTALA as well. Even though I had not been properly oriented to all the legalities of working in their ER , I was found guilty of "unprofessional conduct" and given the lowest level of disciplinary action, a decree of censure. Then in 2001, I
    needed knee surgery for an injury I had sustained 3 months before my insurance took effect. I picked an internist out of their directory whom I did not know and made an appointment on June25 so I could get a referral to an orthopedic surgeon; I had been limping along on crutches since March, my entire left leg was swollen to twice its size and I could barely stand the pain. This new PCP who had none of my previous records, who new nothing about me except that I told him I was a nurse when he asked what kind of work I do, wrote in my chart that I was "a drug seeking RN, who probably goes from one new PCP to another and to ER's asking for narcotics. Probable drug abuser." I was not aware that this was on my chart until one year ago when I went to see my new PCP ( I never went back to him again); my new PCP whom I had been a patient of for 1 year asked about the former doctor's comments. To say that I was shocked, angered, is insufficient. I was enraged. I had gone on to have knee surgery on August 14 after I visited an ER on July 3, where the MD asked me if I wanted a shot of demerol or morphine, both which I declined because my stomach is extremely intolerant of many meds, narcotics, antibiotics, NSAIDS, among others. He asked what I could take and I told him Percocet is the ONLY pain med that doesn't either make me vomit, lose my BP, or put my brain on another planet. The ER doc had no problem. He had the nurse give me 2 and a script for 20 till I would be seeing the Ortho in 10 days. He also gave me a knee immobilizer, and xrayed the knee because the degree of swelling made him think maybe I had a small fracture. My Ortho had no problem giving me percocet either; I had a total of 3 scripts related to this one problem: one from the ER doc, and one before the surgery which wasn't done until August 14 and then one after surgery, (each one for 30 pills). I had had no reason or requests for narcotics before or since except in 1995 when I had had a vaginal hysterectomy and I used the printout from my pharmacy as proof as well as the fact that prior to getting new insurance and a new job I had been with the same PCP from 1993 to 2001. And I had only been to the ER once in 1994 related to my hormone related problems and elevated BP. In spite of all the proof to the contrary, the Nursing Board, which could have simply dismissed this and SHOULD HAVE, WROTE ME A LETTER OF CONCERN BECAUSE MY REACTION TO WHAT HE DID WAS INAPPROPRIATELY EXCESSIVE. (I HAD WRITTEN HIM A LETTER STATING THAT I BELIEVED THAT HE WAS A VERY POOR DIAGNOSTICIAN , HE TOLD THE BOARD I CAME IN WITH A SPRAINED ANKLE; AND I SAID THAT I ONLY HOPED THAT SOMEDAY HE WOULD BE IN A POSITION WHERE HE WAS IN SEVERE PAIN AND WAS UNABLE TO GET RELIEF.
    I am ready to quit nursing because everywhere I go I have to explain that there are 2 marks against my license even though one is a non-disciplinary action (whatever that means). I called the board and even though the doctor's complaint was unfounded, it still had to be listed as a complaint. Even though a MD can be rightfully sued for malpractice, if he settles out of court it doen't go on his record. But for us nurses, even if we are found innocent (and believe me they checked out every employer I ever worked for which I am sure made them wonder why the State Board was investigating a "drug related" complaint against me.) I can no longer go back to any of the places I used to work and hold up my head; I feel soiled; my reputation is ruined and as the psychiatrist said to me (the Board made me see one):
    "The Only thing wrong with you is that you are suffering from righteous indignation at the Arizona State Board for destroying your good name and casting doubt in the minds of all of your former employers." As nurses we are sitting ducks out there. I would never be a nurse again if I could go back 35 years and start over. My patient care is impeccable, my communication skills with patients, families, staff, is excellent, I have never had a complaint from a family member or patient. But I might as well have taken the entire narcotic cabinet home with me as far as the way it looks and my self esteem is too battered. Just don't only watch your back. don't make any enemies. The State Board "have to investigate any and every complaint that is lodges against any licensed person under our jurisdiction."
    BURNED OUT BIG TIME!!!!


    took e
    I am currently in the midst of a similiar situation. After 14 years of nursing, several clinical positions without any discplinary action, nominations for nursing excellence, excellent evaluations, and the respect of co-workers. I transferred from a management position to a clincal position due to a need for a change in work hours. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. The nursing staff treated me as if I was a "ghost", no introductions, no offers of assistance, would talk about me but never to me. Actually had one nurse say"You're really nice, I don't know why they say those things about you". In the 6mos I was there 5 of 7 nursing assts left, in addition to several nurses who choose not to re-new contracts or quit, float staff complaned excessively about floating to that unit. I should have seen the writing on the wall, but falsely believed that honesty and fairness would prevail. I will not quit nursing because of physician treatment because How we treat one another is far worse. I beleive physicains have far more respect and professionalism to colleagues than nurses. I simply don't believe physicians would tolerate this level of pettiness by their management or one another. The interesting thing is when I mentioned this to both my brothers, one of their comments was how as a truck driver, police officer, fireman etc.. You would never go to a boss about a petty matter, after all you would not jeopradize their livlihood without good reason. It me realize how women have so little respect for one another that we would run to mangement with any minor complaint instead of dealing directly with that person.
    Last edit by mydesygn on Feb 19, '05
  12. by   celeste7767
    Quote from mattsmom81
    I wonder sometimes if nursing is blesed with too many LSE people who don't know any other way to operate than compete and belittle others. Woe to the nurse who challenges the status quo or rankles someone's ego (like Celeste's story re the paramedic turned RN) I'm sure this goes on to some extreme in every profession but it seems quite out of place in a helping profession...wish it wasn't so. But like the old saying goes 'if wishes were horses then beggars would ride'.

    Seems in the smaller hospitals this type thing goes on more often than not. Somebody wrangles his/her way into a position of power and it goes to their head. While I manage to find a kindred spirit most places I've worked, the politics takes precedent and they will turn against you in an instant when it suits them. I've never behaved like that, it is not in my nature. There seems so little integrity out there anymore in facilities. Politics rule and everybody is out for themselves. (which leads into why we cannot stick together)
    When I was a new grad back in the olden days of 1975, it seems that certain negative aspects of working as a nurse were not as prevalent as they appear to be today. Because I am one of those idealistic and very anal people who NEEDS to find reasons and answers, cause and effect in my life, I give a great deal of thought to problems that the people bring to light in this forum.

    I think we can all agree that : 1) Doctors who yell, belittle, berate nurses at the desk or within hearing range of another person are displaying behaviors which they probably NEVER DO IN ANY OTHER AREA OF THEIR LIVES, EXCEPT PERHAPS WITH AN EX-SPOUSE. Then, because I cannot help myself, (critical thinking is second nature to me), I MUST ASK:
    A.) Why do the MD's believe that it is OK to act inappropriately toward another human being, in almost the manner of Master to Slave, i.e. demanding, demeaning, omnipotent, omniscient, unprofessional and hateful. And why is it that most interns and residents do not yet fully exhibit these behaviors; it is rare to find one who does not still say "please" and "could I see that chart when you're done with it?"
    B.) Why, as one member wrote,does this adversarial relationship exist ONLY between doctors and nurses? Why not respiratory therapists and doctors? or lab technicians, or OR Techs, or Cath lab techs, or social workers, or dieticians and doctors? And why is this adversarial relationship not seen in a similar form in other professions or work areas, i.e. firefighters, attorneys, postal workers, educators, police, military professionals, workers in manufacturing industries, steel workers, engineers?
    C.) Why does a large majority of nurses, CNA's, techs and therapists fall all over themselves trying to ingratiate themselves with every MD that they come into contact with? I know I am showing my years when I tell you that when I was a Nursing Student at Indiana University in 1973 because the Women's Movement was really strong at that time we were told that we were NEVER to refer to ourselves as student nurses and I had to sign the initials "IUNS" , not IUSN. Why?? Because we were told that Student Nurse was a term that carried almost derogatory connotations with the public due to some of the less responsible entertainment media, if you get my drift. WE, ( we were told), were going to be in the forefront of bringing the Registered Nurse the status of a true profession. uh-huh. And at that time and for many years thereafter, we would NEVER get up from the desk to give a doctor our chair and then go retrieve their particular patient's charts and bring them to them. They, in fact, did not expect that treatment either and if an MD wanted a chart that I was writing in, he would politely ask if he could see it, and I would politely hand it to him. Everything was very CIVIL!! None of this special colored tape for each MD so they can more easily pull their charts; that slays me because it is always a nurse, tech, or other staff member who pulls their charts for them anyway and then sets them in front of him/her while the unit clerk or other person is fetching him a cup of coffee just the way he likes it. I COULD JUST PUKE!! The way some nurses fawn over MD's, it's no wonder they think they're superior beings. I wish I could put my finger on the date that the Stepford Nurses took over; I do know that many of the nurses from some of the Asian countries and India were more "attentive" to all doctors and would attempt to engage them in friendly conversations while they were bustling about getting charts, coffee, snacks, and calling depts. that had paged them. Maybe most of the Women's Movement stuff went out the window and the zeitgeist of the day became " if you can't beat 'em, outcook them" and hence the advent of the now routine "Night shift potluck this Thursday night" , someone's bright idea of a variation on the mantra, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach".
    But seriously, I do believe that the large influx of foreign nurses has had an impact on the way we perceive ourselves and most assuredly we have, most likely unconsciously, adopted some of the behaviors of these nurses in an attempt to not lose ground to them on our own turf. Because the MD's respond very positively to fawning and groveling and can seem to be downright pleasant. But that will not stop them from lashing out if a blank order sheet isn't in the chart or if someone forgot to total up the I & O's.
    D.) Why are nurses so quick to turn in another nurse for minor infractions? Most other professionals pride themselves on their sense of solidarity, loyalty and cohesiveness. Unless it is a serious offense regarding patient welfare, drug use, etc. most nurses should not run to get involved. Whether they think they know something about another nurse's possible infraction or not, your perceptions may not be accurate and do more to confuse the issue than to help clarify it. Personally, I do not like to add anything that may worsen matters for another nurse. I figure that if the nurse is truly guilty of some offense, there are more than enough of his/her other coworkers to seal his/her fate.
    I have said before that if I could live my life over, I would not be in this profession. Life is hard enough without having to watch your back ALL the time.

    Celeste
  13. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from celeste7767
    i know i am showing my years when i tell you that when i was a nursing student at indiana university in 1973 because the women's movement was really strong at that time we were told that we were never to refer to ourselves as student nurses and i had to sign the initials "iuns" , not iusn. why?? because we were told that student nurse was a term that carried almost derogatory connotations with the public due to some of the less responsible entertainment media, if you get my drift. we, ( we were told), were going to be in the forefront of bringing the registered nurse the status of a true profession.
    when my husband was in medic school, and had to do rotations, two things surprised me. 1) he wore a dress shirt, slacks, tie and a lab coat (when doing hospital [er] rotations). and 2) his name badge read: joe blow, paramedic intern, not student, as per the instruction of his program (not his choice).

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