if this is something that you are worried about, there are things you can do to prepare for it. you learn assertiveness techniques and it also wouldn't hurt to take a class in interpersonal communication if your college has one.
as a nurse you are going to be working with all kinds of people. doctors aren't the only ones who can go off on you. patients and visitors get mad too. when you perceive yourself as being low on the totem pole, a doctor seems like an awful intimidating figure. the old days when a doctor could stare at a nurse on general hospital
and bark, "you're fired!" are gone. doctors don't have that kind of power anymore unless it is in a private practice that they own and run. in addition, there are too many state and federal rules that facilities have to follow when it comes to worker's rights.
you want to be scared, so here goes. we had one physician who would go up to nurses, stand toe to toe, get right in their face as close as he could and scream, "you killed my patient!" after unsuccessful code blues. when he came in to make rounds, the nursing staff would just disappear. it was amazing. it got to the point that nurses dreaded having to call him for anything because you never knew if he was going to blow up on you or not. had another doctor who took a chart and heaved it across the nurses station when a nurse stood her ground and assertively questioned an order he was giving that she thought was inappropriate. when i was a supervisor i had to inform an intoxicated surgeon that he was being denied or privileges that evening and that the chief of surgery was on his way in to talk to him. he doubled up his fists and started walking toward me. i thought he was going to punch me and i got out of his way. i was being as nice as i could and only conveying a message. had a patient who started screaming, threatening to sue the nurses and carrying on because we couldn't let him smoke in the room. he told the nurses he was going to "fix them". then he pulled back the sheet enough so they could see his hand on a gun he had under the sheets. security was informed and that was the last of the gun because he surrendered it, but it could have ended quite differently. the situation had escalated because one of the nursing staff started acting bossy and started quoting rules. no one knew about the gun, however, until this. had another patient who got upset with a nurse, who i have to say did have a rather smart mouth. he got nasty on her, but like a fool she argued back. before she knew what hit her, he reached over, pulled out the top drawer of the bedside stand and swung it at her breaking her upper arm. it could have easily been her head that got hit. but, the man was strong and very fast.
if there is anything i've learned over the years and any wisdom i can impart to you students, it's to pay attention to communication techniques and psychology, stay calm, always treat others with respect and don't show any temper. you can't learn the practical side of these techniques and skills in a few months of school. it takes years and years of working on them. but, it ultimately pays off and you will find you will be able to get along much better with people than most others who won't bother to learn this stuff. there are times when a good outcome is that both sides backed down or both walked away without winning. you can't change others behavior, but you can change and address your own. you can't always reason with an angry person, but you can remain the rational one in the situation. and it never ever pays to lose your temper. ever.
i had a very good-natured boss years ago before i ever went to nursing school
who used to always say after solving some crisis that would come up, "a hundred years from now, nobody is going to care about what just happened." thirtysome years later and i still remember him getting another cup of coffee and going back to his office saying that time after time. he was absolutely right. most situations are just not of the grand scale of a world war that they require such an emotional cost.