Why do doctors do this to me?

  1. 0
    I love my job. I love nursing! I've done just about a little of everything.............and the one thing that has burned me out over the years hasn't been the patient load or the pay or my fellow nurses or administration or the crazy families or the hours, etc....It's having to deal with doctors. Right now I'm a charge nurse on a med surg floor-I can honestly say all the other aggravations of my job don't hold a candle to the physicians who come in to yell at me specifically about a nurse calling them at 3 am for a tylenol order (for example). I feel for the doctors- I sure wouldn't want to be awakened for that-but I can't be here 24 hours a day! I wish that the MDs would direct their ire at the appropriate parties for a change.........anyone else having this problem?
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  3. 17 Comments so far...

  4. 7
    Well if a doctor called you to complain, I hope you reported
    him to your medical director for unprofessional behavior, and that you defended your nurses
    in such situations.
    As a male charge nurse on a tele unit I do not tolerate ANY abuse
    from anyone period. I do not talk to anyone who raises their voice on me, in person or
    on the telephone.
    Jcaho expects us to call the doctor regardless of what time of the
    day it is. And if you have no prn's, what are we suppose to
    do? Leave the patient with a headache or fever all night???

    Also if your hospital is not supportive, and protective of its employees, report them!!!
    Under state & federal law and Jcaho, you are entitled to a harassment free
    work place. Many hospitals at least have a program in place to address
    nursing harassment & abuse as part of jcaho accreditation.
    elb252, JRP1120, RN, teleRN08, and 4 others like this.
  5. 9
    I have no sympathy for the physicians in this situation.

    Most doctors, when writing admission orders, write for PRNs for things like nausea, pain, fever, and sleep medicines even if the patient may not need it.

    I will call in the middle of the night if my patient is in pain, nauseated, agitated, itching terribly, or experiencing a cough interfering with sleep and I don't have appopriate PRNs ordered already. If the on-call doctors don't like it...well, they shouldn't have chosen a professon that requires being on-call. Or they can take it up with whomever wrote the admission orders!

    Sometimes, when a doctor is yelling, it helps to find a "pause" in the tirade and say, calmly and in a normal volume, "what would you like me to do about that now so that I can help you?"
    Skeletor, elb252, JRP1120, RN, and 6 others like this.
  6. 0
    report them. Responding to questions is what being on-call is about.
  7. 3
    If they are too stupid to foresee the likelihood of acetaminophen being required (either for pain, a fever, etc.) then they deserve to be awakened. At my hospital, there are a few things ALWAYS prescribed PRN for Med Surge patients (Tylenol, Benadryl, appropriate "heavier" pain meds, dextrose, Narcan). This saves doctors the calls, nurses the aggravation and the wasted response time to a problem and most importantly the patient receives the care they need without undue hassle.
  8. 10
    Quote from qqu9569
    I can honestly say all the other aggravations of my job don't hold a candle to the physicians who come in to yell at me specifically about a nurse calling them at 3 am for a tylenol order (for example). I feel for the doctors- I sure wouldn't want to be awakened for that-but I can't be here 24 hours a day! I wish that the MDs would direct their ire at the appropriate parties for a change.........anyone else having this problem?
    *** Nope, never. Doctors NEVER, ever yell at me ( and you shouldn't tolerate it either). I do not allow it. Also please do not "feel" for them. They WANTED to be woken up at 0300 for an order, otherwise they would have writen appropiate orders when they admitted the patient or before they left. If they are getting woken up for tylenol orders then I assume they are lonely at home and wish to talk with a nurse at night. That must be the case or they would have done their job properly in the first place.
    graceomalleyRN, Skeletor, elb252, and 7 others like this.
  9. 1
    Of course we all have doctors who will complain about being called for anything, even a 3 am Tylenol order. HOWEVER, that's unprofessional and inappropriate. Doctors know that part of their job description is being woken up in the middle of the night to meet their patients' needs and that whole being "on call" thing isn't a joke. As charge nurse you need to defend your nurses and let them know that they have a support system.
    teleRN08 likes this.
  10. 1
    What the others said. I have had doctors lash out at me for silly things that come with their job description too. I once had a doctor come in at 6am and kick a patient's chart down the hall because of some minor thing. One night at 11pm I had to call a doctor for admission orders for a new admission that was HIS patient and he cussed me out and asked me if I was retarded. It was so offensive and inappropriate.

    I think that when the doctor yells at you for getting woken up at 3am for a Tylenol order it would be appropriate to say something like, "Well, I'm sure that you wouldn't want to come in in the morning and find out that your patient had a fever or severe pain all night long because the nurse was afraid to call you, right?" How could he argue with that, and maybe that would put the simple idea into his head of ordering Tylenol as a "just in case" PRN med on his patients' admission orders.

    Good luck. Sometimes it's an uphill battle because the hospitals are so into kissing the docs' you know whats that they won't defend their nurses. It's up to us to defend ourselves.
    PMFB-RN likes this.
  11. 0
    I hate this too make me feel like a peon nobody.
  12. 2
    Quote from AMCNurse
    I hate this too make me feel like a peon nobody.
    Which is what they want. Doctors that act like this are on a power trip to boost their egos. When they see that they have belittled you or made you feel stupid, in their minds, they have won. Sick.
    elb252 and JRP1120, RN like this.


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