Doctor comebacks

  1. I am a new grad new ICU nurse and in the middle of orientation. Any good comebacks for mean/disrespectful docs that I can tuck away in my already full brain? I want some direct but respectful ways to stand up for myself. Thanks for the help.
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Higuchem
    Keeping the peace is key but it that is not possible then its time to talk to head nurse of your unit.

    When I disagree with a doctor I and need to confront the doctor I typically start my say "Help me to understand .........." I use this when I disagree or not sure why they are giving them drug that may be harmful to the pt.
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from niceshot
    i am a new grad new icu nurse and in the middle of orientation. any good comebacks for mean/disrespectful docs that i can tuck away in my already full brain? i want some direct but respectful ways to stand up for myself. thanks for the help.
    [font="comic sans ms"]tone of voice is everything. simply say in a firm but respectful tone that you won't allow anyone to speak to you that way. once usually does the trick, but if it doesn't, keep repeating yourself. another tactic is to walk away until he's ready to stop screaming and deal with you respectfully.

    that said, i'm much more likely to snap off a one-liner. it's not an approach i recommend!
  5. by   NiceShot
    Thanks! I could use some witty one liners to keep up my sleeve.
  6. by   augigi
    As a new grad, don't be a smart arse. It's easy to be polite and stand up for yourself - don't lower yourself to someone else's level if they are being rude!! Just say "I will be happy to discuss this with you when you are able to have a civilized conversation" and walk away, or "I don't appreciate being yelled at. Perhaps we could discuss this like professionals?" usually work. They don't tend to do it again.
  7. by   clemmm78
    Sorry, can't think of anything witty because that won't really get the point across. Silence works great. A look in the eye and total silence. If a dr has been extremely disrespectful (rarely), I'll look at him or her (often it is a her, I've found) and say "why on earth would you say that to me?" or something to that effect.
  8. by   jmgrn65
    Quote from augigi
    As a new grad, don't be a smart arse. It's easy to be polite and stand up for yourself - don't lower yourself to someone else's level if they are being rude!! Just say "I will be happy to discuss this with you when you are able to have a civilized conversation" and walk away, or "I don't appreciate being yelled at. Perhaps we could discuss this like professionals?" usually work. They don't tend to do it again.

    :yeahthat:
  9. by   sunshineCCRN
    oooh, reminds me of my psych clinicals!

    If they say something awful, ask (nicely, of course), "I'm sorry, what did you say?" (Makes them realize how rude they just were!)

    Then try to get to why they were rude: "So you're upset because [the patient isn't going to their stat CT with contrast right now]?" Then justify your actions in a non-threatening way: "Are you familiar with [our protocol for oral contrast administration]?" You kill more flies with honey, and patients lives can depend on solid communication between disciplines.

    BUT if they're completely out of line (cursing, threatening, making personal remarks) then, "This unit has a zero tolerance policy for disrespectful behavior, and I will not listen to this. You can come find me when you're ready to talk."

    In my book, every instance of workplace verbal abuse should be written up. For every one time it's documented, it's probably actually happened at least 10 times that much. No one should be treated like that.
  10. by   traumaRUs
    I'm a mean old woman, so a withering look usually does the trick - lol.

    However, I have found that I get more respect when I give it too.
  11. by   lifeLONGstudent
    I think many of the docs get defensive because they feel that they are being challenged. While that is sometimes the case with other nurses (who are more experienced), that is not usually why I ask them questions. I am new and most of the time I am just asking them to explain something so I can learn.

    I think a lot of the problems arise from how the questions are posed.... well, that and sleep deprivation (both the doc's and nurse's).
  12. by   aquaphoneRN
    You're going to wind up in the manager's office a lot with an attitude like that.
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from aquaphonern
    you're going to wind up in the manager's office a lot with an attitude like that.
    [font="comic sans ms"]who is? which attitude?
  14. by   aquaphoneRN
    Quote from ruby vee
    who is? which attitude?
    hmmmm . . . i don't think i read the original message carefully enough. can i retract my comment? no one here is going to end up in the managers office. these are all examples of good ways to handle the situation.

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