Chronic Verbal Abuse by MD

  1. 0
    I have a question regarding chronic and continued verbal abuse by a doctor. Although, it has happened to me personally, this doctor verbally abuses every female nurse who calls him whether at his office or at his home. His standard phrase is, "Don't ever call me again with such an idiotic question," or "Who are you to question my order, I wrote it the way I want it."

    I don't care what you call this man with, whether requesting clarification on an order, or medication orders, anything is grounds for verbal abuse. I have complained to administration, and all I hear is "Well, that's just Dr. so-and-so, he's just like that, don't take it personally." It's hard not to take it personally when he tells you how stupid you are to even be calling him. I know some nurses will just not subject themselves to his abuse, and not call him when they really need to be.

    Any suggestions on what to do in this situation? I'd appreciate any comments at all. Thanks.
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    That type of non-professional behavior is uncalled for. BUt, we are subjected to it day in and day out when we go to work. It got so bad at our hospital, that FINALLY the nurse managers and the director of nursing, got together with the administrator and what resulted was WE CAN WRITE UP A DOCTOR WHO DISPLAYS UNPROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR! We started doing it and wrote it up as any other employee. What resulted, in time are doctors who now 'walk on eggshells' around the nurses! LOL I LOVE IT!
    We all began to document incidences and they were used in the meeting and helped determine the plan of action.
    Maybe this is something you all can do!
    GOod Luck

    ------------------
    Cindy Nye RN
    http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/3924/webnurse.html

    http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/3924/webnurse.html Nurses On The Web
  4. 1
    There is no need for anyone to be abused verbally. You don't say what type of facility you work in. I would recommend taking this up with the DON and ask him/her to take it up with your medical director.
    In the past I had a doctor make negative comments, but my DON at the time reminded me that it was my job to be an advocate for my patient, and when I have a question about a med or any order, it needs to be addressed for the benefit of the patient.
    Good Luck NA
    iscreambiebah likes this.
  5. 0
    We had a doc in our facility who felt he was God's gift to medicine. He STILL runs rough-shod over MOST of the nurses. He USED to do it to me until one day we were having a phone conversation and the chart was out of order, so I had to take a minute to find some lab results. He said something like "Look...if you are going to call me, the LEAST you could do is be PREPARED for my questions." I had, at that point, had enough of his attitude, so I said, "LOOK...if YOU had done YOUR job when you were in today, and hadn't been in such a rush to take your wife out for lunch, and then take the rest of the day off WITHOUT your pager on, I wouldn't be calling you at 2200, now, would I? I'm not being obtuse on purpose here. GIVE me a minute, eh?!" Upon looking up, I saw my entire staff looking at me with a HORRIFIED look, and my head nurse going "TELL ME you aren't talking to Dr.___" DEAD SILENCE on the other end of the phone. Then a snicker...then Dr.____ absolutely killin' himself laughing. He said "FINALLY!!" Well, I was confused. "Finally," he said, "SOMEONE there got guts!! Okay, now Heather...tell me about Mrs.____ and what you think she needs." Since then, he and I are great together. We respect each other. Other nurses have talked to him KNOWING their info, and he respects that. Why shouldn't he? He can't stand it if nurses meekly do the "what do YOU think, doctor?" thing.
    My point is...if you KNOW your stuff, KNOW what you are talking about, are respectful, are an advocate, are within parameters of facility policy etc. THEY have no right to speak down to you. This isn't the 1800's. WE are as professional as they are.

    Heather
  6. 0
    Originally posted by Norske:
    I have a question regarding chronic and continued verbal abuse by a doctor. Although, it has happened to me personally, this doctor verbally abuses every female nurse who calls him whether at his office or at his home. His standard phrase is, "Don't ever call me again with such an idiotic question," or "Who are you to question my order, I wrote it the way I want it."

    I don't care what you call this man with, whether requesting clarification on an order, or medication orders, anything is grounds for verbal abuse. I have complained to administration, and all I hear is "Well, that's just Dr. so-and-so, he's just like that, don't take it personally." It's hard not to take it personally when he tells you how stupid you are to even be calling him. I know some nurses will just not subject themselves to his abuse, and not call him when they really need to be.

    Any suggestions on what to do in this situation? I'd appreciate any comments at all. Thanks.
    i think you should take it a little personally i had a problem with believe it or not
    a psychiatrist he felt the need to scream at me so loudly other staff made a quick exit
    i tried hard to reason with him then i finally said to him you dont have to scream there
    is nothing wrong with my hearing he yelled even louder "i will continue to scream at
    you until i get through to you" i replied i am not perceptually impaired and had not
    1 intention of enduring anymore abuse from him he knew the game was up i wasnt
    gonna take it i also told him that i had no idea what history book he slithered out of
    but i am an educated registered nurse not his slave of secretary and i refused to
    compromise on respect i felt should have been given simply because i am a human
    being never mind collegue or anything else... he wrote up the incident i spoke with
    whom i needed to speak with and took it all the way to the top he has never offered
    an applolgy which i have always felt that he should have but he has been much
    tamer...outright decent to me it will never change my opinion of him....but he is at
    least nursing station broken.....a man of his supposed education and psych skill
    should have known better than to treat nurses badly......
  7. 0
    Heather - you go girl! I too have had several encounters with physicians that are ugly with their mouths. I usually get back in their faces and confront them, or just totally ignore them - depends on the doc. I have been a nurse for 30 years, so I know the docs fairly well and how far to push them. I have found ignoring them, especially if they are prima dona's just about makes them madder than if you said something to them. I had one doctor so mad at me one day he ranted and ranted for 5 minutes in the station. Everyone left me in the station with him. He said, "Well don't you have something to say!" I told him, "When you can talk to me like a human being and with respect, then I will discuss the issue with you, until then, I have nothing to say to you!". He stopped, sat down and we talked. We get along very well since them. You need to have some rules in your hospital in dealing with abusive staff (regardless of who it is) and a good DON to back you up. Good luck
  8. 0
    GO HEATHER!! You did great. I have had a couple of similar experiences that I dealt with the same way. Some doctors seem to stomp on the nurses because they think they can.

    BUT, if anyone deals with a situation as you did, we had better be prepared to deal with possible consequences from other docs, hospital administration, and our nurse managers because not everyone will stand up for us when they should. Again, Kudos to you!

    Brad

    [This message has been edited by BJA (edited April 01, 2000).]
  9. 0
    I will not tolerate anyone belittling me in my personal or professional life. I hung the phone up on 2 MD's for being so condescending and arrogant. Yes, they reported me to my DON, who happens to believe in knowing how to "play the game". Nevertheless, she did not 'interfere'. With one of the doctors, I had not received the orders I needed for this pt., and documented this interaction in my nurses' notes. No one on this earth has the right to treat you like a piece of dirt. In the event of a 'next time', I will try to talk over an MD's yelling and state that I will be happy to deal with them when they are ready to be civil. You really need to recognize your own self-worth. Much luck to you.
  10. 0
    I find sometimes it works to "kill them with kindness". Also try to remain professional even when they are not. I had a ortho surgeon that belittled everyone on the floor. Eventually he ended up treating me with respect when he figured out I was a competent nurse who really cared about his patients. His attitude changed when a patients family complimented me in front of him, saying how well "his nurse" took care of them.

    [This message has been edited by bshort (edited April 24, 2000).]


Top