Dealing with rude doctors..

  1. 1
    I am a new nurse, and have been fortunate enough to work with respectful doctors and NPs--until last week! One of my patients was concerned because the doctor told him he would be back to see him after lunch to re-pack his abd wound, and at 8 pm still no sign of MD. Pt was also requesting pain medicine. I realize that that isn't emergent, but decided to go ahead and call since it's been 8 hours and my pt is getting uncomfortable. So I page the doctor, and he calls me back 2 minutes later. I start to explain the situation to him, and he cuts me off and snaps, "Right now I'm in the middle of intubating a man who's about to die, so I don't have time for that at the moment!" Um yeah ok, if you're intubating someone right this second, why are you calling me back? HA He did come up to see my patient minutes later and all was well. I didn't say anything to him and just let it go. He has been reported multiple times for being hateful to nurses and nothing has ever come of it so I don't plan on going that route. Just curious as to how other more experienced nurses handle hateful doctors?
    Davey Do likes this.
  2. 26 Comments so far...

  3. 5
    You just have to realize that you are the patients advocate, and are there to do what is best for the patient. You do not work for the MD, and he probably doesn't even remember who you are the moment he gets off the phone. Their aggression is not appropriate, but you have to brush it off and just realize it is not personal in most situations. Good luck!
    RNSC, canoehead, Hospice Nurse LPN, and 2 others like this.
  4. 9
    "Accentuate the positive. Eliminaite the negative."

    TNgirl2010:

    Saying something like, "Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly!" or focusing on the positive aspect of a situation usually diffuses an other who has a need to vent.

    Remember- just because one has a higher degree does not necessarily mean that they also have a higher consciousness.

    Focus on the priority. We can't change another's personality. Put principles before personalities.

    You got the job done. Your patient got the needed attention. That's what's important.

    Dave
    nuangel1, RUN_RN, Daisy Doodle, and 6 others like this.
  5. 6
    Im not proud of it but i snap at people occasionally when im in stressed situation and they distract me from it. There is no way you could have known he was intubating someone but that was obviously the priority. I guess to me it just seems to me that his response showed he was stressed and trying to protray that there was a bigger issue at hand. When people respond to me in the manner you describe i don't take it personally.
    Hygiene Queen, OCNRN63, BluegrassRN, and 3 others like this.
  6. 6
    How the HELL are you 'in the middle of intubating a patient' and answering ur phone at the same time? Impossible! He was spinning you a line just to make you feel small, & to make himself look important. Stand up to him and ask how he can do both at the same time. Keep calling him and ask him to call u back. Yes I know it's hard, I've dealt with many rude surgeons (they're worse than anyone I think), but you have to just be firm & professional. If he continues, complain (though I've done that to management and they just brush it off).
  7. 2
    It is not in me to snap or be terse with people but I definitely understand why they do it. Yes he may be rude but I will play the Devil's advocate and say that docs are under an undue amount of pressure as well as nurses.

    Get to know your docs and how they react; it will save you much grief in the future. With this guy he sounds like he wants it succinct and fast. When I have to page someone the first few sentences out of my mouth are exactly who, where, what, why and recommendation. If they come off with I'm in the middle of saving someones life I tell them to get back to me and have a number ready so they may call back (although that scenario hasn't presented itself yet). Always check to see if the doc has PRN standing orders.

    All of you nurses have an opportunity to teach this doctor how to live a better hospital life by the way you react to him in the future. It's all about getting along and helping each other out. It can happen but in some cases it is too late and one puts up with it.

    I will also comment that the patient should have been assessed by nursing for for pain management and wound care upon admission. If the patient had abd surgery certainly pain management along with wound care should have been a focus. Instead the patients needs, which from the post I would surmise it was 8 hours after lunch, then it was 20:00 when his needs were being assessed and acted upon. I'm not rassing anyone; just putting it out there so you, as a new nurse, may benefit from a different perspective.

    It sounds like you're doing very well. Our biggest challenge as nurses is being advocates for the patients and their families.
    Hospice Nurse LPN and Davey Do like this.
  8. 2
    According to Professional Mediators, riffs, disagreements, and even arguments are expected to take place in the work environment. These situations cannot be the basis for any type of punitive rebuttal.

    However, the method in which they are expressed is open for critique. If they are dealt with in an inapproriate manner, punitive ramifications can occur.

    For example, if an individual participating in an argument raises their voice, uses profanity, and/or makes threatening statements or gestures, they can be opening themselves to punitive ramifications.

    Otherwise, we are just allowed to think of the other individuals in negative ways, such as being "rude", and have very little recourse.

    Dave
    Hospice Nurse LPN and tyvin like this.
  9. 5
    I don't care if someone's rude at work, doctors, patients, coworkers. I'm not there for my personal enjoyment, convenience, or self-esteem. If I'm there, it's because I've sold 12 hours of my life to the hospital. That chunk of my life doesn't belong to me any more. A deal's a deal.
    anotherone, muesli, Davey Do, and 2 others like this.
  10. 4
    Oh, how I want to reply to this!! Rude doctors just get brushed off by me because I let them know right away that I am an advocate for my patient because at this moment no one else is. They seem to stop and think about that then show a little more respect. Besides being rude, has anyone out there ever wondered why doctors have such POOR penmanship? After I became a nurse, the first doctor's order that I saw was totally undecipherable. I took it to a nurse in the facility who was used to reading crappy writing to decipher it for me. The next time the same doc was in to make rounds, I asked him not to leave before I see him. He asked 'why'? I told him that the last time he was there and wrote out orders, the handwriting was horrible, and I do not want to have to bother him by calling him later to tell me what was written. Medical Universities get good money from their students. You would think they could at least teach them to write correctly.
    NENE RN, Patchouli, Davey Do, and 1 other like this.
  11. 5
    [quote=carolmaccas66;4639001]How the HELL are you 'in the middle of intubating a patient' and answering ur phone at the same time? Impossible! He was spinning you a line just to make you feel small, & to make himself look important. Stand up to him and ask how he can do both at the same time. Keep calling him and ask him to call u back. Yes I know it's hard, I've dealt with many rude surgeons (they're worse than anyone I think), but you have to just be firm & professional. If he continues, complain (though I've done that to management and they just brush it off).[/quote

    With a laryngoscope in one hand and a tube in the other, what was he holding the phone with? Don't anyone answer that....


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