Got yelled at by a Doc

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    I am a NA. The situation was as follows:
    Patient was in a single room. Single rooms in the UK are pretty uncommon, and often they are reserved for isolation patients, although not always if nobody needs isolating. On my ward they might be given to people who need space to come to terms with a diagnoses or just because no ward beds are available.
    If isolation is the case, then the RN is supposed to tell us, and put a sign up on the door saying all staff should wear gloves/aprons. Well, this didn't happen. So, I was in the room doing the patients vitals and the doc came in. He started yelling at me! "Why aren't you wearing gloves and aprons! You are going to spread infection all around the ward!". I was stunned that he would do that IN FRONT OF THE PATIENT! Sure, pull me aside outside the room and mention it... but I felt really bad that the patient thought I was ignoring the isolation (which I was not aware of in the first place!). Managed to find my voice and tell the doctor "I wasn't aware that the patient was isolated- thank you for letting me know. I will make sure the signs are up on the door right away" as sweetly as I could. I was FUMING!

    We don't have much to do with senior doctors as nursing assistants in the UK. Is this normal behaviour for docs? Do they think that yelling at people is acceptable? Man, was I annoyed at him!
    Last edit by KatieP86 on Nov 27, '12 : Reason: Clarify a point
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

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    Many docs develop god complexes!! Don't worry too much about it, you didn't know said patient was suppose to be in isolation the RN should have stood up for you
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    Forget the MD. He was just rude. But you do have a chance to make a difference. Review the policy on how to put people in isolation. Maybe the hospital educator can be involved where people will need to review the steps and determine where the breakdown might have occured. I will bet it was a communication problem, but still, a sign should have been on the door (assuming the admitting nurse knew the MD expected isolation procedure).Did the MD just assume the patient was in insolation because of room? Whatever, I just have to say you handled it appropriately.
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    Hmm - sounds like the OP responded in the best way possible. If the OPs case was unusual, their docs must have more manners than ours.

    Heck, it must be different here in the US. (my practice is in ICU) I have had docs scream at me on many occasions - a couple of times they actually threw things (chart & scalpel - missed, thank heavens!). I have even been present when docs yelled at patients/family members or other docs. Each time, I followed up with appropriate chain of command & (with only one exception) the miscreants were suitably disciplined.