Had my first doctor scream at me today - page 7

I am a new grad. This is my last week on orientation.. Well today was horrible! Nothing went right! I was crazy busy.. I couldn't find any of my charts because they tend to "float around." Meaning doctors have them then social... Read More

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    Our hospital just passed a policy, which was actually approved by the medical staff, regarding inappropriate behavior. It defines inappropriate behavior, and the physicians will have a "three strikes your out" type of discipline. When it comes time for the physicians to be re-credentialed, they will lose their privileges if they have too many occurrences. We'll see how well it works, and if administration actually follows through, when one of the top surgeons (ie bread and butter of the hospital) does not qualify to be credentialed due to behavior problems. I think the physicians will not actually believe they will be disciplined, until it happens to 1 or 2 of their peers.
    The other plan, is to have the victim (ie the nurse that was treated poorly), to approach the physician with the unit manager on one side of him/her, and the CNO on the other side, and allow the victim to confront the physician about the behavior.
    We are a small hospital, and I have heard the usual stories of physicians throwing surgical instruments, and others yelling at the nurse when they are paged on the weekend (even though they are on call). For the most part, we are lucky, and there are just a handful of abusers.

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    Give him a friendly reminder that YOU have an RN degree and YOU are a professional and expect to be treated as one, and also a friendly reminder that OSHA states that on the job harrassment is NOT tolerated, and you will call. That may shut him up!
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    Get this months AJN there is an interesting article about how to deal with hot tempered docs. The line I liked best and I am paraphrasing here was: "You are a professional as am I and I expect you to behave like one." A buddy of mine is fond of walking away from doctors who yell at him. In the middle of their rant he just walks off leaving them there. I haven't had a full blown yelling yet, just a few who have had snotty comments. I am sure my time will come.
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    When I was 18 years old, I worked in an ER. We had this terrible doc who screamed often. One day he started in on me. So he was shouting at me. I looked at him and said, "I'm not participating in your attempt to abuse ME." Then I walked away. Straight into the women's restroom.

    Out of the mouth of babes. I have no idea where that came from.
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    "F" him. I had a run-in with an intern working in the ED at a very large and respected teaching facility. I was assisting this intern with a periotineal lavage on a very sick pt that was dying of AIDS. The pt was in obvious pain and was complaining that he could not tolerate the proceedure. The intern began to scream at this man like he was some kind of third-rate human that didn't deserve anything but what he got. I politely asked the Doc to ease up a little and then he began to berate me. Screeeeeeech (the sound of slamming on the brakes). I politely asked the intern to come with me to the supply room so I could have a word with him in private. When we arrived in the supply room I blew into him like he was the anti-christ. I told him "who in the h#ll do you think you are to talk to another human being that way, especially a pt." I stated if he chose to continue that behavior with me I would happily meet him in the parking lot after our shift and I would gladdly teach him some manners. Of course that statement completly changed his attitude and we continued to carry out the procedure. Every 5 minutes he was asking the pt if he was OK and to just stop him if he was uncomfortable at all. After the procedure was completed I was cleaning and dressing the incision and the pt asked me what I had said to the Doc to make him change his attitude so drastically. I simply stated that his behavior was a silly way to ask for an Ass Kicking. We both laughed. Do these doc's take a course on "How to be an A**hole" while in med school. Makes me laugh.
    Last edit by kalbo3 on Apr 15, '07
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    I find the problem to be one of large ego in small hospital unit (this applies no matter how any beds your unit is in the hospital). I have one Doctor that has been in my face since the start of my senior rotation. Our teacher made 2 hard and fast rules for the rotation. NO IV push, and NO taking doctors orders. When I explained this to one doctor who was insisting on giving me orders, she gave me a very hard time. I smiled at her, fished a hershey kiss out of my pocket and offered it to her in the palm of my outstreached hand without saying another word. I was trying to say "Here is something I can do for you - even though I am not allowed to do other things". Now I have an issue - every time she sees me - she calls me "teachers pet" and tells me she can't wait until I graduate because she has some "orders" for me involving "pushing". I suppose this is simply a matter of "forbiden fruit" and her trying to excersise power over a subordinate that is presently out of her reach. I know it is more than freindly banter because of the frequency and level of persistance on her part. Last wed she noticed I was losing my voice and kindly invited me down to her office for some "special medicine" - mentioned some medicinal throat cream that only she had available. I politley declined the generous offer for "special treatment". I guess power corrupts - but I will continue to hold my ground and follow the rules - they are for my safety. I am very aware that I am at the bottom of the food chain as a nursing student and just want to make it through to get my degree. Trouble I don't need.
    Last edit by royr on Apr 15, '07
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    Sorry to hear that. I was working in an office and gave the standard 2 weeks notice. I was snubbed by one of the doctors totally, another one yelled at me, and then dismissed my children form the practice. And she had the nerve to say I was being petty and vendictive.
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    Unfortunately the facility that I work in recommends to the nurses to keep their mouth shut to doctors that dog them in public. We are to just take it then write the doctor up on ethical issues. Then the PR person is to deal with the proper channels through the chief of staff. Problem is, the chief of staff is one of the worst. If we would stand up for ourselves and talk back to the doctor like they talk to us we would be wrote up and disciplined. We have on cardiologist that is very rude on the phone at night. I hung up on him one night when he was yelling at me and called the primary physician instead. I explained to him why I called. He, in turn, called the cardiologist and I got my orders. Three days later I got called into my manager's office and got a verbal warning for hanging up on the cardiologist! This is in a facility where the attitude is "if you don't like the way things are, go somewhere else".
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    I had time when I was a new grad and was out of orientation for 2 days. Those two days on my own was bad. Now on the third day I was at the desk when I overhead a PA not a Doctor complain that the surgical patient didn't get up to walk on his 1st postop day- which was the day before. I intervene the conversation and told the PA that the patient got up to the chair but refused to walk during my shift. Being that day we were CNAs short and two nurses called out. So this PA in front of other MDs and PAs starts giving me the riot act basically talking down to me in front of everyone. I guess he was boosting his ego in front of everyone. I even noticed one MD holding his head down trying not to laugh as the PA was tearing into me. I wanted to cry and put my foot up the PA's ass. Then I started noticing that they would start "finding" something wrong with my patients. So I decided to started documenting the times that I had problems with them. When I had enough of evidence....off to human resource I go. Well the PA and MD got a whiff of what I was doing and guess what... it all stopped. They wouldn't speak to me unless it was truely about patient care needs, not what they thought I "should have done" with my patients. Them not speaking to me was a blessing. I don't need for you to speak to me as a means to enjoy my job but YOU will respect me. To this very day (it was 5 years ago) I wished I spoke with my DON about how they were treating me but I was a young nurse with very little experience on how to become a strong nurse. If I were to work with those particular MD and PA NOW, They would be in for a ride.
    No job is worth being talked down to. No matter the level of education.. you are still a human being.
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    My first post on here. Not my favourite topic but one in which I feel I've got some experience.
    I've worked almost ten years in orthopaedics and musculoskeletal trauma theatres. As an operating room nurse in England I circulate, scrub in, act as what I think you would call an instrument tech and assist the surgeons. Yes our theatres are rarely adequaely staffed. So, I spend a lot of time working closely with senior surgeons etc.
    Firstly I've noticed there's a period beginning a few months after a surgeon is promoted to a consultant. The responsibilities of his, or her, own lists of patients begins to elevate the stress levels and the surgeon is no longer the pleasant carefree person I used to while away the hours with in theatre, discussing soccer or politics or whatever during surgery.Suddenly the weight of the world is on their shoulders, they don't have time to be pleasant to anyone and don't expect anyone to waste a moment before leaping to their assistance. After a year or two this period normally passes and they return to being civilised people once more.
    Secondly. I've noticed, just like everyone else, relationship breakups and divorce hurt surgeons too. On so many occassions, long periods of grumpiness and nastiness and generally mooching around the hospital like a bear with a sore head coincide with marital breakups and expensive divorce settlements. I think surgeons have more than most. And sure enough when it's over, all is calm again. And, goodness me when a new relationship blooms, it's like the sun comes out and spring has sprung. The grouchy old bear is skipping around the hospital smiling at everyone and regularly ( ok, occaisionaly) bringing donuts and cakes for the nurses he works with.
    Then one day the surgeon may become a professor. Which means they spend the remainder of their career in a fairly chilled state and nobody gets shouted at anymore.

    In my hospital there is a zero tolerance policy toward agressive behaviour, printed notices are strategically placed. I saw one nurse brandishing this notice at a doctor one time, he backed down, walked away.
    In the operating room, surgeons learn early that aggressive behaviour is not big and not clever. Since such discretions by their colleagues are often discussed and critiscised by staff during surgery.
    When I later discover the reason for bad behaviour, I am understanding but my level of respect for them is diminshed. What's more, I don't expect other staff to have to be so understanding or make any special allowances, that's up to them. I'm pleased to say that I know a handful of surgeons who have ALWAYS remained respectful of others and are genuinely nice people that it is a pleasure to know.

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