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 work has them... Anyways that is a whole other topic..
Today I was in my patients room and the unit secretary called down there on the intercom. Asked if the patient was in the room. I said yes, why? He said; Just making sure. Well then here comes transport to take my patient downstairs for an XRAY. So I send my patient and everything is fine.
20 minutes later a doctor is asking for the chart. I tell the doctor that the patient is in XRAY. He begins to scream at me saying that he called 30 minutes ago to make sure the patient was here. Said he drove 30 minutes to come see this patient and now the patient isn't in the room. Continued to yell at me about how he didn't have all day to deal with my stupid mistakes. At this point a senior nurse stepped in to back me up (thank god). I called XRAY and the doc ended up going downstairs to see the patient. But I was so embarrassed. Everyone at the station witnessed this. The other doctors were looking at me and shaking their heads. I almost cried and then I remembered how my critical care instructor told us to never let a doctor make us cry. So I sucked it up and went about my day..
I was just so embarrassed and so mad. There had obviously been a miscommunication issue here. I spoke with the unit secretary and he agreed he should of told me why he was checking to see if the patient was there.. Luckily everyone backed me up. But dang!! Doctors can't do their job without us nurses! They need to learn some respect!:angryfire
I am sorry this happened to you. After 40 years of nursing, it still happens to me and all the nurses I know. You will need to develop your own skills to distance yourself from these jackasses.
Things I learned the hard way that I was not taught in nursing school: Don't apologize to a doctor if they are upset. You are not responsible for their bad behavior. When you apologize they tend to see a weakness in you and will sometimes hammer you even harder. Never allow a doctor to use your first name unless you can use their first name (this will be rare). Most physicians will want you to call them Dr. XXX. When answering the phone or meeting a physician, refer to yourself as Ms. so and so (your last name). You worked hard to become a nurse and you deserve respect too. If all else fails, get a Voodoo doll???
Last edit by ASSEDO on Apr 3, '07
: Reason: spell
Quote from snowfreeze
My first 'doc screaming at me' experience was when I was orienting in ICU. My first Swan insertion assist along with my preceptor. I went into the room with the doctor and started to set up the flushes and all the other things I thought we would need. Well I didn't do it fast enough and the doc started yelling for items he wanted and then said well you are so slow I should have just done this myself. I responded that I was new to ICU and this was my first Swan insertion and if he didn't talk nicer to me he Would be doing this procedure by himself. He stopped, looked up, actually said sorry and never gave me a hard time again.
My preceptor almost needed CPR, but after she got over the shock of me 'mouthing off' to that doc she was OK.
Stories like this just warm my heart!
I'm sorry the doctor was a creep, and that neither his peers nor your co-workers saw fit to stop his hissy fit.
Good for you for keeping your composure. I'm assuming the doc was ambulatory, so there was no reason he couldn't toddle on over to XR and see his pt if necessary. You aren't a mind reader, so there was no way you could have known he was going to come to see the pt.
Take some time to think about how you might want to handle a situation like this the next time. I've had times that one well-arched eyebrow and an "Excuse me?" does the job, and there have been other times that I have had to simply turn my back and walk away because there was no talking to abusive, disruptive docs. I simply will not engage them. I won't give them the satisfaction of getting into a battle with them. You will find what works for you.
No one deserves to be screamed at, not even if a mistake has been made.
Last edit by PANurseRN1 on Apr 3, '07