Quote from relusanmi
I am a new nursing grad working in an acute care setting. My job specifications require me to call MD's at frequent intervals for lab results and change in health status of my patients. I have since found out that most of the MD's that are attached to the facility where I work get upset whenever you contact them about their patients, leading them to be rude in the way they address nurses.
There's is this particular one that all nurses in the facility dread to call even in critical situations. I have been seriously bothered by this situation that I began to wonder if I am in a wrong profession. I am not used to being disrespected and I think I may snap one of these days.
I just need your candid advice on how to deal with situations like this.
I might not be the best person to offer advice since I've been known to do what you fear that you might do, i.e. snap at a rude person.
You might already be doing this but I'll include it in case you aren't. First of all, see to that you have all your ducks in a row before calling the physician. I like to report in the SBAR format. It's clear, concise and an organized way to convey the important/relevant information. Also if at all possible, try to "cluster" the calls (especially during nighttime). What I mean is if you need to call regarding several patients, don't make several seperate calls ten minutes apart (unless it's absolutely necessary). It can also be a good idea to ask your coworkers if they have something they need to talk to the physician about before calling.
If I think that the physician will react in a way that's to the detriment of the patient if I tell him/her what I think of their behavior, I'll try to bite my tongue for the time being.
However, I will tell them at the first opportune moment that in the future I do expect them to treat me with common courtesy and I'll do the same for them. Me calling them and them taking my calls is part of our respective job descriptions
. It's for the good of our
patients. Sometimes a gentle reminder about that fact will suffice.
I haven't had a problem with most of the physicians I work with. The few that have had an "attitude" were sometimes acting that way due to stress/sleep deprivation and others just due to generally cranky/nasty personalities. They have all improved their demeanor after a semi-stern, straightforward talking-to
There's is this particular one that all nurses in the facility dread to call even in critical situations
While I personally prefer to talk to a physician who behaves rudely "one-on-one", as one adult to another, the situation that you describe might warrant a different approach. If it's a problem with an individual
physician and it's severe enough to actually threaten patient safety
, it should in my opinion be brought up the chain of command. Have the nurses who fear/dread calling this physician made the physician aware that his/her behavior is unacceptable? Have they brought it to the attention of the nurse manager so that s/he can take further appropriate action? Perhaps, depending on what has happened, incident reports needs to be written?