Why is it okay for Doctors to yell at Nurses? - page 2

by Anaya_1de

12,733 Views | 71 Comments

I'm currently in Nursing School to get my RN license and I noticed something that is bothering me. Maybe I'm still naive, I just find it baffling to hear how it's almost seen as a given that doctors at times will be disrespectful... Read More


  1. 2
    If they yell where I work, they get reported to Human Resources, get a little vacation to attend anger management classes then have to apologize to the person and are on probation for 6 months. Happened to one of our directors.
    DawnCaprice and LexRaven like this.
  2. 3
    I've never been "yelled" at. If I were, you can bet that doc would think twice about yelling at me again.
  3. 2
    Have never been yelled at, nor witnessed anyone else be the target of yelling.

    Coworkers will, from time to time, be upset with you for justified or unjustified reasons, depending on your point of view. From time to time, you will in turn be upset with your coworkers for some of the same reasons. Life happens.
    Orange Tree and anotherone like this.
  4. 0
    In my considerable time as a nurse, a doc yelling at me has been a very rare situation. I have also seen occasions where obnoxious nurses were yelling at other nurses, quite fiercely and loudly, in front of patients and family members. Shoot I have seen wacked out charge nurses do this. As hard to take as any of that is, what you see the most is stuff that is done to another nurse subversively. After all, most people don't want to openly look obnoxious and unprofessional. Their dirty needs are nasty just the same--whether open or by manipulating, bad-mouthing, or by misrepresentation behind the scenes. Ethical managers and nurses catch on; those are not as ethical rationalize the "secret" behaviors and let them slide. When you see this in your place of work, it clearly indicates very poor leadership, and to me, it's a sign to begin to look elsewhere.


    As for physicians, listen, I have worked with many a tired surgeon, and still it happens relatively rarely. Of course there is always the exception to the rule.
  5. 2
    There is a bullying law, where it is illegal to treat people in a bullying fashion.
    In my RN career I only encountered one Doctor who was a bully, yelling, and derogatory to the staff. He even would throw ink pens at the nurses when he was upset. He tried to intimidate me, I responded with, "I truly would like to specifically understand what you would like of me, yet am finding this hard to achieve when yelled at." He smiled and did not yell at me nor throw ink pens at me.
    nwnursing and LexRaven like this.
  6. 1
    It's not ok. JCAHO requires that facilities have a Zero Tolerance policy for disruptive behavior:
    JCAHO requires ' Zero Tolerance' for Disruptive Doctors and Administrators | Fox Rothschild LLP

    I am apparently in the minority as I have been yelled at by doctors and have witnessed colleagues being yelled at by doctors. Certain doctors were known repeat offenders. I was yelled at by management way more frequently in my old job than by doctors though. I have not been yelled at since changing jobs 8 months ago though.
    NRSKarenRN likes this.
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    One doc I worked for yelled at a nurse, and I'm talking about pointing in her face full-blown screaming, for something she didn't even do. He was frustrated (a surgical pack had been autoclaved with the wrong instruments in it, all nurses at the office sterilized the instruments so it wasn't her that did it and he had no set standard for what he wanted) and he just exploded. He never apologized but he never did it again. She just shrugged it off and the rest of us (we were all standing there telling him she didn't do it) were embarrassed for her, but we paid closer attention to his surgical packs!

    I've heard it said that doctors don't have a God complex, God has a doctor complex. There are some docs that are like that but most will be fine. As others have said, they'll get annoyed or disgruntled because they're human, but most of them know how valuable we are and will treat us the same they'd want to be treated.
    LexRaven likes this.
  8. 1
    I have been treated rather harshly by 1 or 2 docs. Most yelling and carrying on was handed out by patients and/or their families. That's really where most abuse comes from, IMHO.
    anotherone likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from samadams8
    In my considerable time as a nurse, a doc yelling at me has been a very rare situation. I have also seen occasions where obnoxious nurses were yelling at other nurses, quite fiercely and loudly, in front of patients and family members. Shoot I have seen wacked out charge nurses do this. As hard to take as any of that is, what you see the most is stuff that is done to another nurse subversively. After all, most people don't want to openly look obnoxious and unprofessional. Their dirty needs are nasty just the same--whether open or by manipulating, bad-mouthing, or by misrepresentation behind the scenes. Ethical managers and nurses catch on; those are not as ethical rationalize the "secret" behaviors and let them slide. When you see this in your place of work, it clearly indicates very poor leadership, and to me, it's a sign to begin to look elsewhere.


    As for physicians, listen, I have worked with many a tired surgeon, and still it happens relatively rarely. Of course there is always the exception to the rule.
    Corrections:
    Should read: dirty deed, not needs.
    Should read: those that are not as ethical. . .
    Esme12 likes this.
  10. 2
    Things have changed immensely in recent years. I have been screamed at, and witnessed more than a few bad behaviors over the years. This includes thrown charts, when everything was paper, and thrown phones. One doc actually hung up a wall phone so hard that it came off of the wall. But no longer - these behaviors are no longer tolerated.

    Once I was floated to an area that I was not familiar with, and apparently there were some unwritten but well-known post-op protocols that the permanent staff just 'knew'. But none of them were there that day, and I did not 'know' that the patient was supposed to receive a particular antibiotic as soon as she got to floor post-op. The pt knew she was supposed to get it, but there was no order. I called to the OR, he was too busy on his next case to take the call. Despite repeated messages, it was at least 3 hours before he came to the floor and then screamed - yes, screamed - at me because she had not rec'd her med. He stormed down to the DON to demand that I be fired. Luckily, when she came up to the floor she realized that I really didn't know about his unwritten protocols. When I wrote a letter of complaint about his treatment of me, it ended up in MY personnel file, not his. That was about 30 years ago.

    So glad it is different now.
    RNperdiem and anotherone like this.


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