Why is it okay for Doctors to yell at Nurses? - page 5

by Anaya_1de 13,108 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. 0
    Quote from Fiona59
    In my hospital a doctor that yells is dealt with. Abuse of staff is unacceptable says the sign by the desk. I know of one surgeon who was sent on an anger management course when he had a hissy in the OR. The OR manager document it, the nurses filed grievances, he had his OR time taken away until he went to the course and apologized.

    Abuse is abuse. Doesn't matter if you have a medical degree.

    No, if only management would handle patient families the same way.
    Our unit needs that sign!
  2. 0
    I have actually witnessed the "yelling" a number of times at the hospital I used to work at. One doc in particular would get ****** about something a nurse had done ( or not done) and starting yelling at high volume and cussing. This was the norm and nothing has ever been done about it. I also witnessed him throw a chart across the room at a nurse. She was not hit, but that is not the point. We are professionals and should be treated as such. I was lucky with this particular doc, he yelled at me only once in 5 years, and it wasn't even my fault. He did apologize for that later as he realized I was not at fault. It amazed me then and now that NO disciplinary action was ever taken. He is a wonderful doc, one of the best I've worked with, but his temper is fierce. One other episode I vividly recall is during a code in ICU. We had a patient going bad, he needed to tube but could not get the bed to lower. The beds were all new and apparently no one had recieved training on how to operate them. He and another nurse were standing over this poor patient screaming and cussing at each other about the bed. He finally climbed up on a chair and tubed the patient. Then our poor manager walked in and botht he doc and ICU nurse lit into him about the beds. What a way for that poor manager to start his day.
  3. 0
    I've been actually "yelled at" maybe twice in my career as a nurse, and it certainly was never thought of as OK. Usually it is a few personalities that are a problem with everyone they interact with and administration doesn't tolerate that, whether they are a physician or not.
  4. 3
    Quote from Mandy LVN
    I also witnessed him throw a chart across the room at a nurse. She was not hit, but that is not the point. He is a wonderful doc, one of the best I've worked with, but his temper is fierce.

    If I was this nurse and a doctor threw a chart at me I would have pressed charges against him. How can he be a wonderful doctor who likes to assault staff?
  5. 5
    I work at a major teaching hospital and I can say that, in our department, there is nothing but courtesy and respect between the physicians and the nurses... even when things have been missed, the docs are very good about simply following up to make sure things are being done...

    It starts from the top: The chief does not tolerate misbehavior from his docs and the nursing management does not tolerate it, either. It is a professional environment and all are expected to behave as such.

    I think the docs themselves would correct one of their own who crossed that line. Likewise, the nurses have very high standards to which we're all held, by each other.

    I don't know if it's because it's academia or because the residents "grow up" with the nurses or that we're just blessed with a decent human being at the top but such places do exist.
    Anaya_1de, RNperdiem, 3aremyjoy, and 2 others like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from lovingtheunloved
    I've never been "yelled" at. If I were, you can bet that doc would think twice about yelling at me again.
    Very true. I've had a few aides/nurses who've yelled at me *once*. But you better believe they've never done it *twice*. if you stand up for yourself this kind of thing won't happen.
    Anaya_1de likes this.
  7. 2
    When I was a new nurse, one of the doctors screamed so loudly at me, the supervisor came out of her office. I had asked him to make someone, at the family's request, a DNR. They were afraid to speak to him. He screamed that I was only a nurse and how dare I mention a DNR. Before the supervisor could intervene, I said in my quietest voice, "They asked me to ask you since they are afraid of you and after witnessing your behavior, I understand why. And, by the way, you're not as nice as your brother." He immediately backed down...didn't apologize but never yelled at me again. I was yelled at by a cardiologist for refusing to give 35 mg of Coumadin to a patient with an already high PT/PTT. He got in my face and hollered. I had to back up since I could smell the ETOH on his breath. I told him, again in a quiet voice, that I was not going to give a medication which might kill someone and if he wanted them to have it, he could give it himself. He stormed off the unit. Two days later, his license was pulled for showing up at work drunk.
    I had a doctor scream at me in front of the supervisor for 'not giving a complete report on the phone.' The supervisor told him she was sitting next to me and heard everything I said which included ALL the pertinent information. He did say he was sorry.
    This was in my first month as a nurse! I'm surprised I've stuck it out all these years.
    Only one time since I started working in LTC have I seen a doctor be allowed to act like this. We had one doc who would throw charts around the room. We were told we couldn't do anything because she was from a 'protected class'. She eventually got mad enough at everyone to quit!
    No one should have to be treated like this. I went to school in the early 80's and my professors told us never let a doctor yell at us.
    KelRN215 and nursel56 like this.
  8. 1
    However, I don't think yelling at someone is the end of the world. I wish some coworkers would yell once in a while, instead of all the passive agressive catty crap that goes around. I never had to deal with much of that before entering the world of nursing. Sometimes yelling and being agressive is cathartic.
    anotherone likes this.
  9. 1
    Everyone is entitled to a bad day now and then. However, routine tantrums are never ok. I don't tolerate abuse from anyone, and physicians are no exception. On occasion, I have called them on it. You want respect? Respect is a two way street. And some doctors are just jerks, but those people exist in every profession.
    Anaya_1de likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    I have a question.

    I see a lot of post in many topics on AN about Nurses being mistreated. Is it really so bad that it can't be brushed off (I mean mistreatment by pt's and families btw. I wouldn't put up with a coworker looking down their nose at me either)? When I was a Marine, I took a side job as a bouncer, and I had a temper back then too lol. But I immediately realized that any yelling or threatening towards me was them threatening a "Bouncer," not me personally, you know? Keep in mind I'm not saying anyone is doing anything wrong, just curious-Is the yelling from Pt's and their families really that bad?
    No. We're adult professionals, we can take it.
    nursel56 likes this.


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