Yelled at yet again

  1. 5
    Need to vent!
    Yesterday I got an admission from the ED. I paged the admitting physician for orders and one of the orders was for a cardiology consult. It was 5 PM so I paged the cardiologist. He called back and wanted to know why I paged him. I told him I paged you to tell you "this patient who blahblah". He repeated why did you page me? I said because the admitting physician ordered a consult from you for her patient. He started yelling at me for bothering him when he already knew about the consult. And yet again, I sit and listed to a physician yell at me for no reason not that I think there is ANY reason to yell at a colleague.

    I am so sick of physicians yelling at nurses. How do you deal with getting yelled at?

    I want a new nursing job, one with NO physicians! Doesn't that sound peaceful?

    Well thanks for listening...
    romantic, ohmeowzer RN, lindarn, and 2 others like this.

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  2. 40 Comments...

  3. 2
    No physicians does sound more efficient, doesn't it? Is your supervisor supportive? Would anyone in management have backed you up in that situation?
    It sounds like he was completely out of line, but (unfortunately) no one is going to stand up for you, but you. If management isn't aware there is a problem, they are not going to initiate any consequences. By "aware" of course, I mean documenting the incident and any other similar incidents and coming to management as needed.
    RNKel and lindarn like this.
  4. 3
    How do I handle it? Well unfortunately at two hospitals I have to live with it because the culture allows this type of behavior. One hospital I work at is a little better and I have walked away from docs who are being nasty, and once I just repeated what I needed to say over and over again in a monotone until the offending doctor stomped off. I was not afraid of repercussions at that hospital because any overt nurse abuse was not tolerated. Passive abuse was and still is.

    Eventually I am going to get out of nursing to deal with it in the long run. I know some nurses are proud how they can ward off these bullies, but I am tired of the constant abuse. And it is abuse. It wears me down. I know some nurses who put up with it with no complaint and they are so weird acting in all other ways. I sometimes wonder if they just cracked over the years.
  5. 7
    it may be because i'm older, more confident, and less tolerant of immature behavior (except on the part of the teenager who is immature) but i don't get yelled at much any more. except by my husband who professes to believe that his latin heritage gives him a license to yell . . . but i digress. someone yells at me on the phone, i hang up. then call back.

    is it the policy in your institutions that nurses call in the consults? because i would have expected the physician to call his own consultant, and that the order on the chart was just for my information when the consultant called asking about the patient.
    Straydandelion, lindarn, BBFRN, and 4 others like this.
  6. 10
    Just do not put up with the yelling period.
    Hang up the told him the reason for the page....when the yelling started....the call is over.
    I would not call him back either....its up to him now.
    I would also go through chain of command/incident report....
    When you see him in not be meek,or look down, hold your ground! Be professional, not apologetic!
    I don't care if you made a mistake and did not need to place the call....still no excuse for the yelling!
    Good Luck!
    romantic, RNKel, 9livesRN, and 7 others like this.
  7. 3
    I am sorry you had this experience.
    When I was new, I had several bad experiences with MD's who I now get along with great ( because I have learned how to deal with them). I remember once I called to let a doc know that he had a new admit, and he started in yelling because I missed (human error!?!) that his NP had already seen the pt and written orders. I did not know this NP worked in his practice and also did not see the orders right away as they were misfiled in the chart. I calmly apologised, explained I was new, and still was learning who worked for who, etc. He actually turned around and apologised to me for yelling, and now we have a good working relationship most of the time. I do not think that yelling or any other kind of abuse is OK, but I also have to look at it from the MD's point of view as well. As long as when I call, I have a good reason, and have all my ducks in a row to back it up, they are OK. If I am not prepared, and cannot back up my call with supporting evidence then I look like an idiot, and they loose patience (still no excuse for being abused). If it is a consistent thing, I would go to my TL, and document, and follow the chain of command for reporting the docs bad behavior, but don't hang them out to dry for one random incident. They have bad days too!
    romantic, lindarn, and racing-mom4 like this.
  8. 2
    I am so sick and tired of being yelled at by docs! Getting yelled at seems to be a part of my job. Let me preface this by saying that I work on a surgical floor which also has an 8 bed surgical stepdown unit. So the majority of the time I am dealing with surgeons. That statement should be self-exlpanatory. Several weeks ago I had a pt who had her foley d/c'd at 1700. At 0130 she still hadn't voided so I called the house PA to get an order to place another foley and called the surgeon at 0645. His response was "why didn't you call me?" He was actually angry that I hadn't called him in the middle of the night for this. Note to self: Next time, no matter what the reason, call the *@#^%$! in the middle of the night. About 1 week later at 0330 I had the same problem, so guess what I did? I called him directly. Guess what his response was? "WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT??!!! Couldn't you have called the house officer about this?"
    I had a cardiologist yell at me because I called him about a surgical stepdown pt with a pacer. The conversation went like this:
    Me: "Hello Dr. so and so I'm the nurse taking care of Mr. So and so. I'm calling to let you know that he had a 35 beat run of Vtach, 10 regular beats, a 42 beat run of vtach, 5 regular beats and then a 21 beat run of vtach followed by Vfib for 30 seconds. The pt has returned to NSR."
    Dr: "Is the pt symptomatic?"
    Me: "No."
    Me: "Because the pt had a 21 beat run of Vtach..."
    Him: "I'm so tired of stupid nurses calling me in the middle of the night! (Note that it was 0630) Unless the pt is symptomatic, DON'T CALL ME AGAIN!!" And he hung up!

    I had another doc yell at me for calling him when his Pt had a SBP of 192. The pt was S/P hemmorhagic stroke (presented in the ED with a BP of 269/114 - NO WONDER HE HAD A STROKE!!!) with a L craniotomy, and the neurosurgeon wanted the BP aggressively controlled. Neuro wrote an order to call the Primary MD for SBP>140. So when I got a SBP of 192, naturally, I called the primary. His response was "If neuro wants the BP controlled so aggressively, call them." Click. I called the neurosurgeon next who increased the hydralizine from 0.2 to 0.3. It took all of about 30 seconds.

    My point is, these doctors are out of control. What gets me even more upset is that these bullies only yell at the female nurses. We have 2 male nurses on our floor who NEVER get yelled at. My boyfriend (also an RN) never gets yelled at by the MDs at his hospital. I'm to the point where I dread having to call the MDs for anything! I'm so tired of getting abused for doing my job and looking out for my pts.

    Sorry. This thread brought on this vent. But I do feel better.
    Moneypitt and lindarn like this.
  9. 2
    I have once shouted back down the phone 'WHAT? SORRY! CAN'T HEAR YOU' then 'IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, PLEASE RING BACK ON XXXX' making sure that they were given the Charge Nurse extension number.
    lindarn and Altra like this.
  10. 1
    Quote from ruby vee

    is it the policy in your institutions that nurses call in the consults? because i would have expected the physician to call his own consultant, and that the order on the chart was just for my information when the consultant called asking about the patient.

    this thought came to me too - nurses don't call physicians for consults, docs do.

    as to yelling - i am older too ruby . . . .and don't put up with it. but it took me awhile.

    lindarn likes this.
  11. 3
    Where I work, we have a fantastic tool that allows us to report incidents such as these. The physician receives a warning and is tracked for further incidents. Many nurses I work with have even received apologies from these same reported physicians. No one should be treated that way.
    Valerie Salva, lindarn, and afranklin like this.

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