who is the Boss?

  1. FOR as long as I have been a nurse (28 years)
    it seems like doctors have a lot of power over us.
    They yell at us in front of patients. Report us if we speak our minds or say anything out of line.
    Who is our boss? and why do we continue to take this abuse?

    Input appreciated.


    MDS
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   fiestynurse
    The old days of the doctor being the "captain of the ship" are over! I am a licensed educated professional and an important part of the health care team. We all need each other in order to properly take care of the patients. And as far as putting up with verbal abuse from doctors--I will dish it right back and report him/her if necessary. The doctors in the hospital don't sign my pay check, therefore they are not my boss.
  4. by   mdslabod
    I agree with your reply and I wish I could dish it back but, it does not seem to work that way.
    Docs love to say, "I'm writing you up..." does not matter for what. These are interns and residents, no less. The first 6 months they are at your beck and call. After that, the arragance sets in and they are prima donnas.

    MDS
  5. by   justanurse
    to write you up on. Just make sure to have your own in hand. Do it very calmly. Graciously. Then proceed to cut them off at the knees.

    I've had my own round with a doc in the last year. He tried his best to win. Went to my manager and demanded I be removed from the floor. I ended going to our float pool several months later. Not over him, but because I have more time off with my family & a lot less responsibility. I live with myself better than I did before I left the charge position & it was time for a change. I love my work again. I see him some and talk with him like nothing ever happened. He smiles occasionally. And I know the new charge (a very experienced outspoken wonderful nurse) rides him hard and doesn't give him a break. She's so much harder on him than I ever was. I love it.

    Idle threats are idle treats. Sticks and stones kind of thing. But, if you get tired enough of it, just turn the tables. If you have someone who always threatens to write you up, have two papers ready. Pick them both up and proceed to hand them one. Say something sweet, kind and then proceed to start filling out yours.
  6. by   Mijourney
    Hi mdslabod. Like fiesty, if a doctor barks or threatens to bite, I bite back although I do try to think through how, when, and where my bite would be most appropriate. I don't get much gratification behaving as badly as the doctor did. After all, he/she has the problem not me.

    If this seems to be a regular problem in your case, it may be the way you're carrying yourself at work. I think that doctors and other staff sense nurses that are easy targets. Those of us who behave timidly or who in some way appear intimidated by the presence of certain staff always seem to be the most targeted. The fact that the doctor is a teamleader and a source of revenue (if they are in private practice) should not give him/her the authority to be dictator and king/queen. Are there other nurses having the same problem? If so, this sounds like something that needs to go through administration and the board. Administration is responsible for setting the tone that allows residents and doctors to treat staff the way they want. You and those who work with you need to remind administration who is doing the 24 hour care of the patient.

    If you find that you're not getting any cooperation from administration and are continuing to build up resentment, then I welcome you to home health. You will find in home health, if you know your stuff and know how or can figure out how to relate to a cross section of patients and meet many of their important health care needs, you've got a friend in the doctor and his/her staff.
  7. by   RNed
    We have a general rule around the unit. We pull our name tag off give it to the Doctor, " this is so you get the name straight" any witnesses do the same. Works all the time. We seldom do it anymore.

    I think the R2's are sharing information with the R1's.
  8. by   fergus51
    One of our ruder doctors found out that nursing staff could make his life pretty miserable (I especially loved calling him at 3 am to "clarify" his orders) and he straightened up pretty quickly. I think you have to nip it in the bud.
  9. by   armyrn
    About a year ago when I was working charge on a ward, an intern wanted to write up one of my nurses for "insubordination". He asked me for a 4187 (incident report). I was busy doing about 12 other things so I just pulled one and set it next to him since I really didn't care what he did. He started rattling off what had happened and as I said, I wasn't really paying attention. He stopped and said, honest to god, "aren't you going to start writing this down?" He really thought that I was going to take dictation for his incident report, and looked a little hurt that I didn't think it was important! He ended up being a really good guy, but I think medical school prepares docs for the way things used to be, and that's not the reality any more.
  10. by   Thunderkat
    I think you have to deal with it on a case by case basis. I have had some doc who truly appreciated us nurses and then I have some who were just the most miserable %$**$(%$(% on the face of the earth. I had one incident in particular where I was pushed by a doctor, he shoved me into a wall so hard and I was so shocked I burst into to tears.... I had accidently stepped on the corner of his "prayer rug" and he lost it on me. After I regained my composure I went into his office at the hospital and told him if he ever put his hands on me again, it would be a phonecall, 50 bucks and a six pack and they would never find his body. Needless to say he transfered 2 months after that. I would loveto take credit for his departure, but i think he was moving back to Iraq or Iran anyway. Now i just walk down the halls mumbling "your not the Boss of Me" lol
  11. by   mdslabod
    Thanks for all the good replys.

    I do make myself a target because I am older and many of the Docs are intimidated by me even though I go out of my way to help them.

    I just want to clobber those who think the words, "I'm going to write you up" will end up a punishment or the end of your career.
    I had one older Dr. tell me that he was going to see to it that I lost my license because I asked his name. Go figure.


    MDS
  12. by   purplemania
    Last year a notoriously obnoxious MD (Majestic Deity) yelled at me for collecting a lab specimen 15 minutes late. I pointed out that a 4 y/old had just died, was still on the unit, and the whole floor was behind due to the recent Code. His reply" Well, I know things happen but I expect my orders to be followed". I blew up. All the nurses wrote him up that day and we found out later he had been written up by so many nurses in ER that he was banned from them for 30 days. Since the Admin. took that small step we feel empowered to stand up to him. He has been calm for several months. Wonder if he's on something??????
  13. by   deespoohbear
    I have never had a doc threaten to "write me up", but I probably have made a few wish they could!! I don't take their bull either. Most of the docs I work with are pretty decent, but we do have a couple of "majestic deities." I hung up on one doc once because he was yelling at me. I just hung up the phone. He called me back in a couple of minutes, and the his attitude was different. I told my supervisor what I did, and she just laughed. I agree with the poster who said the docs find a nurse they can intimidate easily, and then proceed to make their life hell. We have one old surgeon who does that, especially with the new grads. I just tell to dish it back out at him, and he will respect you. Sounds like the doctors at this facility have a real attitude problem that needs adjusting. Just remember, docs "love" to be called at 3 am for clarification orders or laxative orders!!
  14. by   canoehead
    When I am threatened by someone who wants to speak with my boss or write me up I have always replied "please do, I would like to hear what someone else would think about this situation."
    That has always been a quick wet blanket on their wrath, as they think about their own actions once I agree. I have also written an MD up- and I think that an atmosphere where residents are demanding papers to write nurses up calls for a little more support of the nurses, and tell the docs to get their own damn paperwork- don't get it for them.

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