Dealing with OB docs...

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    Hi all! I've been an RN for 2 years. Got experience working on a nice, acute pediatric floor in downtown New Orleans, recently switched to prn on a peds/postpartum floor at a local suburban hospital...and now am officially training for L&D. It's taken 2 years for me to get my foot in the door and I'm ecstatic, as it's been my dream for as long as I can remember.

    My manager has been so nice and encouraging, has really gone out of the way to get me in this position but I was very much warned by almost every nurse I know, that these doctors can be brutal, especially to new people. There was an L&D nurse who left just 2 weeks before me because she couldn't take it, and she had experience in L&D. So I was definately expecting it, but it's hard. The amount of arrogance a few of these docs have, is absurd. I'm not new to nursing, I've had a lot of experience working with doctors but I haven't seen anything like this.

    So, my question, what am I to do? I am jumping in feet first really wanting to throw myself into everything I'm learning. I love working with pregnant women and there babies, it just never feels good to continually be treated like crap and so inferior by an MD. I'm usually a quiet person but I really want to start saying something. Why do these docs feel like they can pick and choose who their favorite nurses are and try to get anyone they don't like fired?

    Just yesterday I did about 10 NST's in 4-5 hours (the other nurses were taking care of the 4 patients that had delivered by noon) and I had to continually talk to this one doc on the phone in the midst of all that. At the end of the day she told me in the phone, "You know Bridget, my one problem with you today is that it has continually taken you 45 seconds to get to the phone when I called. I'm very disappointed. You really need to work on that!" I was speechless at first but then asked how long she thinks it should have taken me to come from the very end of the hallway to get to the phone? She didn't want to hear it. The other nurses were appalled. I love L&D, but I don't want to be dealing with this crap for years! I know she's testing me, but I shouldn't have to prove myself to her. Maybe my supervisor, my manager, my precepters, yes... but not her. I need help. I love L&D, should I go somewhere else?
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

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    That MD is just being an ass. No need to be snippy at you like that.

    We carry spectralink phones -- can you do that, and page the MD from that phone to call you back? You'd be able to answer it in less than 45 seconds ;-)
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    I am so sorry that you have to work with doctors like that. It's not like our job isn't stressful enough. I wouldn't go anywhere else, but I would stand up to them. I seriously have no problem doing that anymore.

    I have a good rapport with the docs I work with, but then, I've worked with them for years. I remember one night several years ago, one of my favorite docs and I got in a little fight at the nurses station over an APGAR score I gave a baby. He didn't think it was fair, and I thought it was very appropriate since we had to bag and do compressions on this little peanut.


    I know what I'd do in your situation, but then I work with some doctors who actually have a sense of humor.
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    one of the most useful things that i learned thru the years is NOT to play their game. ignore the comments....if you respond you FEED them. if there is no payoff, they won't continue. i also find that once you get your hackles up with them, they tend to knock off the childish behavior. it takes a thick skin and you have to have some sort of outlet if it continues indefinitely. but in reality, they are children, and some other shiny thing will catch their attention in time. it is sooooooooo frustrating and makes a 12 hour shift horribly long. if we could only behave as they do so they SEE......

    on the flipside, for those who have difficulty playing with others....the joint commission has put out very strong opinions on poor physician behavior and it is now considered an "event". i have even gone so far as reporting them thru the corporate integrity hotlines so that the facility HAS to address it. you can also report it directly (an confidentially in both instances) to the joint commission. the last thing any facility wants is a pop visit from them. it is serious business and it is being watched carefully. the only thing missing is for more people to report it. too many docs slide by with not so much as a slap on the wrist for their bad behavior.

    i got to know our risk department very well, and they too were very interested in bad doc behavior. that may be an outlet. talk to your manager. i am sure she meets with these physicians reguarly, and if she truly has the units back, she should address this with them. she certainly cannot staff if no one wants to work there because of this. it is in her best interest. is it a comfortable conversation..no...but necessary. been there, done that many times.

    good luck to you. i know how you feel


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