Has A Surgeon Ever Thrown An Instrument At You?

  1. I remember working at a hospital in Washington, DC and a Surgeon threw a key elevator at one of the nurses who worked there and it hit her in the head. He was upset that they didn't have the prosthesis he needed. She happen to be a friend of mine and I will never forget it! Neither would the surgeon because he came close to losing everything. The nurse was injured with a busted head and was rushed to the ER. Talk about chaos! Could you imagine? She recovered quickly (back at work two days later) and ended up suing the doctor. Two months later I went on my first travel assignment to get away from all the crazy things happening at that hospital. It's enough to write a book! Has any OR nurse ever encountered such a thing?


    George Traveling with Hospital Support
    Last edit by TravelerAdvisor on May 16, '02
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  2. 50 Comments

  3. by   live4today
    I'm not an OR nurse, but if I were and a doctor threw an instrument at me, he/she had better vanish into thin air or get hit by same instrument if I'm standing and able to throw it back at 'em. The nerve of that doc! I'm glad that nurse sued him! Good for her!
  4. by   nurseratchett29
    Since one of my hobbies is knife throwing, the surgeon would be in a hell of a lot of trouble if he/she even thought about throwing something at me. Another surgeon would be needed to extract the thrown instrument from their forehead!!!!
  5. by   ageless
    I once saw a surgeon throw a syringe, with the needle exposed, against the wall. Glad I wasn't working with him that day!
  6. by   suzannasue
    Many moons ago,when a newbie,I was observing a surgeon who was doing a bedside procedure...the staff nurse assisting him did not have enough 4x4's for him and he threw a blood filled syringe at the staff nurse...she ducked,picked it up and threw it right back at him,needle stuck in the wall behind him...she then proceeded to tell him "if you ever do that again,I promise you I will not miss!!!"...I was scared and thrilled at the same time. He became a very calm,patient surgeon after that !!!!!!
  7. by   meandragonbrett
    My mother used to work for a very well known doctor here in town. He threw a knife at her while they were in the OR. that's the last time he ever threw a knife at her. She threw it back at him and it gave him quite a large cut~ she also quit and went to a hosptial and worked as the Holding\PACU supervisor
  8. by   delirium
    I am not a nurse yet, but there was an incident that I observed that is similar... I work in a small rural hospital, and one of our cardiologists on staff does cardiac catheterizations at one of the city hospitals in D.C. Anyway, I was observing and he asked the nurse to set him up for a different procedure (can't remember what), and the nurse wouldn't because the doc wasn't qualified to do it or she wasn't.... (ok, this is a lousy story because I can't remember all the details). Anyway, he had a syringe full of blood and he SQUIRTED the blood filled syringe at the nurse.
    The nurse sued him, he lost his hospital privileges, and I can't tell you how many times I had to explain what I saw.
    Totally disgusting. That doc doesn't do caths anymore, but he still has privileges at my small hospital. Everytime I look at him, I think about it. I'm sure he thinks about it every time he sees me too.
    :roll
    I almost reconsidered nursing at that point. To have a physician be so disrespectful that they think nothing of throwing body fluids your way.... UGH!
    BTW, the doc's defense was he didn't squirt her in the face, and he only did it to get her attention.
    Whatever.
  9. by   mud
    I have heard stories of the same in my OR. I have only seen it once, I guess they grew out of it. I had a surgeon throw a sharp trocar in my general directon, without looking. He did not hit hit, or mean to. I did not let him forget it. I made sarcastic jabs at him for a couple of days. I know he got the hint, and we get along great!!
  10. by   TracyB,RN
    I have not had an instrument thrown at me, but have had a patient chart thrown at me ( yeah, I know, not as dangerous as an instrument, but it is just the idea of having things like that happen). . . I picked it up, threw it back, & DID NOT miss. . . and wouldn't miss again if the need arose.
  11. by   CATHYW
    Not an OR nurse-but, had an ERP throw a chart at me one day. I threw it back, and told him when he handed it to me, I'd take it. He handed it to me, and I took it. He never did it again.
  12. by   rnor
    We had one surgeon that would pop your hand if you passed an instrument wrong, or if you turned towards the backtable...he would also throw instruments in the laundry bags, across the room, at the nurse, what ever caused the problem they received the flying object.
  13. by   nrw350
    I am not a nurse, but by reading the stories; it would seem that it is not a good idea to piss of the surgeon or doctor. I hope I am never a patient and observe that. Are these things (doctors getting mad at nurses or something like that) common?

    Nick
  14. by   Rottie1
    I have never witnessed a surgeon throwing anything at anyone, but we had one surgeon bustining on another room to whine about some instruments he wanted for his case. It was a very uncomfortable situation. But the hospital took it seriously and took those involved aside and investigated the whole thing. That surgeon no longer has privileges at the hospital (not just because of that, there were other problems too). I have see surgeons throw instruments onto the floor just because they don't work or are not what they wanted. I have heard stories of surgeons that used to throw things or just throw fits, and after enough incidents they ended up going to anger management or something because they come back all cool and in control.

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