Surgeons who make me cry!!!

  1. Hi everyone

    Im new to the OR 8 weeks now, and there is one arrogant surgeon who treats everyone like crap. Well most people have learned to put up with him. Twice now he has brought me to tears, once I had to break scrub and get a replacement. I am not doing anything wrong, but its his demeaning tone of voice, like how dare I talk back to him. Other than him i like my job. I have to scrub for him on monday and it has ruined my weekend thinking about it. Any suggestions on what I can do to be able to control my tears and not break down, because my nose starts to run etc. You know how bad that can be when your scrubbed. I know everyone says dont let it bother you hes just a jerk etc. But thats not helping me at this point,. HELP!!!
    Pam:angryfire
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  2. 47 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    We must have his twin brother to deal with where i work.

    I just remind myself (inside of course) that at least i'm not his wife, that i don't have to live with him (thank God), that it must take a lot of energy to be that miserable, that his hemorrhoids must stay flared up all the time, picture his stomach looking like Swiss cheese from the ulcers.
  4. by   shodobe
    Every OR seems to have a jerk like this and it seems that the guy must really feel like he has accomplished something by getting through med school. I know it isn't easy to just tune him out and just trying to ignore him isn't that easy also. When I started 30 years ago there was this one surgeon who use to just ruin my day. Dr "D" was one of those old school types who just took pleasure in seeing how much he could make you sweat. To know I had to scrub for him the next day would literally keep me awake all night! His little comments like, "There are four hands in here but only two are working!" and "Have you actually scrubbed one of these before", always deflated me. I got to the point where I would turn my back to him and would only answer him when questioned and never participated in a conversation with him or his assistant. Now, I know most would tell you to never turn your back to the surgeon and the field but after many years I got to point where I could hear everything that went on at the incision and didn't need to look all the time. I just tuned him out. I still work with him after these many years and I really do miss working with all the time, he is semi-retired. I don't know if there is a good answer to a bully that got the same treatment when he was in med school by his attending. It seems they always want to get revenge on the easiest target, the new person. Talk with your manager and see what they can do for you, and if this is the only problem you are having after 8 weeks just think you only have to put up with him for short periods and can enjoy other cases with people who appreciate you. Good Luck!!!!!
  5. by   inspir8tion
    It is very hard to deal with these types of people. I am so sorry you have to go through this. I know it is hard not to take it personally, I mean, he is doing this to YOU afterall. There is this one saying I repeat to myself in these cases, it is "I hear you barking big dog!" I feel if I am doing my job right and to the best of my ability, then any crap someone is throwing at me is just like some dog barking for no reason. And barking dogs do not make me cry. Hey, it works for me.

    Something else you may consider is to talk to this person before or after the case and express yourself in a professional way. Saying that you are doing your best and that you will continue to do your best regardless of how you feel when you are around him. Since he treats everyone like this, it is unlikely he will change. But at least you will have said your peace and then you can try your best to think of him as some barking dog! Woof Woof!
  6. by   umakemesmile
    My montra "They can only kill me once" and "No case lasts forever".

    All I can really tell you is to do the best job you can. Some surgeons seem to relish in making new ppl feel incompatent. Hang in there.

    And say to yourself "They can only kill me once" if nothing else it'll make you chuckle.
  7. by   brewerpaul
    Don't take it personally: you said he treats EVERYONE that way. Remember that it's HIM, not you. Do your job the best you know how and say "Yes Doctor" whatever happens. You will NOT change him, so get used to that fact. For some psychological reasons ,he feels he needs to treat people in this way-- poor self esteem? Insecurity? Problems at home? The point is, these are his problems, not yours.
    One thing that MAY help is to try to be friendly with this Doc outside of the OR if you get a chance. Say hello, ask him how things are going, about his kids, etc. If he sees you as a PERSON rather than just another fixture of the OR, he may treat you better. Or not. But it's worth a try.
  8. by   mikethern
    My advice is to be tough. Next time he disrespects you, tell him, "DON'T TALK TO ME THAT WAY. I'M DOING MY BEST."

    It's sad but it's true that the less friendly you are to some surgeons, the nicer they will be to you. Don't even say hi to him when he scrubs in. The weaker you act, the more he will pick on you.

    I hate arrogant people. If someone disrespects me, I hold a grudge.
    Last edit by mikethern on Sep 16, '07
  9. by   GadgetRN71
    Quote from mikethern
    My advice is to be tough. Next time he disrespects you, tell him, "DON'T TALK TO ME THAT WAY. I'M DOING MY BEST."

    It's sad but it's true that the less friendly you are to some surgeons, the nicer they will be to you. Don't even say hi to him when he scrubs in. The weaker you act, the more he will pick on you.

    I hate arrogant people. If someone disrespects me, I hold a grudge.
    OP, there is good advice in the above post. I know it can be hard but try not to cry in front of this doctor. As Mike said, some docs are like sharks when there is blood in the water if they see they can get to you. You can stick up for yourself in a calm professional manner-I prefer to deal with the situation there and then(as long as the patient isn't bleeding out or crashing).
    I think I'm going to put the last line of Mike's post on a coffee mug.
  10. by   mikethern
    Remember, we all took psychology classes in college. Use this knowledge. Some surgeons act like babies. DON'T SPOIL THEM.
  11. by   pamc217
    Hi guys
    thanks for all the good ideas. Well i made it thru the day with him. As i was setting up my table i was so anxious that i got teary eyed. I finished and went to the ladies room. So maybe I got it out ahead of time. But what i had planned was that when he barked at me, I did what i was told and then to take my mind off of it, i would add numbers in my head. Yes I probably wasnt as good at anticipating what he wanted but It saved me. Well he went on to bark at the resident, and afterwards she said her piano teacher in first grade was worse, that he needs to step it up to shake her. Well hopefully it will improve from here. I feel that he must feel so incompetent that he has to do that.
    Thanks again all!

    Hugs Pam
  12. by   mikethern
    Quote from pamc217
    So maybe I got it out ahead of time. But what i had planned was that when he barked at me, I did what i was told and then to take my mind off of it, i would add numbers in my head.
    Hugs Pam
    Now that you mention it, another thing I used to do while working with arrogant surgeons is curse at them in my head. The more profanity the better. Curse at him nonstop in your head. It's very therapeutic.
  13. by   TallBlondie
    My advice is: NEVER let any surgeon see you cry! It can be very hard because there are a lot of doctors who get off on knowing that they have the ability to "break" a nurse, but I don't think it is just surgeons. There are a lot of people in general who are just plain mean. Just let it roll off your back and vent to your friends about it later in the break room.
    We have this one doc who I wouldn't classify as mean, but he is definitely a jackass. The thing I hate most is that when he is with this one scrub in particular, he likes to demean the nurse in the room and the scrub laughs when he is like this. A couple weeks ago he said "I threw a bloody lap in the floor." and the scrub started snickering. The he says "I did it on purpose, I just didn't like the way it looked laying there. Oh, and here's another one!" and then he procedes to throw another one to the ground. Well, I am a nurse, not a maid. And while I will usually tidy up the room and clear off the cart for the scrub and clear the table when the doc starts to close, this time I left everything a mess and left the laps where they lie for the scrub to pick up. Towards the end of the case she (the scrub) kicked the two laps towards me and I kicked them back and said, "Those are for you!"
    You have to let people like this know that you can play tough too. You may never be able to change people but you can let them know that you can make their life a living hell just the same. And while that doctor will still continue to throw laps in the floor for other nurses, I am trying to teach this scrub that WE have to stick together. This particular kind of event used to happen all the time and I would get upset and later I would think, "I should have ..." Then I decided that I would have to start doing those "should haves".
  14. by   mikethern
    Another thing that encourages bad behavior from surgeons is staff that kiss ass. There are nurses and techs who will treat a surgeon like gold even if he is a royal jackass. This is just positive reinforcement that encourages them to keep acting like a jerk. If ALL nurses and techs were unfriendly to jerk surgeons, the surgeons would be nicer.

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