Verbal Abuse in OR

  1. I have been working in Orthopaedic Surgery for 1 and 1/2 year now, not my chosen area of surgery but I considered it to be an opening into OR.

    Yesterday I was sworn at one time too many by a surgeon whom I was scrubbing for. I told him I would work better if he did not swear at me. He promptly denied swearing at me, asked his assistant who also said he had not sworn. My circulating staff did not hear anything bcs they were not in theatre at that precise minute. Nor did the anaesthesist nor the anaesthetic nurse!!!

    I obviously am delusional!! Because no one "heard him"', I have no support, so what do I do now? Keep my head down and hope for the best?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   cocothemonkey
    Probably not much you can do about it this time but atleast he knows you're not going to just sit back and take it. I tell you, surgeons can be some of the biggest a-holes on the planet. I've found they run either hot or cold, either really cool or really bad. I don't get it, nurses and techs are there to help them and some are not only unappreciative but downright hostile.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I can understand it that some are under pressure, and have a lot going on at once.

    Still doesn't give them the right to do it.

    There's a surgeon that requests me as his assistant anytime he's in the OR, and the C-section rooms. We get along great now. And it all started with him yelling at me, calling me 'stupid', etc. for something he broke. Part of it was working with another surgeon who was being a **** all day, and i was tired from that, but i'd finally reached a point where i wasn't going to take this kind of crap anymore. I said "I'll be damned if i'm going to let you stomp all over me like this, and attempt to humiliate me to make yourself feel better. Kicking me is not going to make your day any better, but it's going to cause me to resent you, so CUT IT OUT, and do not do it again." He apologized. Meanwhile, i was expecting to be out of a job by the next day, but nope.

    It's been a year and he hasn't been that way, to anyone. And from then on, i've let it be known that it's not acceptable if a surgeon does this.


    I think there are those that do it
  5. by   SFCardiacRN
    Write him up using the exact language you heard. Enough documentation and you can refuse assignment to his room. I did this (also to an orthopod) and did not have to work with him again for over 3 years. Even now I just do breaks and lunch relief in his room. Funny thing is, when he sees me he jokes "what are you being punished for?" He still curses others, but not me!
  6. by   spyder
    Quote from nubes
    I have been working in Orthopaedic Surgery for 1 and 1/2 year now, not my chosen area of surgery but I considered it to be an opening into OR.

    Yesterday I was sworn at one time too many by a surgeon whom I was scrubbing for. I told him I would work better if he did not swear at me. He promptly denied swearing at me, asked his assistant who also said he had not sworn. My circulating staff did not hear anything bcs they were not in theatre at that precise minute. Nor did the anaesthesist nor the anaesthetic nurse!!!

    I obviously am delusional!! Because no one "heard him"', I have no support, so what do I do now? Keep my head down and hope for the best?
    did he continue swearing at you after you brought it to his attention?
  7. by   nubes
    No he did not continue after I made my remark. Does that make it acceptable?
  8. by   spyder
    Quote from nubes
    No he did not continue after I made my remark. Does that make it acceptable?
    no it doesn't make it acceptable. i was just asking. thinking maybe he got the point when you brought it up to him about his swearing. I guess maybe everytime he swears at you. You could do the same thing. hopefully at some point he will get the idea that you don't want to hear it. its a peaceful way to get your point across.
  9. by   Ferret
    There are really long posts on this issue if you look through this forum, like pages worth of discussion. But a short paraphrase is, abuse is abuse.

    Ask them to stop it, document all incidences, then bring it up with management, and stand your ground. You are not only standing up for yourself, but for everyone else that person abuses, and you can make a difference.

    Ferret

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