Working in a small practice, and the employees are rude.

  1. Have been working in a small mom and pop practice for about a year now -- no EMR -- all on paper. Doc is old school. Very busy and well loved practice with a large patient volume. I started there a year ago, with a few years of retail health experience, but not fully versed in primary care. The staff has all worked together for years, and we as NP's/PA's seem to march in and out of the practice, as no one ever stays too long.

    Have done well there and now am a fully fledged member of the provider staff, take call, and can stand on my own well - just need guidance now and then, which is appropriate, as I get any case handed to me.

    Still, one of the MA's there finds it in herself to be snappy and rude to me out of the blue. She's a rougher country gal, with a mouth, and I feel she gets an attitude about us as mid level providers, as many of us just get there, learn our stuff, then leave after 1-3 years. Or, it's just me ....I'm not sure.

    I hold off from just handing it back to her during the work day as I don't want to confront her, I'm not her boss, and I just don't have the time to duke it out with her in between my busy schedule. Also not sure what she'd do as she seems just slightly mentally unstable ....really don't want to get into a full on screaming match or worse with her in front of everyone.

    So, after the last episode, where she chided me for leaving the lid too loose on an FOBT sample (granted, yes, that could be a problem ....but it's also trivial and she could have just simply and kindly told me to make sure I tighten the lids before I leave them in the rooms, .....instead she ripped me over it rudely and nastily in my face) I decided to complain about her to the practice manager and have demanded a meeting between us all to address it with her.

    I feel wimpy, but it needs to be discussed. There are staff members in some places that often will treat the doctors with the utmost respect, yet feel they can be all out crappy to the mid levels. .... because they think they can I guess.

    The practice manager, though, seems to make excuses for her ...."well, that's just her" and "oh, she just does these things and thinks out loud, " etc, etc. I say BS to that ... .this gal knows exactly what she's doing and just wants to bully me around.

    So, hope I'm doing the right thing ....guess if it continues I'll leave ....but it makes me sick. Maybe it's my cue to leave ....
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    17 Comments

  3. by   ToFNPandBeyond
    ...not without a fight! You're doing well at this practice and appear to be learning a lot! Those things don't always come easy, and who is to say you won't come across this same situation at a different practice. It sounds like the team as a while treats you well, except for this one bad apple. It also sounds like this is the first time you are really doing your due diligence in confronting this issue. You are right to do this. And it may be more feasible to correct the behavior of one person, rather than fight the whole team of staff, which fortunately is not the case for you.

    I've learned over the years in dealing with rude people that you have to nip these things quickly before it escalates, particularly in work environments. Moving forward, confront the disrespect and bring it up to management when things escalate. Should things continue to be worse despite your efforts, then you may consider leaving.

    Good luck!
  4. by   ToFNPandBeyond
    ...not without a fight! You're doing well at this practice and appear to be learning a lot! Those things don't always come easy, and who is to say you won't come across this same situation at a different practice. It sounds like the team as a while treats you well, except for this one bad apple. It also sounds like this is the first time you are really doing your due diligence in confronting this issue. You are right to do this. And it may be more feasible to correct the behavior of one person, rather than fight the whole team of staff, which fortunately is not the case for you.

    I've learned over the years in dealing with rude people that you have to nip these things quickly before it escalates, particularly in work environments. Moving forward, confront the disrespect and bring it up to management when things escalate. Should things continue to be worse despite your efforts, then you may consider leaving.

    Good luck!
  5. by   AnnieNP
    All of the other employees may be very happy to have someone address this MA's attitude.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    Confrontation can be positive too - she can use this as personal growth potential. And..you need to be comfortable with your workmates too.

    Best wishes - let us know how it goes.
  7. by   caliotter3
    Quote from AnnieNP
    All of the other employees may be very happy to have someone address this MA's attitude.
    Yes, someone else.
  8. by   Jules A
    Try not to be too disappointed or surprised if nothing comes from it. In cases like this I wonder if it isn't better to swiftly address it yourself between the two of you, totally ignore her or leave if its intolerable. The practice manager has already shown you her cards.
  9. by   Libby1987
    Oh shoot, thanks for reminding me, this place couldn't run without you.

    I must get on your last nerve, another newbie that you have to deal with.

    I appreciate all of your help, I'm trying not to be such a PITA as I learn the ropes around here.


    From the support staff's POV, you make what? 5 x as much as they do? It's hard for them to understand and continue to deal with why one licensed staff after another doesn't get the basics. Think nurses cleaning up after MDs, some get pretty frustrated whether the MD has good reason not to know everything that they do or they just make occasional ditzy moves, one after another starts to wear down some of them down.

    I'd cancel that meeting if I were you, you'll never gain her respect and lose everyone else's after that. Doesn't matter if she's the office grouch, you're so far above her on the food chain and you couldn't manage it yourself? If you were an MD, would you call a meeting with the office manager and MEDICAL ASSISTANT because she is "snappy"? You might win the day but you'll have missed an opportunity to learn how to deal with support staff trying to deal with you.
  10. by   mmutk
    Don't expect much difference at your new place of employment. There are always going to be a few bad apples in any practice setting. Welcome to life!
  11. by   wondern
    Now you know your manager is great at discounting your feelings. Yep she showed her loyalty. That's exactly why folks leave in 1-3 years, I'd be willing to bet.
    Let them keep their loud fun bully!
  12. by   TriciaJ
    I would cancel the meeting too. You need this person to respect you and that won't happen if you have to call in the troops before you do anything yourself.

    Start with "I don't treat you with disrespect; that is uncalled for." "Lose the "tude." With full eye contact: "I beg your pardon?" Get into a full screaming match? No. You are professional. You can speak your truth quietly and assertively. If there's any screaming going on, it won't be from you.

    You need to stand up to her and address each episode of snippiness and disrespect. No screaming, no speeches, no conciliatory expressions or gestures. A flattened hierarchy has its benefits and its pitfalls. A pitfall is insubordination. You need to calmly put her in her place by putting yourself in yours.
  13. by   SizzlerRN
    You need to take care of your career and your reputation over everything else. That means handling this situation like an adult and speaking with her one on one: "If you believe I've done something incorrectly, I'm happy to take the feedback. However I expect that you'll share it with me in an appropriate and professional manner, and in a way YOU would be comfortable to receive from me or anyone. I'm going to be here for the foreseeable future and I'd like us to get on the same page. Agree?"

    To call a meeting with you and a manager will do nothing but keep you on her bad list.

    Sure, it's a shame you have to "handle" her at all. But when an employer won't do it (which is one of my pet peeves in life), bullies and crap employees get to stick around, to the detriment of everyone else. The RIGHT thing to do would be that the employer should have addressed this long ago and not allowed her to fester. But now she thinks this is how she can be and is likely the only "power" she thinks she has. Ridiculous and gross, but people can be like this.

    My original point was - if you want to protect your career and have some longevity somewhere and not allow the bad apple to run you off, you have to handle her. Believe me, you aren't the only person who sees through the bravado.

    I would try that before even considering a change.
  14. by   FolksBtrippin
    I think you are correct to call the meeting. But I am not that hopeful that it will work out well due to the practice manager's comments.

    Still there is a chance it will embarrass her and get her butt in line.

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