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Are you yelled at a lot?

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Specializes in Dialysis RN. Has 2 years experience.

Long story condensed...I am newish nurse (1 year) with a psych nursing background. I decided psych wasn't the kind of nursing I wanted to do and decided to branch out. I quickly received an offer from Davita dialysis and also an OR residency offer from a community hospital. I turned down the OR job because of very low pay due to it being a community hospital and accepted Davita...which I am supposed to start on Monday.

I received a surprise call from a level I trauma center last week offering me an interview for their OR - which does EVERYTHING. It would be an amazing opportunity to see every type of case. I had the interview today and I *think* it went really well and I wouldn't be surprised if I am offered the job.

My only concern is this - They spent a good portion of the interview explaining to me that surgeons are a "different animal" and that I will need to be able to speak up and advocate for myself and that when things are going bad, surgeons will yell at you. They said they do not allow abusive behavior but that it does happen that doctors yell at you sometimes and you need to know how to handle confrontation. They also said nurses that work in the OR are strong personalities.

My first thought was that *I* am a strong personality and this may finally be the right fit for someone with a big mouth who isn't afraid to use it.....professionally of course 🙂 . I am never afraid to say what I am thinking. I am the farthest thing from a wallflower that you could find. But as human beings are complex, I have another side and have, on occasion, been known to tear up if I am screamed at. It's a reflex. I'm not even that upset. I don't know why it happens. It's embarrassing and I hate it. That being said, in Psych, I had patients threatening me and yelling at me all of the time and I never once became upset. It was easy because I just considered them to not know what they were saying and I didn't take it personally. Doctors also yelled on occasion. Didn't bother me much.

Is that the approach you take with surgeons? Just not take it personally? Are they really THAT bad? Worse than other kinds of docs?

I REALLY want this job - it's an amazing opportunity. But I admit, they scared me a little bit when talking about, basically, that surgeons are jerks. I appreciate their candor. They really wanted me to know what I was getting into if I accepted the job.

I LOVE challenges and I love the idea of learning this specialty from the ground up. So tell me, are surgeons that bad? And if so...how do YOU deal with it?

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Generally, when a surgeon is having a temper tantrum it's at the situation, not the staff. Yes, they do let off some (expletive) bombs and raise their voices on occasion. I've had a surgeon huff his breath and stomp his feet when the suture broke on his final pass for a bypass graft. I've had trauma surgeons yelling when a patient is exsanguinating. Then they get back down to business. If they do make it personal, then that needs to be addressed through the proper channels.

Are there strong personalities in the OR? You betcha. But they're out there in all specialties of nursing and also outside of nursing.

I would advise requesting a day to shadow. Then you can see things in action.

Nurse Magnolia, BSN, RN

Specializes in Dialysis RN. Has 2 years experience.

2 hours ago, Rose_Queen said:

Generally, when a surgeon is having a temper tantrum it's at the situation, not the staff. Yes, they do let off some (expletive) bombs and raise their voices on occasion. I've had a surgeon huff his breath and stomp his feet when the suture broke on his final pass for a bypass graft. I've had trauma surgeons yelling when a patient is exsanguinating. Then they get back down to business. If they do make it personal, then that needs to be addressed through the proper channels.

Are there strong personalities in the OR? You betcha. But they're out there in all specialties of nursing and also outside of nursing.

I would advise requesting a day to shadow. Then you can see things in action.

Thank you for this advice. Because of Covid, I cannot shadow. That's been the case everywhere I've been interviewing. In fact, I didn't get to shadow for the dialysis job I am supposed to start Monday. I feel like no matter what I choose, I'm going in blind.

The OR is something that I've always found interesting and exciting. The way I'm looking at it is that it's much easier (around here anyway) to get a job in dialysis than the OR - especially without med surg experience. If I take the OR job, I can always go back to dialysis if I don't like it for some reason. I don't know that the opportunity for the OR would present itself again. So I'm leaning heavily towards the OR job if I'm offered it.

That said, If I do work in the OR, at least I will go in knowing not to take anything personally. Heck, I was told by more than one person not to go into nurses because other nurses were mean, and I haven't found that to be the case at all. Like I said, I have a backbone. I just also cry sometimes LOL. But I don't want to let that stop me.

jennifer_chan_rnfa

Specializes in Operating Room Nursing. Has 11 years experience.

@Nurse Magnolia - CONGRATS on the opportunity! I started in the OR right out of school through a perioperative nurse residency program. When I got exposed to L1 Trauma, it was like a 'match made in heaven' - it truly felt like I had found my calling. I mainly scrub all of our L1s including our DTO (Direct-to-Operating Room L1s).

I would absolutely agree with @Rose_Queen - situations dictate the intensity and the 'lack of discretion'. If you have a patient on the table exsanguinating or have active compressions going on while the team tries to get control of the bleeding, there won't be a lot of room for patience.

That being said, it rarely (if ever) is personal. You built a bond with all members of the L1 Trauma Surgery team and like all tight-knit groups, you will have good days and bad days, but there is a common thread that runs throughout.

I got yelled at just the other night - AAA rupture - flown-in and directly taken to OR - we had to start compressions on the helipad. One of the surgeons did not think I was gowning and gloving the team fast enough and made some very rude comments. However, after the expiration, he apologized and said that his emotions got the best of him.

Please let me know if you have any other questions - more than happy to answer.

Nurse Magnolia, BSN, RN

Specializes in Dialysis RN. Has 2 years experience.

1 hour ago, jennifer_chan_rnfa said:

@Nurse Magnolia - CONGRATS on the opportunity! I started in the OR right out of school through a perioperative nurse residency program. When I got exposed to L1 Trauma, it was like a 'match made in heaven' - it truly felt like I had found my calling. I mainly scrub all of our L1s including our DTO (Direct-to-Operating Room L1s).

I would absolutely agree with @Rose_Queen - situations dictate the intensity and the 'lack of discretion'. If you have a patient on the table exsanguinating or have active compressions going on while the team tries to get control of the bleeding, there won't be a lot of room for patience.

That being said, it rarely (if ever) is personal. You built a bond with all members of the L1 Trauma Surgery team and like all tight-knit groups, you will have good days and bad days, but there is a common thread that runs throughout.

I got yelled at just the other night - AAA rupture - flown-in and directly taken to OR - we had to start compressions on the helipad. One of the surgeons did not think I was gowning and gloving the team fast enough and made some very rude comments. However, after the expiration, he apologized and said that his emotions got the best of him.

Please let me know if you have any other questions - more than happy to answer.

I ended up declining the job offer. They threw in a 2 year contract with the offer because of PeriOp 101 and the certification class they provide. I wasn't willing to do a contract, especially at a place where they described the atmosphere as so hostile.

I accepted a different job so hopefully I made the right decision. Time will tell! Thanks for the feedback!

Silver_Rik, ASN, RN

Specializes in Perioperative / RN Circulator. Has 1 years experience.

You made the decision you're most comfortable with at this time. I hope you get an opportunity to work in the OR one day if that's what you want.

I'm a new grad RN 3 months into a OR internship like the one you turned down. Periop101, 2 year commitment. I've heard horror stories from "old timers" about surgeons being frankly abusive toward OR staff; but - fingers crossed - I haven't been yelled at yet by a doc, even when I've made a mistake or two. I did get a "friendly" cussing out by an RN preceptor for not having a pen with me one day. Now, I have only done like 1 trauma case so far, and those are high stress.

Twice I've seen an attending yell at a resident, once the attending threw a Debakey forceps across the room after the resident made a pretty big mistake.

I'm sure it will happen, especially when I'm making the transition from working with a preceptor to being on my own; but so far I actually find myself telling people that I want them to point out my mistakes and not worry about hurting my feelings

jennifer_chan_rnfa

Specializes in Operating Room Nursing. Has 11 years experience.

I would agree that L1s are the highest stress - especially the ruptured AAAs flown in.

RN1.618, RN

Specializes in Operating room. Has 2 years experience.

I'm a newer OR nurse (1 year). Take comfort in knowing that the surgeons who do throw tantrums, do it to everyone. It won't just be you. With that being said, if you can deal with mental health patients, you can deal with an angry physician. Give yourself time! It takes a while to get used to the OR. But when you are comfortable, its really nice! I love it here. For every grumpy staff member there are 5 who are super fun to work with. I love what I do, my hours and most of the people I work with.

jennifer_chan_rnfa

Specializes in Operating Room Nursing. Has 11 years experience.

46 minutes ago, Laceyk321 said:

I'm a newer OR nurse (1 year). Take comfort in knowing that the surgeons who do throw tantrums, do it to everyone. It won't just be you. With that being said, if you can deal with mental health patients, you can deal with an angry physician. Give yourself time! It takes a while to get used to the OR. But when you are comfortable, its really nice! I love it here. For every grumpy staff member there are 5 who are super fun to work with. I love what I do, my hours and most of the people I work with.

Hi Lacey - do you mainly scrub or circulate?

RN1.618, RN

Specializes in Operating room. Has 2 years experience.

I do both.

jennifer_chan_rnfa

Specializes in Operating Room Nursing. Has 11 years experience.

3 minutes ago, Laceyk321 said:

I do both.

That's great - I love hearing about new nurses starting their careers in the O.R. as I did. Do you prefer scrubbing or circulating?

RN1.618, RN

Specializes in Operating room. Has 2 years experience.

I think for me it changes. I’m a little busier while circulating and have to communicate with a lot of people. So days where I feel more upbeat and energetic I love to circulate. Which is the majority of the time. And on the other hand when I want to be on my own and retract a little, LOL. I like to scrub on those days. There’s joys and comforts in both