Doctor-Nurse Relationships

Nurses General Nursing


I work on an OB floor. Saturaday night, I had a run in w/ one of our 5 OB-Gyn's, who also happens to be my personal physician (or she did). I called her w/ some info. on a patient @ approx. 10 pm. She sounded half-asleep and she @ first did not want to change the plan of care, but then she did give me some orders, but then quickly cut me off. Knowing that this woman HATES to be awoken @ night, I called her back and asked if she would also like to order anything else, such as___ and ___ as I knew she would not want to be awoken later on. Well, she went off on me. OK, whatever and I got off the phone w/ her. Later she called back and she spoke to another nurse, but said she did not want to speak to me because i would probably "flip-out" on her. Hmmm, I did not scream or rant at her on the phone that evening. It was just the opposite. I basically decided she was tired and acting like a jerk and let it go. HOWEVER, when she called back and said she would not talk to me, I became very irrate. She then called back again and I walked by the phone and answered it, not knowing at first it was her. I then proceeded to tell her I was upset w/ her and that I felt she was dispespectful to me and I would not tolerate her behaviour. She tried to lecture me on how I should have a better communication style and shouldn't be suggesting orders to doctors (they forget stuff all of the time and often thank us for suggesting things), yadda, yadda, yadda. She does this crap all of the time where she talks about one nurse to another. I think I have never realized I was the object of her sniping. Our unit has a real problem w/ gossip and one clique being polarized against one another. Stuff like this makes it worse. She tries to make one nurse feel like she is the "good" nurse and the other is the inferior nurse. This is just one in a series of nasty things she and a male physician often engage in. Several months ago, she threw a used scalp electrode at another nurse in the or. She also has a nice side. She has given things to people who have no money and even offerred a place to stay to a down and out patient.

Well, I had an appointment scheduled w/ her this week, so I cancelled it. I feel as though if she doesn't respect me and puts me down in front of others, then I don't want to talk about intimate problems and details of my life because she percieves me as some hystionic fool. I really hate this. So many times, I have "bugged" this doctor who didn't want to come in from home to believe what I say, only to discover that yes, it was a critical situation. So where do I go from here? How do I work side by side w/ this Jekyll and Hide? I feel like I took care of myself and took a stand, but there are stiil those who don't realize that they are the "good" nurse today and on he shyt list tomorrow. In fact, several months ago, I defended the other nurse who spoke w/ her to the male Jekyll and Hide. I feel like she has such an inflated ego, it is impossible to get through to her many times and that, although I am sure my communication skills can be improved, hers are quite deficient.

Monica RN,BSN

603 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Nursing Education, LTC, and HHC.

I think that I would approach this from a different perspective.

I am one to believe when there is a problem, you should go to the source. Avoiding her will solve nothing and could make it worse. I would wait for her to return to your unit, and quietly take her aside and tell her you need to speak to her privately. Go t a conference room, or some place quiet, and solve the problem.

I think it would be helpful to start with an apologee even if you were not in the wrong, and tell her that you need a working professional relationship so that the cards are on the table as to how you ffeel, and what she will expect in the future.. . then start over... As for a personal MD, I probably would find a different one... Just My opinion.....


1,804 Posts

Actually, I don't want to avoid her and I can't. I have to work w/ her, but I also refuse to put up w/ her games. I guess there was always something, I liked about her despite the things I have seen her do and now that has just gone. I was at first inclined to keep my appt. w/ her and look beyongd this, but after thinking about it, my level of respect for her has tanked, so I won't be using her as my doctor anymore. She is also a personal friend of our acting- nurse support there!

Be professional and be polite. Do not repeat her gossip, do not attempt to second guess her for orders. If she forgets something, CALL HER, it's her patient! Write an account of what happened and keep it on file for future use. Do not be surprised if the HN calls you in for a chat, just relate the facts, professional, and explain why her comment upset you. Give this doctor space and keep a low profile for awhile. If she is a money maker for the unit, she has POWER.

Look for another doctor, do not give her access to your personal life, she will discuss it with HN. I know it is not ethical, but it is done.

Wish you the best in dealing with this matter.

bellehill, RN

566 Posts

Specializes in Neuro Critical Care.

Find another doctor, I always figure if they treat the nurses bad and the nurses take care of their patients then they must not care for their patients.

Cliquey floors are hard to work, you did good standing up for yourself, if she doesn't want to hear about her patients document it and call someone else in the practice (that usually gets them calling back with orders). If you maintain your professional attitude towards her and are respectful there is no reason she should treat you like this.

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