Dr.s throwing their weight around...............


Well I know older Docs hate the idea that the days of a nurse standing up to salute them, making their coffee and lighting their cigarettes are over.......but......they are! How do you guys handle being disciplined by a Dr in front of a patient or other colleagues? Can they even do this.....or do you ask that they bring their concerns to your manager who holds the responsibility of disciplining you. Correcting someone tactfully and reprimanding them are two very different things. When you sense that you are being reprimanded by another coworker (Dr.s included in that, because they are peers whether they like it or not) how do you handle that? I can take a lot of crap from patients, or otherwise....but the bully mentality I don't deal well with at all.

Scenario: This Dr. (Infection Control Doc) is a nazi.....and I understand this is his job, he has been known to take the time to gown up, mask etc when called to a Code, he has even gone into an isolation room ungowned just to tell the people in the room that they should be gowned! (?????......er nothing like setting an example)

Anyway I had a pt on isolation precautions the other night and he desated into the high 70's so of course I ran into the room to sit him up quick and put his 02 back on. I didn't gown (good, bad, or indifferent decision....that's not the point) My point is that the Infection Control Doc from the pt doorway yells out you should be gowned gloved mask.....not only in front of my pt, but another nurse......I at this point was walking toward the doorway and said back (just as abruptly) he was in respiratory distress and I ran in here......he then repeated himself......I repeated myself back....I could see it escalating so I stopped walked away and washed up. End of story right? No, he later comes back and asks another nurse for my name.....funny, this guy doesn't know me from a whole in the wall, didn't assess the situation at all, but wants to file a complaint. Wants to file a complaint because I bruised his ego? Anyhoo, thoughts, opinions? I think it was inappropriate; not his concerns, but he should have taken me aside.


328 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Psychiatry, Home Health VNA.

What kind of isolation precautions are we talking about? There's a big difference between precautions for something like MRSA and TB.


26 Posts

It was MRSA isolation, and as I stated I am not debating that isolation is isolation, I should be gowned or not. My point to my thread is how he handled “disciplining” me.


328 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Psychiatry, Home Health VNA.

Oh brother. Tell the doctor to get off his power trip and do something useful.


26 Posts

Oh brother. Tell the doctor to get off his power trip and do something useful.

lol....I agree, but sometimes I can't help but get defensive and have a chip on my shoulder....I need to get over that:bugeyes:


161 Posts

Are you sure that he wanted to file a complaint because you bruised his ego? Maybe he wanted to write you up because you violated isolation to save your patient's life. Either way he's pretty much an a**hole, but we should really establish precisely what breed of a**hole. (Call it a nursing diagnosis.)

when there is a power differential, everyone does this to the people under them, have nurses not thrown their weight around in front of techs in an open room? in front of respiratory therapists that think that stat neb tx doesn't need to be stat and that the rn is just flexing? or chewing the new grad a new one because she either "did know" or "should have known" you can't tell me that you have not witnessed that. I dion't mind the message, if i am wrong, i am wrong, and i often admit things before others call me on things in the name of safety, and deference to their higher level of training, but there are people in every profession who feels that the power differential allows them to talk to the world as if it were a woody allen movie, where they can say anything they like to anyone they want, and there won't be any consequences for them. are there true narcissists in medicine? absolutely, and in other professions as well. let me leave you with this quote, I believe it was Orwell who said "it is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human condition all of your life, and to find that the answer is try to be a little kinder".

racing-mom4, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 1,446 Posts

Specializes in ICU/ER.

I asked a Dr once why he did gallbladder surgery on a 187 yr old ahlzheimer hospice patient on a Holiday, I asked him this at the nurses station away from any family. He told me once I completed Med School he would be happy to discuss it with me.

I didnt ask it like that either it was more like "So why did they decide she needed it out?" They insinuating the family.

FYI she ended up on a vent and died 3 days later.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

I asked this exact same question on this exact same forum when I was a student many moons ago, because I am really perplexed by this phenomenon. It was personally shocking for me to see nurses getting yelled at or disciplined verbally in front of patients, families, and coworkers. Click on the blue weblink below to read the thread if you're interested.

Why are doctors so rude?

GadgetRN71, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,840 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 17 years experience.

I'm lucky that in my facility, and in my specialty, we are backed up by our manager if a doctor gets really nasty. As for a surgeon "disciplining" me or writing me up, they don't sign my paycheck and I answer to the BON and my nurse manager. That's it.


478 Posts

Specializes in ICU. Has 15 years experience.

On our unit if the anaesthetist has something to say they generally say it and that is that. On the other hand, if we have something to say...we say it.

Did have one really bad episode with a consultant surgeon a few years ago now, escalated into him shouting. I told him that the Nuremburg trials had established that being ordered to do something if you knew it to be wrong was no defence in law. He went ballistic, shouting, red faced, bulging eyes...they don't like it if you stand up for yourself.

This topic is now closed to further replies.