We have that problem from time to time, especially with the new ones but I have a few questions......
1. Is the ER Doc organized? We have a problem with some of our Docs being very disorganized!!! Sometimes it helps to keep them moving in the right direction!! We have a few Docs who think that they can only handle one patient at a time from beginning to discharge. You have to show them that they can do more with their time. They go see a patient , give you orders, then I quickly remove the chart from their hands (so they won't sit and ponder about this patient for several wasted minutes) and slap the next chart in their handles while pushing them gently into the next patients room, giving them a verbal report the whole time, and shut the door behind them. I give them a few minutes (while I am putting in orders in the computer and calling those departments) and then go back and check on the Doc, get the Doc anything they may need or hustle the Doc out to the next patient....you get the picture....When we are busy, I try to keep them moving or else we get bogged down very quickly!!! If you have a Doc who believes in ordering something on EVERYBODY who comes to the ER, then you will get bogged down no matter what....but sometimes I will send those nonurgent, I'm just waiting for a lab test results or xray results back out to sit in the lobby and bring the next paitent back to be assessed. Needless to say, someone has to be really organized to be able to do this. Where I work, we are staffed one RN (12 hr shift) and one MD (36-48hr shift). So when we get busy, we both have to see them anyway so why prolong the agony!! NOTE: Some Docs do rebel but I just keep them moving with promises of breaks soon and then try to give them periods when I do leave them alone for a while (everbody needs a bathroom break/supper break sometime!) They usually think I am pushy. I really don't care anymore if they do.
2. Is part of the problem the type of patients that you are getting? When we have a code, MVA/Trauma, MI, surgery patient come in, those patients do take a lot more time and assessment. I try to warn the patients that I am triaging that we are backed up or that we have serious patients in the ER at the present time. Of course, you are always going to have those patients and their family members who believe that they are the only ones who matter and that you should drop everything to care for them.
How much staff do you have working at a time and how many Docs? Even with the serious patients there is no reason that the Doc has to stay in the room the whole time(except for maybe a code), since everyone knows that the RNs are the ones doing the real work (completing the orders).
Even though it sounds like it, I am not SUPER NURSE! I just try to keep things moving even if it is at a slow pace....I don't like the complaints either and have a hard time explaining to the patients why it is taking so long when I can't see a good reason either!!! Also at our hospital, when there are complaints, administration comes down on the nursing staff since we are there all the time, not on the Docs. Sometimes I hand the patient/family member a survey sheet for them to fill out and even write the Docs name in for them!!!!
Hope this was helpful.............Lish