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Ethic Dilemma - Doctors that should retire

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by yolonurse1 yolonurse1 (New) New

Specializes in Surgical Department. Has 5 years experience.

Has anyone been in a situation where you think your doctor should retire and not practice anymore, especially if they are surgeons? I am an OR nurse and was placed in a room working with a surgeon (who is well-respected) who appears to be incompetent. She asks the tech their opinion and such and it makes them feel awkward. Not only that, the patients are under MAC anesthesia. By the time the sedation wears off, they are quite awake during the procedure. I've talked to my colleagues about it, and they all refuse to go back into that room to circulate in that surgeon's cases. What should I do? I've also talked to my supervisor and understands my situation, but has not taken any action.

ProgressiveActivist, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 20 years experience.

The anesthesiologist is responsible for MAC. Do write an adverse event report about anesthesia awareness listing any contributing factors. Risk management will light a fire under your management.

I was in that position last year. Tread lightly because admin does not want it to be common knowledge that there is an incompetent MD on staff. Have a private talk with the Chief of Surgical Services/Anesthesiology as we'll as your manager.

yolonurse1

Specializes in Surgical Department. Has 5 years experience.

Thank you for your response. I was thinking of talking to HR too. The sad thing is, the chief of anesthesiologist knows the incompetency of this surgeon because he sometimes facilitates the anesthesia for her cases too. So I can talk to him about my discomfort, but I do not think he will say anything about the surgeon's ethics of responsibilities.

So did you talked to upper management and what did they do?

ProgressiveActivist, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 20 years experience.

I talked with CNO. I don't know what happened behind the scenes but a replacement was hired and the cognitively impaired doctor eased into retirement. It takes a couple of months for these delicate situations to be resolved. I'm sure they will appreciate your discretion and your efforts in the meantime to protect the patients.

RiskManager

Specializes in Healthcare risk management and liability.

Another possibility is to make a report to the state medical licensing/disciplinary board. The board deals with these issues all the time and generally do an investigation as to the ability of the physician to continue practicing safely.