Have you seen a decrease in verbal abuse by physicians?

Nurses General Nursing

Published

I know that one of JCAHO's new initiatives is to insist that health care facilities adopt a low-tolerance policy towards rude, demeaning, and verbally abusive physicians. From my perspective, they are still alive and well and stomping, hissing, and flapping their wings at the nurses. Have you seen any decrease in the willingness of physicians to go on the attack against nurses who dare to bother them about patient needs, hospital policies, necessity of nurses to stay within their scope of practice, etc.? Because I am getting too old for the putdowns.

SoundofMusic

1,016 Posts

I don't know. Nothing has been saio about it officially where I work. I do feel that the physicians I encounter have been for the most part, respectful. Some get a bit annoyed at times, but it may possibly be deserved as I didn't line up a lot of ducks in a row before I called. I've never had any who demeaned me personally or shamed me in any way.

My feeling is that they don't often talk to me enough. I have to press so many of them for information. They just write their notes and leave, and, of course, the handwriting is atrocious.

I just wish at times I was included more and worked with as a team member.

I'm sure others have had their own negative experiences, however.

diane227, LPN, RN

1,941 Posts

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg.

For the most part I don't experience this problem because I don't tolerate it.

VORB

106 Posts

.

I see nurses lose their cool much more often than doctors.

nursemike, ASN, RN

1 Article; 2,362 Posts

Specializes in Rodeo Nursing (Neuro).

I also haven't seen much abusive behavior to reduce. I've seen docs noticeable annoyed, occassionally, at me or another nurse, but as long as they are civil, I don't count that as abuse. Sometimes they have a right to be annoyed, even at me, and I can't blame anyone for feeling less than cheery when awakened at 0-dark-thirty.

As far as developing a collaborative relationship, I find that easier as I've become more confident. It helps that my floor is neuro/neurosurg, so I see a lot of the residents from our two services. With off-service patients, it's harder to anticipate what the doctor will want to know and what they're likely to do. Still, I feel freer to ask questions and make suggestions than I did when it was a challenge just to operate the paging system, and I don't feel as reluctant to admit I just don't know what's going on with a patient.

On the other hand, I'm a middle-aged guy. Residents have called me "sir," from time to time. Maybe my perspective is skewed. On the other hand, I've seen a few younger, female coworkers take offense over remarks I've heard and just didn't think were offensive.

pagandeva2000, LPN

7,984 Posts

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

I have not seen a difference, in fact, I didn't know that Joint Commission has an initiative for low tolerance towards physician abuse. New to me. I haven't experienced too much of it, but have seen it.

I'm still looking for a change on lateral violence and if I held my breath, I would be as blue as this bubble my post is enclosed in.

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg.

I haven't seen more or less of it.

I usually am not on the receiving end though. From previous post some of you may know that I have a) a bad attitude and b) a big mouth. Last time a doctor went off on me, I looked him right in the eye and said "if the patient dies its going to be your fault. If and when that happens my butt will be covered, trust me." I never heard a cross word from him again. :D

(I'm working on it! sometimes....)

Ruby Vee, BSN

17 Articles; 14,027 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

thirty some years ago when i started nursing, verbal (and even physical) abuse by physicians was much more prevalent. it happened to me -- young, stupid and not at all confident, so i guess that was expected -- but it happened to the more experienced nurses i worked with as well. over the years, i've seen a definite decline in that sort of behavior. some of it is my growth in knowledge, experience and confidence. some of it is the hospitals i've worked in and their efforts to foster a collaborative relationship among all members of the health care team. and some of it, i'm sure, is that physicians are less entitled and more collaborative.

i haven't noticed any changes in the past year or two, so i doubt very much that the health safety initiative has much to do with the decreasing verbal abuse -- at least not where i work.

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele.

My hospital has an excellent culture in this department. Some are more personable than others but I haven't had a bit of trouble with any of them.

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele.
I have not seen a difference, in fact, I didn't know that Joint Commission has an initiative for low tolerance towards physician abuse. New to me. I haven't experienced too much of it, but have seen it.

I'm still looking for a change on lateral violence and if I held my breath, I would be as blue as this bubble my post is enclosed in.

Yep, snotty or condescending attitudes from fellow nurses seems more common that from physicians, in my experience.

elkpark

14,633 Posts

I'm another one who has never seen much verbal abuse from physicians to begin with, so I don't see this as a big problem.

Keep in mind that JCAHO has to keep inventing new "problems" to make hospitals fix in order to justify its own existence, and continuing to charge hospitals huge amounts of money for the privilege :rolleyes: of being surveyed by them ...

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU.

I have great collaborative relationships with our anesthesiologists--some of them go out of their way to thank me and my colleagues at the bedside for the good care, especially some of these anesthesiologists who are NOT comfortable with super, super sick patients.

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X