Published Jun 20, 2005
I am asking you to take some time to share some of your experiences of working with doctors and how they treat you. I have decided to go into nursing, and I am curious about how doctors treat nurses.
traumaRUs, MSN, APRN
I work in a large teaching hospital in the ER and our docs for the most part, treat us great. We are included in decisions regarding patient care and our opinions are well-respected.
I work in Surgical Intensive Care Unit as a tech while I am finishing up nursing school, so most of the nurse-doctor relations I see are surgeons, especially cardio-thoracic surgeons. I would have to say that the behavior I see in the doctors varies between cruelty and criminal behavior. The nurses take verbal and emotional abuse on a daily basis. They often see their patients lives placed on the line for the sake of the doctor receiving a few more hours of shut eye. Granted, the night shift is at night (duh), the doctors have a 24-7 obligation to the well fare of their patients, and there is one doctor in particular that will not come to the hospital after 11pm and before 5am for ANY reason. This doctor often screams and curses a nurse before hanging up on them without giving any new orders. I am certain that this is not typical behavior, after all there are some wonderful doctors there as well, but I do not have to look far for the answer as to why there is such a shortage of nurses...
Different doctors treat nurses differently, just as some nurses are nicer/meaner to each other.
I think the biggest problem is that alot of them have God complexes.
I'd say it depends on the Doctor. I've worked with docs that are really nice people who are professional & friendly. I've also worked with docs that are stressed out & tend to get snappy at times but, otherwise are pretty nice. Then there are those few docs who think the world owes them and treat nurses like they are idiots and yell at them. Remember, you're in a workplace environment and it's not acceptable for them to belittle you, or speak to you in disrespectful manner. That can be dealt with legally if need be. Usually, some of these docs like to push people's buttons just because they can. I've found that if you call them on it, they'll back off.
I personally think the newer docs treat nurses with respect, and as comrads of sort...
Older doctors think they are "gods" of medicine and have little to no respect for nurses as they are "beneath" them. I also feel foreign docs are the same.........
Being that healthcare has changed to a team approach, newer docs respect nurses as an important member of the team. Just my opinion
I work in a level-one trauma hospital, and we are the main teaching hospital for this region of the state. We get a lot of docs-in-training as well as private practitioners, etc etc. Its rare that I have (or see others have) problems with a doc. I enjoy working with them, and most are more than willing to discuss conditions and treatments with you.
Before becoming a nurse, I'd never have expected to not only be included in discussions, but to actually have my opinion asked, but it happens.
Of course, if I pull a bone-headed stunt like not thinking before speaking or acting, well, thats part and parcel to any profession.
Maybe part of it has to do with working nights -they tend to depend on you more (I think) at night, to use your noggin and bring them up to speed in the morning -of course, you have to be of a more independent mind on that shift -but I like that.
Now, before I bow-out, I'll say that at my last facility (a small private hospital) that while I truly enjoyed working with the nursing staff there, I'd seen more than one doc truly mistreat a nurse (usually female) -to the point that on one occassion I opened my mouth (wished I hadn't, but I've always had a problem keeping my mouth shut if I saw someone being mistreated) just loud enough for the doc to hear "I'd like to see him talk to ME that way!" and the doc ACTUALLY (I will admit it raised my opinion of him a bit) walked by the nurses station and appologized to the nurse he had been so rude with.
They didn't have the same respect for each other in that facility as they seem to in my current one.
i work in surgical intensive care unit as a tech while i am finishing up nursing school, so most of the nurse-doctor relations i see are surgeons, especially cardio-thoracic surgeons. i would have to say that the behavior i see in the doctors varies between cruelty and criminal behavior. the nurses take verbal and emotional abuse on a daily basis. they often see their patients lives placed on the line for the sake of the doctor receiving a few more hours of shut eye. granted, the night shift is at night (duh), the doctors have a 24-7 obligation to the well fare of their patients, and there is one doctor in particular that will not come to the hospital after 11pm and before 5am for any reason. this doctor often screams and curses a nurse before hanging up on them without giving any new orders. i am certain that this is not typical behavior, after all there are some wonderful doctors there as well, but i do not have to look far for the answer as to why there is such a shortage of nurses...
because it surely seems like the hospital and nursing management is implicitly allowing this treatment to go unchecked. night shift or not - would a nurse who spoke to a doc go undisciplined? we are expected to be our same therapeutic selves no matter the time of the day, so why do nurses (as a profession) accept this kind of behavior from the doctors?
the unit where i work isn't perfect, but the attendings have never been verbally or physically abusive. we have a moonlighter on call at night, and that's who we wake up with anything necessary. but i don't apologize for waking the doctor at 2am when the patient needs an order for pain meds, or spikes a temperature, or has a critical lab value. that's what they are there for. we don't get a nice cozy room with a bed, tv and a shower when we work nights, therefore i don't apologize for making them do their jobs! (i'm still polite and professional!)
i think that nursing has come a long way in the past decade or so, but we still have quite a way to go before we are recognized as a true profession by most of the docs, considering that they come out of school not knowing what a nurse actually *does*! i wonder if we learned to collectively stand up for ourselves (not just union-wise) and showed these docs that they can't get away with this garbage anymore!
anyone else reading nursing against the odds by suzanne gordon? i am about 1/4 way through and it is enough to angry up the blood!!
I hadn't been giving meds in an acute care setting for very long when I made a med error. As per protocol, I had to speak to the Doc. He was an absolute blessing! He wanted to know if he had done something to make the order difficult, if there was some practice we needed to review, could he see the packaging and MAR, was I OK ....
On the other hand :) ..... On our med surg floor (three staff nurses and a desk nurse)the other day, a Doc sat in the middle of an absolute chaos of cupboard replacing and am care and family members leaning on the desk and phones ringing and pharmasists restocking and other doc's making rounds and wrote '3' orders either stat or now on three different pts none of which were acutely ill. Then proceeded to lean against the counter and wait.
It can go both ways, too! How do nurses treat doctors? :)
I find that everyone is an individual - and hopefully most people have been taught values and respect. Many of the physicians I've worked with show great respect towards nurses. Some do not. Then again, some of the nurses I've worked with don't respect the doc much either! (And that's really okay...depending on how you handle it!)
I'm big on respect. I show it, and I expect it. If someone yells in my face, then I frankly don't care who they are -- I'm going to say something. I don't yell back, as that generally is not my nature. But at the same time, I'm not here to be a doormat. LOL
Time and a place for everything. Be strong in yourself and always be respectful. But if someone really pushes you down, then it is best to bring this situation to light in some way -- but there is no need to become rude in return.
I kinda debated where I would post this little story, since it both irked me and was revealing of how doctors used to be ..... I worked for a while in the secured unit of a nursing home. We had a resident who was a dr's widow. She was pleasant and easily 'managed' most of the time. Once in a blue moon she got it in her head that we were purposely keeping her from attending functions or from her family.
I got too caught up in explaining why I couldn't let her out one evening. She smiled benignly, placed a patient hand on my arm and said "But you don't understand who I am, darling. My husband is a SURGEON."
Here's the other thread I coulda posted that under cuz it irked me!
Tweety, BSN, RN
For the most part we are treated well. I don't let a few trolls prejudice me against the medical profession.
On the other hand we have new grad doctors in a resdency program and many nurses disrespect them horribly. Hopefully, they aren't letting a few trolls prejudice us against them.
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