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I look at doctors differently now!!! And what is it about their handwriting

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by ltmja ltmja Member Nurse

Specializes in anything that I had my clinicals in.

So I am a new grad and have only worked to floor for 9 days. I have called four different doctors now about pt and they get pretty impatient. They are really nice to their patient's but then I talk to them and their personality is completely different. Most of them don't even look at me. I called for blood pressure medication and could hardly hear the doctor. He got irritated with me when I asked him to repeat the medication a third time. Another doc I called because a pt. K was low and he ask what her sodium levels were. Crap I just didn't have that information so I had to look it up, I could hear him sigh. I know K and Na go together like peanut butter and jelly but her Na was normal so I didn't think. The last doc I called, it was unclear if the doctor wanted to stop just the two medications or the whole list of them. He had no period or anything at the end of this prescription list and it said stop.... I called and he kept asking me if I had his orders in front of me. I said yes but it was unclear if he wanted all of the medication stopped. I feel so stupied some times when I have to call a doctor. Then I had an appointment with a doctor just the other day and I kept wondering; yeah you're nice to me now because I am your patient. How do you act with your nurses?

And then to top it off, I can't even read their writing. Does this come in time? I really think there sould be a class on how to read bad handwriting. I mean they are smart people, has anyone done research on why doctors handwriting, well...sucks!!! :nono: I have not seen one MD's handwriting that is nice, but I can read all the nurses handwriting. Do they teach them to do this in medical school that way if they don't know how to spell something nobody will really know because they can't read it anyways? okay I think I am done venting. So I hope this reading the doctors handwriting will come in time, right. Anyone else ever had the same problems?

All the time!!!!!!!

pfongk

Specializes in Aged care, disability, community. Has 20ish years experience.

I actually had one doctor come in yesterday to update a residents MAR (that's right they're written by hand) and he questioned why I had rung him the previous day to get methotrexate written up when it was already on the chart. What he was looking at on the chart was metamucil and he had written it up as well so he wasn't even trying to read someone elses handwriting. So yes you do get to the stage when you can read doctors writing but it does take practice.

abundantjoy07, RN

Specializes in ER, Medicine.

I think 89% of lack of understanading or oversights on my part are from misunderstandings/misinterpretations of doctors handwriting. It is very sloppy and illegible. I do waste time trying to read handwriting. It is a very frustrating thing. Sometimes I wish they would use little portable handheld typewriters to transcribe orders for them. Or something. Anything other than their own handwriting.

I am a new grad and I know what you mean about docs' writing. i thought mine was bad! I am not always sure about when to call a doc. i just came off orientation and have not had to call many doctors. Many patients on my unit are on K and Mag protocols. We have to look at their labs and call if the result is within a certain range. Yesterday I placed a call to a doc because a pts Mag was 2.9 and protocol was to call if greater than 2.5. He was to be paged to me but he never called. I called again and spoke to the doctors nurse and gave him the info. I told my superviser and she said to document that I called..........The patient seemed stable but it bothered me that he didnt call. Should i have done more? Did the patient maybe need calcium gluconate or something? I am so stressed. My superviser, or we call them PCCs...patient care coordinator is not very nice. She is very short and acts irritated when I ask her questions. She is supposed to be my support. She's my resource and i was told to ask as many questions as I need of her.......I dont know how to handle her. I have made mistakes...none life threatening. She is just so mean! She makes me feel stupid and is VERY condescending. I am still learning and she makes me feel like i should know more than what I do. Any advice?????????????

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

Don't worry, you'll get used to the docs' handwriting and weirdly enough, you'll know exactly whose writing is whose after awhile.

You'll also grow a thicker skin as time goes by. I got screamed at --yes, I do mean screamed at -- by a doc just the other night and I just said, "OK, you don't want to order anything, then, fine" and I hung up and went right on with my duties. I had taken the call in the Med Room and there were several other nurses who actually heard this whole exchange because the doc yelled so loud. But after I hung up, the doc was not finished screaming, so she called the Charge Nurse on duty and proceeded to continue her tirade.

What she did not know was, the Charge Nurse was the one who told me to call. Neither of us got into trouble because it was entirely appropriate for us to call. I probably should've written the doc up, but I really didn't give a flying fig what she thought, and hospital policy was very clear on this particular problem.

What bugs me -- you'll notice this too -- is that we call these docs because they're usually the ones who've screwed up -- illegible, incomplete, incorrect orders, duplicate tests ordered (because they didn't take the time to read their colleagues' orders), and on and on -- yet we're the ones who get yelled at.

So don't let 'em get to you. You know, I just read that something like 85% of potential med errors (yes, docs and pharmacists make mistakes too) are caught before they get to the patient -- by the nurse.

Remember, our job is not to let the docs have a good night's rest, our job is to let the patients have a good night's rest.

I made a vow never to be a patient of a doc who yelled at the nurses who had to call them in the middle of the night for their patients. It makes sense, too, because I don't want to be the poor patient who's dying at 0400 and have a nurse who's discussing whether they should call and wake the doc up. I don't want that nurse to have to dread making the call and have to waste time answering the, "Why did you wake me up at 3 a.m. for THAT?" garbage. ("Ummm...because the patient is satting at 67%, has resps of 42/minute, cannot speak, and he's on a nonrebreather so can we pretty pretty please have an order for an ABG and a transfer to the Unit?")

There are plenty of great docs who don't yell at all and I'll take myself and my family to them.

ltmja

Specializes in anything that I had my clinicals in.

To lorable, I had to change my preceptor and I know another girl who also changed her preceptor. Either that person is having a bad day or you guys just don't mix, it's no excuse. Change and that way you both can be happy

Thanks for the post. the problem is I'm off orientation now. This is my 3rd week on my own. She's my resource nurse and the one i'm supposed to go to with questions or for help..........I feel like I don't have support because she is so nasty. i'm not comfortable going to her. I ask other nurses if I can. If I make a mistake I have to go to her.......Do ALL new nurses make mistakes or is it just me? I'm told i'm too hard on myself and have way too high standards set for myself. I am so stressed. I don't know what to do. i'm very sensitive and that's part of the problem. We are 2 extremes..........I have had patients and family members thank me for giving such good care. It makes me feel better, but I have to work with this person.........I'm thinking of trying to leave my Unit and go somewhere else.........If I do that she wins.....I can't eat at work and I don't sleep well.........My director is somewhat supportive. She tells me I'm just a baby nurse and I'm going to make mistakes and have bad days. She says I need to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative. I beat myself up.......I'm told it takes 6 months to a year to feel comfortable.........what do I do in the meantime?

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

thanks for the post. the problem is i'm off orientation now. this is my 3rd week on my own. she's my resource nurse and the one i'm supposed to go to with questions or for help..........i feel like i don't have support because she is so nasty. i'm not comfortable going to her. i ask other nurses if i can. if i make a mistake i have to go to her.......do all new nurses make mistakes or is it just me? i'm told i'm too hard on myself and have way too high standards set for myself. i am so stressed. i don't know what to do. i'm very sensitive and that's part of the problem. we are 2 extremes..........i have had patients and family members thank me for giving such good care. it makes me feel better, but i have to work with this person.........i'm thinking of trying to leave my unit and go somewhere else.........if i do that she wins.....i can't eat at work and i don't sleep well.........my director is somewhat supportive. she tells me i'm just a baby nurse and i'm going to make mistakes and have bad days. she says i need to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative. i beat myself up.......i'm told it takes 6 months to a year to feel comfortable.........what do i do in the meantime?

:icon_hug: yes, everyone makes mistakes--even your coworker. i'm so sorry you're having a hard time of it. although it is not an uncommon experience for new nurses, it's very painful to deal with. you might seriously consider changing units. there are more supportive people out there.

i recommend reading this book.

your first year as a nurse: making the transition from total novice to successful professional (paperback)

by [color=#003399]donna rn cardillo . here's the amazon link where you can get it cheap:

http://www.amazon.com/your-first-year-nurse-professional/dp/0761533338/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=utf8&s=books&qid=1195364153&sr=8-2

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

Docs are human too and don't always meet our expectations of how they should be.

I actually had a doc come up to me and say "Hi I'm Dr. Doe, the one you talked to earlier, I'm new here, nice to meet you in person", and I nearly fell out of my chair. Another one that I've known for years said "Have a great weekend!" I guess the stars were in alignment that day.

Sabby_NC

Specializes in ICU, SDU, OR, RR, Ortho, Hospice RN.

You did the right thing and confirmed orders with the doctors.

Remember at the end of the day the responsibility is with you if there is some concern or question over and order and you DO NOT understand it but go ahead anyway.

Ignore their responses, develop a thicker hide and do your job professionally and trust me you will gain their respect.

Takes time but it happens.;)

Hellllllo Nurse, BSN, RN

Has 15 years experience.

Docs are human too and don't always meet our expectations of how they should be.

I actually had a doc come up to me and say "Hi I'm Dr. Doe, the one you talked to earlier, I'm new hear, nice to meet you in person", and I nearly fell out of my chair. Another one that I've known for years said "Have a great weekend!" I guess the stars were in alignment that day.

It's so odd when they act like normal people, isn't it?

I had a doc compliment my care a couple months back. I was dumbstruck.

Why do all the people that are saying, "get a thicker skin" or "ignore it" take this kind of behavior from physicians? It is completely inappropriate and unprofessional. I do not let anyone talk down to me and I don't care who they are. If someone is being rude, I call them on it.

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

Why do all the people that are saying, "get a thicker skin" or "ignore it" take this kind of behavior from physicians? It is completely inappropriate and unprofessional. I do not let anyone talk down to me and I don't care who they are. If someone is being rude, I call them on it.

Unfortunately, it's so rampant that if you call them on it every single time, two things will happen -- you will become known as a troublemaker and you will get complaints about you from the docs.

And I don't know about any of the rest of you, but I just don't have time to put my complaint in writing each and every time.

I think this is more of an issue with night shift, as the docs are quite nice to me on evening shift. Most of the time, anyway.

I try to deal with it right then and there nowadays, because I really don't have the time to do the followup. And forget, just forget, ever getting an apology from any of these clowns. The most you can hope for is support from your manager and coworkers.

nursemike, ASN, RN

Specializes in Rodeo Nursing (Neuro). Has 12 years experience.

I was lucky that we had a neurologist during my first year who never made a nurse feel stupid, even when he was. The only one I wasn't nervous about paging. She was cute, too. Alas, she has moved on to bigger and better things...perhaps I should have proposed when I had the chance!

Over time, I've gotten less tense about calling, and docs seem less grumpy when I do. Part of this is knowing more about what info to have ready when I do call. Also, docs on our service are usually on the floor at some point, so I get as much done face-to-face as I can. I also try to get as much of the "housekeeping" stuff done at the start of the shift or let it keep until morning--an hour and a half before rounds, they're usually awake and not too busy getting ready for rounds, yet. I won't page at 0300 unless it's important or I know they're awake. (I'm usually dealing with residents, and I've seen them face down on a desk often enough to know how grueling their shifts can be.)

Very rarely have to deal with a grumpy doc, and I usually treat them like a grumpy patient. Half the time, it's really the patient they're grumpy at, anyway.

Our docs enter orders on the computer, so handwriting isn't an issue, but some are still confusing. A lot of times, they aren't near a computer, so you have to take a verbal and put it in for them, and some of those times, you see why they're confusing.

One thing I'm finding, lately, is that I would much rather page a neurosurgeon than a neurologist. Cutting peoples' heads open must make you more decisive. Well, then, too, some of our neurology

residents are pretty new--and I know what that's like.

ltmja

Specializes in anything that I had my clinicals in.

to lorabel:

i am a very nice person myself. i made mistakes so far but had one lady say i was the best nurse she's ever had and the other one give me a rose at the end of the day. my problem is that i want to spend more time in my patients room but my old preceptor said that i am not a nursing student anymore. it seems that if the patient isn't dieing that the nurse's are not very giving to that patient. i would tell the manager about how she makes you feel. i know, it was hard for me because i hate confrontation and don't wan't to make ememies but this is your career. don't hate it because you had a nasty nurse breath down your neck. and if it still doesn't change i really incourage you going to a different unit. we are new nurses but that doesn't mean we have to put up with abuse!!!!! hang in there :)

ltmj, Thanks! It is wonderful when patients or familiy tell us we are appreciated for caring! I'm told that sometimes as well. I havent been told I spend too much time in the room.......I think only because a patient talked to my unit director and told her much it helped him just listening to him and being attentive and caring...I work in oncology. Most if not all my patients have a terminal diagnosis.......They keep coming back for further treatment or sometimes 5 days of chemo......You develop relationships with them and it helps them so much. The nasty nurse did yell at me for talking to a patients son for too long...15 minutes.....I couldnt be rude and cut him off....he filed a complaint against the hospital during a prior stay, so my director basically said to kiss butt........I told the nasty that and she just poo pooed it. I get so many mixed signals and information.......Keep up the good work! We CAN and DO make a difference in the patients lives and thats what nursing is all about...or supposed to be!

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

Why do all the people that are saying, "get a thicker skin" or "ignore it" take this kind of behavior from physicians? It is completely inappropriate and unprofessional. I do not let anyone talk down to me and I don't care who they are. If someone is being rude, I call them on it.

For me it's not that rampant as Angie says.

I choose my battles and I don't necessarily allow people to continue rude behavior, but I may not "call them on it". 90% of the docs are upset with nursing/the hospital/or someone about something we're not doing properly - they are frustrated labs weren't drawn, their frustrated that nurses did or didn't do something they should have done, upset a radiology report isn't read, etc. None of this justifies them being rude, but being human they sometimes take it out on whomever is there to hear them "vent". So I try to address the issues by saying "I'm sorry, I know it's frustrating and I agree.......blah blah blah" and the rudeness usually seems to end. They just want someone to gripe to and know that their gripes are heard, understood and will be corrected or addressed in some fashion.

There have been a time or two I've had to call them on it by walking away or by confronting them. But I choose my battles carefully, sometimes an egotistical arrogant doc isn't even worth my time and I ignore it. Just depends on my mood. LOL

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