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I am a new nurse trying to figure out how to get a doctor to stop bullying me at work.

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by Mississippideer Mississippideer (New Member) New Member

661 Profile Views; 6 Posts

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You are reading page 3 of I am a new nurse trying to figure out how to get a doctor to stop bullying me at work.. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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Wow I can't tell y'all how much your responses have helped me gain clarity on this issue. I had to recover one of his surgical patients today and he kept his contact with me at an absolute bare minimal level... which is fine with me as long as we take care of the patient. My unit manager and charge nurses are aware of this and have witnessed some of his comments to me and they have my back and a few people have made comments to him about easing up. I'm prepared for him and his antics now and the last time he yelled at me I stood my ground. Another physician overhead the exchange and told me later "Great job! Keep standing your ground with him. Stay professional but stay strong. If he doesn't stop, write him up!" This from a physician who gives very few compliments. Made my day and helped me feel validated and confident. So today was a great day. Everyone e kept their cool and the patient was safe. That's a win anyway. Here's to hoping the trend continues.

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Swellz has 6 years experience and specializes in oncology, MS/tele/stepdown.

627 Posts; 9,443 Profile Views

Doesn't every company have a line you can call for issues like this? At my work, when I have to report my NM doing something I feel is inappropriate, I call the confidential line and report her that way. I am allowed to reveal myself or remain anonymous. I do think talking to him directly will show you are standing up for yourself and most bullies will simply move on to the next victim, but I also think this seems to be a chronic issue that should be reported.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

65 Articles; 13,943 Posts; 170,489 Profile Views

Doesn't every company have a line you can call for issues like this? At my work, when I have to report my NM doing something I feel is inappropriate, I call the confidential line and report her that way. I am allowed to reveal myself or remain anonymous. I do think talking to him directly will show you are standing up for yourself and most bullies will simply move on to the next victim, but I also think this seems to be a chronic issue that should be reported.

Good Lord! You "have to report your nurse manager for doing something you feel is inappropriate FREQUENTLY? As in more than once in a career? I would love to be a fly on the wall when they get one of YOUR calls. I'm sure it's an occasion for great hilarity.

"Hey, Burt! Swellz is on the phone again -- bet it's a beaut!"

If you are having this many issues with your nurse manager, it's time to move on and find a job with a manager you can respect. OR it's time to do a bit of introspection. Possibly -- likely, even -- it's not your manager, but YOU.

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127 Posts; 3,735 Profile Views

Follow the advice the others have given. Previously I have told others "If you can not speak to me in a professional manner, please don't speak to me right now"

There was one incident where I saw him cursing and ranting and he was coming towards me. As soon as I saw him in my face I burst into laughter and said "you're kidding, right?"

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Buyer beware has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in GENERAL.

1,137 Posts; 11,136 Profile Views

OP:

Many nurses are tough cookies but some have been raised in the genteel South. I'm assuming that would be you. A person of fine breeding and manners.

Tell this Dr. in a nice but firm way to chill out.

If he persists, in his untoward behavior, I'm sure there are other nurses you work with who could give you tips on becoming a steel Magnolia.

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3ringnursing has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in ICU; Telephone Triage Nurse.

1 Article; 542 Posts; 8,395 Profile Views

I had a cardiothoracic surgeon bully me years ago. He didn't like working with women - his entire office staff were male. He worked well with the male nurses. I don't qualify. I made the mistake of getting on the wrong side if him as a new grad - one of his patient's had a fever but no Tylenol order. I was fresh off orientation and the other nurses encouraged me to call him for one towards shift change I guess just to watch the show. He exploded - ran down the back stairs onto our unit yelling my name. He was still a fellow at this time. A couple years later at another freshly opened hospital that was a "heart hospital" he was king CABG. He bullied me without remorse. I reported it - he would stop, then bring in bagels, behave well for a bit, then resume. It went on for a couple years, but eventually I began to ignore his trantrums. I guess he mellowed with age (like a wine?). His issue was he was arrogant, exceedingly brilliant (no doubt about it) and he felt everyone else was stupid. There was a cultural component too, he grew up in another neighboring country. But until it wound down he made my life miserable.

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Cllaws889 has 4 years experience and specializes in Orthopaedic/Neurosurgery.

21 Posts; 798 Profile Views

OP: This sounds like an advocacy issue. Remember as a RN you have an innate TALENT to advocate for the safety of the patient. The surgeon sounds like a real egotistical jerk. Peer to peer violence in the workplace is a recognized issue by numerous health care initiative groups currently; and is a common theme followed by hospitals correlating with employee satisfaction (believe it or not HCAHPS isn't the only thing administration is concerned with.) My advice to you is to understand you are important, and in all reality doing a great job I'm sure. Report this issue to your Nurse Manager, write up the situation in regards to how it objectively happened and advocate for yourself. A surgeon who demeans the bedside nurse taking care of the post surgical patient is creating hesitancy in calling when critical changes in assessment happen. This is a real problem for the patient. Advocate for the patient.

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2 Articles; 2,806 Posts; 41,029 Profile Views

Call his wife and ask her if she has any suggestions for how he is treating you. Or if you start talking "hostile workplace" to management he may be gone fast.

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Gabriel13 has 8 years experience and specializes in Emergency, home health, urgent care.

24 Posts; 1,300 Profile Views

You should first pull him aside and ask that doctor what's up. Tell him if he's got beef with anesthesia then he needs to deal with them directly. Tell him that you won't be talked to that way in front of patients or coworkers, and that you won't tolerate being disrespected. BE FIRM. But be respectful. Stand tall and look that person straight in the eyes. I've seen bullying type behavior stopped dead in its tracks as soon as it's confronted firmly and directly. If this doesn't work, then you need to tell him/her off in a loud and public way, in a similar manner as I mentioned in private. Trust me, you will be more respected if you deal with that person directly than if you report it to someone higher. That should be a last resort. Good luck.

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KarenMS has 1 years experience.

123 Posts; 2,134 Profile Views

I recommend that you write him up. Describe what happened objectively, exactly as you did in your second post (not the first one).

Do not threaten to write him up, just do it.

In the meantime, I recommend that you keep your communication with him minimal, and to the point. I don't recommend that you communicate with him about his behavior or your feelings ie; your behavior is unacceptable, I will not be treated this way, I will not be your pawn, There is no need to speak to me that way,etc. These tactics are not effective. Methods for dealing with bullies have been tested. I'm not saying you should be a pawn. But simply don't be the pawn. Don't talk to him about it. Don't talk to him about how he ought to speak to you, he already knows how he ought to speak to you. Simply write him up when he chooses not to speak to you in a respectful manner.

Only talk to him about the patient. If he starts nonsense like; You should know better, etc. take the conversation back to what you want for the patient. "I want you to order pain meds." Do not mince your words. Be firm and direct with what you want from him.

If he does it again, write him up again. No threats, no drama, just a factual report.

If he asks you if you wrote him up, tell him yes. If he asks why, tell him your reasons are in the write up and you will not discuss it unless management decides discussion is part of a formal intervention.

Be extremely matter of fact and do not worry about him calling your boss. Just go through the proper channels. It will be resolved. Be willing to take the high road, which is absolutely not the same as tolerating abuse.

I love all of this.

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bgxyrnf has 10 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Med-Tele; ED; ICU.

1,208 Posts; 10,793 Profile Views

I was taking care of a post op VAT pt and called him(Cardiothoracic surgeon) to report abnormal ABGs(pCO2 of 57) Instead of giving me an order for Bipap or pain meds he told me to call Anesthesia. The anesthesiologist then gave me an order for pain meds. The surgeon went through the roof and yelled at me saying the patient would end up re-intubated due to my stupid mistake(giving pain meds). He then called my nurse manager at home to tell her I was incompetent and should not be caring for post-op surgical patients if I didn't know any better. The anesthesiologist backed me and said the patient was a healthy 33 year old that just need to breath deeper but wouldn't do so because of the pain and so he decided to treat the pain. The surgeon thought bipap was the way to go. The patient did end up on bipap within minutes but would not have tolerated the bipap without pain meds. The surgeon then commented to my boss that he had a beef with anesthesia and was trying to make a point to them by having me call them but he was mad that their first step was pain meds then bipap when what he wanted was bipap. My thoughts are that if he has an issue with anesthesia, he should follow the proper channels to resolve it rather than use me as a pawn in his game and then blame me when anesthesia doesn't do what he wants. This was the beginning. We've had three run ins over the past two weeks since this. It feels like he's gunning for me and several coworkers, even another dr has noticed and told me to write him up and stand my ground.
If he did that to me I would respond something along the lines of:

"Doctor, you directed me to call the anesthesiologist who then gave me an order which was not contraindicated by the patient's condition (awake and alert, normotensive, and not bradypneic) so I did as I was directed to do. If you have a problem with the order then you should be taking it up with your anesthesia colleague.

Furthermore, you have been making it a habit of finding fault with everything I do and being openly rude. This unprofessional behavior is creating a hostile work environment for me and, if it persists, I will have no choice but to take the matter to HR. If you have a problem with me or the care that I'm giving then I would welcome your constructive feedback. Beyond that, however, your unprofessional behavior and seeking to defame me to my management is unacceptable."

If you're the kind of nurse that you say you are then you should not walk on eggshells around him and should not take his crap... of course, it really depends on your organization. There are some that will simply sweep you aside if there's a conflict with a physician. That's all the more reason to go to HR soon and document the hostile environment... and make sure your actions and your documentation are impeccable.

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864 Posts; 5,963 Profile Views

It is real simple, tell him to stop or else. i would tell him that his hostile behavior is not acceptable under any circumstances. It doesn't matter if you messed up or not. He needs to be professional about it. I work at a teaching hospital and i get plenty of practice telling MD's to behave themselves. HR usually only does something when their are enough complaints sadly. Just address him first.

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