MD screaming at RN's in front of patients regularly

  1. I currently work with an Psych MD that is also the Medical Director of a psych unit. I've never met such a rude doctor in my life! I'm a pretty new nurse and have only been working at the hospital for less than 6 months.
    She likes to raise her hand to dismiss us if she does not want to talk. If you say, but Dr._____ it's important" sometimes I get a "NO" AND a hand dismissal before I can tell her what is important. So of course I document and tell my charge. She is like this with other nurses and MHT's as well.

    The other day she was heard throughout our small hospital, psychiatric youth unit, scream "GET OUT!!!!" to a new nurse and MHT. We have been using the medical treatment room to record height and weight (the only scale on the entire unit), take initial vitals, and remove clothing to do a skin assessment and contraband check. It's where our managment has told us to do it. We are in charge of all admissions and assessments on the unit, and often the ambulance just rings the bell and we have no clue what is on the other side.

    Not to mention, this was done while a child was sitting inside the room, terrified because this was her first admission, with the door open to the community milieu, and her parents on the other side of the unit. How unprofessional can someone be? Apparently she had deemed this her "office", didn't mention it to ANYONE, and just went off because she can.

    The tech who is a 20+ year veteran was hysterically crying and said " no one has every spoken to me like that in my life!" She was quickly given an extra 30 minute break by the appauled RN's to calm down. When this issue went up to management we heard one say "well, that's just the way Dr._____ is" while another manager came on the unit and told us he would handle it. He hasn't.

    I've seen a tech told "you need to leave now, your not allowed on this unit" in a loud harsh tone as soon as she the MHT came into the room to listen to report. This happened in front of at least 15 people, including MHT's, Nurses and Therapists. I was later told by managment it was a "personal issue". Personal issue?! We were down an MHT, now having an unsafe level in staff because of a "personal issue."

    One RN who took the issue to HR because of the verbal abuse was called the very next day by the DON to tell her that they didn't think that she was ready for a full time position and she would have to stay PRN, with no explanation.
    I have worked with this nurse and she is attentive to our patients, never has any errors, is friendly with staff, and an all around great nurse in my opinion!

    I would leave the facility STAT, but can't due to financial reasons and leaving a job this early into my nursing career seems like professional suicide.
    If she was horrible all of the time it would be different, and more predictable, but she has many mood swings throughout the day and you never know what mood she will be in. Will she treat us like professionals or rip our heads off because we dare touch a chart (paper charts) that she hasn't reviewed yet. There is no way of knowing which charts she has reviewed while she is there so it's constant anxiety if we see her coming to put everything in it's "place." She is exceptionally more nasty with female staff.

    I'm normally an assertive person. I've gone head-to-head with the Director of Nursing and the president of our school when an entire class was failed, and won! Almost the entire class, of mostly "A" average students were not kicked out of the program. The nursing instructor was fired, years of tyranny going out the door with her.

    I've been nothing but respectful and "sweet" to this MD so it could never come back on me. But, enough is enough! It is not in my nature to not stand up for what I believe in. If she was not additionally the Medical Director of the unit, I wouldn't be as concerned with backlash.

    What would you do?
    Have you ever been insulted to a similar degree?
    Last edit by AtivanIM on Sep 30, '12 : Reason: Spelling error
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    About AtivanIM

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 22; Likes: 70
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience in Psychiatric Nursing


  3. by   morte
    this would seem to qualify for "hostile" work environment complaint.
  4. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Write it up. Nurses write eachother up all the time. Are doctors exempt? Exempt from have to respect coworkers? No.
  5. by   Sun0408
    Job hunt now while you are still employed. Don't leave until you find another position.. 6 months is not ideal but that shouldn't stop you from looking and putting yourself out there. As for the doc, write her up and keep going up your chain of command. If you must, file a complaint with the state or what ever the governing body of MD's are. The last MD I knew like that lost his license in one state and had to go through anger management plus rehab in his current state for this type of behavior...
  6. by   tnbutterfly
    Moved to Nurse Colleague / Patient Relations for more discussion.
  7. by   sunnyskies9
    document EVERYTHING. fill out incident reports. as someone else said above, go up the chain of command. explain everything to your nurse manager. and find a new job asap. this doc sounds extremely irrational, and I would be concerned for the patients under her care.
  8. by   darkbeauty
    Just as much as I wouldn't tolerate verbal and emotional abuse at home, there's no reason why I would tolerate it in the work place.
    Document, document, document and raise it to the hierachy.
  9. by   trai1971
    I am so sorry that you have to tolerate shouldn't. I would definitely leave a paper trail. It stuns me that a physician who is working with mentally ill people would act this way...sounds like the physician has some issues themselves. I also like the advice posted above that says to job hunt now if you can't tolerate where you're working now. Best of luck to you.
  10. by   Psychcns
    Document, get others to document, and report up the chain of command.
    And start looking for a better work envt..
  11. by   Guttercat
    I'm painting with a broad, anecdotal paintbrush here-- but in my experience many MD's/psychologists drawn to the psychiatric medical profession to begin with, are nutcases themselves.
  12. by   JZ_RN
    I would document, tell managers, call labor union if needed, or contact medical board. As far as when it was happening:

    Doctor: "Yell yell yell like a rabid donkey"

    Me: "Excuse me? I am a person, a registered nurse, and your coworker, and you will lower your voice and treat me with respect, or this conversation is done."
  13. by   abbaking
    Advise from the hood : Raise your eyebrows, put one hand on your hip, slightly lower your head, curl your lips, put your hand up and say girl please and show Miss Thang who really runs the show.
    Think Nene form real housewives of atlanta. If you can pull it off (I have many a times), you will send a clear and resounding message.
    Of course, this is if all else fails and following all the "proper" ways to handle the situation dont work.
  14. by   hiddencatRN
    Sometimes, your first job in nursing is a complete bust. It's OK, it happens. Look for another job. In the meantime, document and file incident reports as others have advised. Tell HR in your exit interview that the doctor's behavior and the company's unwillingness to do anything about it is THE reason you're leaving.