Abusive doctors, stress drive nurses out

  1. After finding out one of its doctors had been making demeaning comments to nurses for years, Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia realized they needed to update their code of conduct. With the nursing shortage hitting hospitals across the nation, hospitals are trying to find ways to avoid alienating the nurses they already have.

    Philadelphia Inquirer, July 1, 2002

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  3. by   spineCNOR
    [SIZE=3]Thank you much for sharing this article. I absolutely agree that verbal abuse from physicians has a detrimental effect on nurse morale and ultimately on patient care.

    Many nurses that I know are tired of having to deal with condescending and demeaning comments from doc's with no backing from our managers or the hospital administration. It is time that hospitals face and deal with disruptive behavior from doctors to protect their employees from a hostile work environment.
  4. by   fab4fan
    This is surprising to me that it happened at Fox Chase since they're a magnet hosp; I also did some hospice training there and the env. seemed very collegial.

    Sigh...I guess nothing should surprise me these days.
  5. by   pfleige
    About time...
  6. by   fedupnurse
    I work in a Magnet hsopiatl and let me tell you. We have quite a few really obnoxious arrogant docs, mostly surgeons, who still do expect us to give them a chair and fetch charts. HELLO this is 2002!! The open heart docs here expect the flowsheets to be completed by 6 am so all their numbers are ready for them in the morning. They berate staff who do not obey with their golden rule and the management in that unit backs up the docs. Guess that is why more than half their staff is agency....
    It is about time!!!! Maybe I'll download this article and send it to the suits.
    Thanks Karen!
  7. by   oramar
    Oh my gosh fedupnurse, I remember a surgical resident who used to have a fit if I&Os wern't on the chart at 5am. He used to get really nasty. I kept very accurate I&O but getting them on chart at 5am was a bit much. Like the sheep I was in those day when I knew he was the one checking the post op open hearts I would rush to do things his way. Why, because if he complained about the situation managment would have ordered me to do it his way anyhow. Little things like that ad up over the years and one morning you can't get out of bed because you dread going to work and everyone wonders why. Like a abused wife one day I could not go on.
  8. by   oramar
    PS all these hospitals have known for years what went on and turned a blind eye to it. The reason is simply they see Docs as money makers and nurses as money spenders. Such big heros they are all of a sudden.
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    Fox Chase Cancer Center has STRONG VP of Nursing---received Magnet Recognition in 2001. Hospital was a perceived as strong supporter of nurses over past 10 years.

    If doc abuse causes the loss of ONE RN = cost of 30,000 to 45,000 to orient replacement nurse. They wisely realized the economic value of RETAINING staff: eg, orient replacement, loss of hospital income if beds need to close due to lack of RN staff, lower morale leads to employee stress with mistakes prone to occur, inexperienced staff might not catch subtle patient change with early intervention leading to less physical patient intervention/cost == happier staff and more relaxed atmosphere for patients to recooperate in; thereby patients more willing to choose your hospital and spread good word to families = increased utilazation and ^ $$$$.

    EDUCATION of physician staff is CRUCIAL and needs to come from Chief Medical officer.
  10. by   adrienurse
    I once was written up by a doc, because at 1400 hrs, I refused to skip my already late lunch break and sit with him and guide him through the extremely self explanatory (and problems had been extremely well documented in charts) concerns list. Manager sided with him, by the way. The facility failed to "retain" me as an employee.
  11. by   fiestynurse
    Every Hospital should establish a nurse/physician collaborative practice committee. They develop policies and procedures regarding conduct by both parties. They also develop programs for collaborative practice, this involves educational workshops, etc. If a doctor is abusive you report it to a representative of the committee and they act on it with counseling or disciplinary action if necessary.

    I worked at a hospital that had quarterly nurse/physician network dinners. A few nurses and doctors from each unit would be selected to attend. The hospital would provide dinner and a speaker. They were very successful.