Abusive behavior by physicians linked to nursing shortage, studies show - page 3

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT Copyright 2002 U.S. News & World Report ~ June 17, 2002 SECTION: HEALTH & MEDICINE; Vol. 132 , No. 21; Pg. 54 HEADLINE: Nursing Wounds BYLINE: By Josh Fischman ... Read More

  1. by   flowerpower
    Wow. This is definitely upsetting for me to hear as a first year nursing student. I've worked so hard to get to this pt and it seem as if I am finally hearing the truth about nursing. One of the things that I have been picking up a lot is about physicians' abusive behavior. Does it seem like I am going into the wrong profession?
  2. by   crisscross
    I work in a clinic setting and have seen and worked with verbally abusive docs. I think that the ones who act like that know who they can pick on and target them. I don't put up with it so it doesn't happen to me but it happens to others all around me. I've seen the poor nurse trembling with fear while some a**hole MD is yelling at her just because he's in a bad mood. They know that many nurses (and others) are intimidated by them and it's almost as if they enjoy the tormenting.
  3. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    PEOPLE DO THINGS BECAUSE THEY CAN. The first time an abusive doctor ask where his nurse is and he is told he doesn't have one, he might reconsider his behavior,
  4. by   JBudd
    Quote from flowerpower
    Wow. This is definitely upsetting for me to hear as a first year nursing student. I've worked so hard to get to this pt and it seem as if I am finally hearing the truth about nursing. One of the things that I have been picking up a lot is about physicians' abusive behavior. Does it seem like I am going into the wrong profession?
    No, you're not. Much of what you read and hear here are the extremes. Yes there are abusive docs, but by far more there are the ones who respect and work with us. My group in the ED are great, with one or two less liked than others, but we do have venues for correcting or confronting without huge amounts of animosity. People come here to vent, get support, etc.

    The "truth about nursing" covers enormous amounts of work areas, attitudes, places, and people. There are as many truths as there are nurses. What we do here is help each other cope with stuff, methods and means that worked for us, validate experience, etc. I've worked with abusive docs, and with great ones. What you need to get out of this article and people's experience is that while this does happen, it is not acceptable, and these are things people are doing about it: mostly by voting with their feet. Notice that without nurses, infection rates went up etc. It not only pinpoints poor behaviors, it points out how important nurses are to patient outcomes.

    Sitck with it! I firmly believe nursing is worth it. And welcome to our ranks!
  5. by   Angie O'Plasty
    Wow. Sounds like some people have worked with some real anal sphincters! I pretty much agree with those who have said the way to stop such behavior is to simply not put up with it. The scalpel in the thigh story was unbelievable--if I were in that nurse's situation, I think I would have been tempted to pull it out and throw it right back!! (However, that wouldn't be a good idea and really the thing to do would be report it and press charges--don't need to get yourself in trouble for assault).
  6. by   chinoyRN
    Sad but true hard fact...

    I guess most doctors feel like they have to (or tend to) act that way because they have that need to feel and act superior to nurses...

    this is also true in other countries... from where i came from, it is not uncommon to see a weeping nurse in front of a berating physician... tsk tsk

    i hope that culture of denigration will cease to exist soon...:kiss
  7. by   10ACGIRL
    Quote from Jailhouse RN
    If You Believe That Nurses Or The Supposed Shortage Is The Cause Of A Doctor's Bad Behavior You Need Help. The Doctor, Just Like The Nurse Must Control Him Or Herself. Here We Go Again Taking All The Blame......that Is Pure B.s.
    Hey I know the feelin' That was why I quit my job as a Chiro Assistant becuz of his abuse to me in front of the clients. He blessed me out in front of them bcuz of an xray that I screwed up AND HE KNEW that machine was going bad and that he had been having trouble with it as well and told me " bcuz of just what happened here, you will be lucky if I don't get sued from this".!
  8. by   rntravlon
    Many docs behave that way towards nurses because they are allowed to do so. That nurse with the scalpel incident should have sued not only the physician but the hospital as well. This was probably not the first incidence with this doc, so the hospital couldn't play dumb. I can empathize with the new nurse not wanting to lose her job,however we are professionals and some day hospitals will realize that we keep patients coming back to their hospital and start reprimanding docs with outrageous behavior,verbal or otherwise.
  9. by   scampi710
    Quote from jayrelic
    The only way this type of abuse can continue is if those on the receiving end do nothing about it. If you're too weak, too afraid, too intimidated, then you shouldn't be working there, or dare I say in the field of nursing at all.

    It's one thing to be on the receiving end of constructive criticism, but to be on the end of abuse is completely different. If you allow that to happen to you and do nothing about it, first of which should be standing up for yourself, secondly, pulling the physician aside after both parties have cooled off to explain you will not tolerate abouse from anyone, and third, let those in a position of authority over the physician know about it, then I have no empathy for you.

    It's up to you to empower yourself. Don't let others dictate how you feel. I see all too often people letting others control their thoughts, feelings and attitudes. I have learned from them, and I do not allow it to happen to me. Nor should any of you.
    You haven't worked in the state of Texas! No nursing rights here....just read the thread on Control One.
  10. by   lindarn
    And reality is, when someone comes along and finally decides to file complaints about these abusive physicians, there attorneys will plead dumb concerning abusive behavior. We can say all we want to, "well Dr, so and so is always abusive to the nursing staff, and he or she has done this and that, thus and so, etc." The come back will be, "where is the proof, documentation, that this doctor has been a problem". And they are right. There IS NO DOCUMENTATION THAT THE PHYSICIAN HAS BEEN ABUSIVE, AND A PROBLEM". IF NO ONE DOCUMENTS, KEEPS COPIES FOR THEMSELVES. REPORTS THEM TO THE BOARD OF MEDICINE, THERE IS NO PROOF THAT THIS HAS OCCURRED. THE BOARD OF MEDICINE TOLD ME THAT THEY START A FILE O PHYSICIANS WHO HAVE HAD COMPLIANTS ABOUT THEM. AND THIS IS WHAT WILL GET THE BOARD TO TAKE ACTION. IT IS LIKE OUR NURSING NOTES. IF IT WASN'T CHARTED, IT WAS NOT DONE, AND/OR, DID NOT HAPPEN. YOU GET THE IDEA.

    For good reason, the Board of Medicine, is hesitant to discipline physicians on anecdotal, one time occurrence, evidence alone. Just as you would not want the Board of Nursing to discipline you on anecdotal evidence, only on hard evidence that misconduct has occurred.

    The nurses who refuse, are intimidated, into not reporting physician abusive, or usafe conduct, make it that much harder for those of us who finally do. The same goes for unsafe working conditions in the hospitals. It was only when the evidence was overwhelming, that hospital care and hospitalizations, had become unsafe, did the Boards of Nursing, JCAOH, the Institute of Medicine, etc, start to take notice and speak out about it. I agree, they closed their eyes too late to make any differance.

    However, nurses have not been good about documentation past their own nurses notes for their shift. They need to take a defensive documentation class, on how to document abusive, unsafe conduct, the channels to take, to get some action, and how to protect yourself, so you don't have to be the fall guy, if something on your unit goes wrong. MAKE COPIES OF YOU NURSES NOTES IN CASE THEY DISAPPEAR. I hope that I don't have to tell you to get your own malpractice INSURANCE. If something goes wrong, due to poor, usafe, staffing, physicians not returning calls when theri patients take a turn for the worse at 0200, it wll be the nurse who gets hung out to dry, not the doctor, administration, etc. NO DOCTOR WILL STICK UP FOR YOU IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG. THEY LOOK AT WHAT IT TOOK THEM TO BECOME A DOCTOR, AND AS FAR AS THEY ARE CONCERNED, THEY WILL NEVER STICK UP FOR YOU, TO SAVE YOU LICENSE. IT IS NOT IMPORTANT TO THEM.

    Nurses perpertue the abuse, and unsafe working conditions, that has come to be the norm. It doesn't have to be that way. Stop waiting for permission to take a stand, and complain. I realize that many nurses are afraid of losing their jobs, of retaliation, but document, make copies, write to the appropriate agencies,send letters registered, with return receipts, and keep copies, of everything. Also, don't be afraid to call an attorney. Many of the times, Employment Attorneys will take cases on contingency. If you don't win, you don't pay. There are also many Nurse Attorneys, and they probably the best bet to represent you in cases like this. Anyway, JMHO, and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  11. by   crisscross
    Quote from scampi710
    You haven't worked in the state of Texas! No nursing rights here....just read the thread on Control One.
    What? what is control one?? I'm in Texas.
  12. by   lindarn
    It is Group One. They are on the Internet. When you apply for a job in Texas, you have to sign a release, that they call a "consumer check". It is really a release to see if yohave been reported by an employer. Hospitals are loooking for nurses who were fired, for ANY REASON, union activism, troublemaker, etc. From what I have read on this listserve, nurses have been reported as retaliation, and they cannot get a job anywhere in Texas. It is relly scary. Just look through the threads on this listserve, and you will hear plenty, about nurses who have had their lives ruined because of Group One.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  13. by   reindeer
    Wound Vacs

    Placing vacs on every 48 hours then weekend skip two days? Does the client take a chance of an infection? MD requesting the vac to be change q day that is not what I have been taught. Can you change it q day and if so would that benefit the client?