Verbal Abuse from surgeons in the OR - page 2

Just curious... How commonly do you OR nurses out there experience verbal abuse and/or disruptive behavior from surgeons? How do you or your facility deal with this issue? In the facility... Read More

    Grab the inserts out of the case caskets and that will have all the instrument names on them. also there is most likely a preferrance card to each procedure and each surgeon. Know them like the back of your hand and keep a little tab card on each of the surgeons that you will work with.... bovie settings and little tid bits of thier wants and needs ... also you will need to watch and babysit the all of the people in the room, Anesthesia Drs,CRNA's, Dr, (can be multiple in room at one time), scrubs, and other and anyone esle that comes in and out.
    You will grow multiple hands to handle the multiple tasks that you will be doing at one time so it comes with time spent in the OR.
    Also you will be able to feel out the Drs when they are in your room, Do Understand this, Know the difference in the "Situational and the Personal", If a Dr freaks it could be the case and thats situational so watch your techs..... Dr may easily go off on them. But understand that is the case itself but do monitor if it becomes a personal issue..
    If its personal You will know right off the bat... This is your time to make the impression that you want them to have of you , Some may test you just to see what they can and cannot get away with (the techs will do this to you also), so Give them the side that you want them to see and If you wish not to stand for crap then make that a point up front...Other than that you will have an orientation time and I suggest you use that wisely, become as aquainted with every knock and cranny in that OR find out where every drsg,bovie tips,suctions and the clean core lives, In the most inconveint time is when No One is in the clean core to help you locate what you need , so you need to learn the locations of everything and where it lives.
    Just a few tid bits
  2. by   spineCNOR
    Dear bestblonde,

    First of all, I wish you the best of luck in your new OR career!

    Zoe's suggestion's are all right on. Many people find it helpful to keep a small notebook handy in their pockets to record things you want to remember-surgeon's preferences, specifics about cases, etc.

    What to anticipate in cases comes with practice--just keep your eyes and ears open for things such as a sudden increase in blood loss, abnormal alarms, a sudden flurry of activity from the anesthesia provider, etc....

    It is important to be patient with yourself- there is a LOT to learn, but you can do it, just give yourself time.

    There are many published resources that can help you -- some that are probably available in your department or hospital's library. A must read is the AORN Standards and Recommended practices. Another book that I found helpful whn I was studying for the CNOR exam is "Perioperative Nursing Core Curriculum" by Rosemary Roth - it has good, basic information on different aspects of the OR, such as patient positioning.

    Be open--there is something you can learn from everyone in the OR, even the nursing assistants. Most people, surgeons, anesthesia and other OR nurses are very willing to teach someone who is interested.
  3. by   bestblondRN
    Zoe and Spine CNOR:

    Thank you so much for your insight and wisdom--I will make good use of your advice! I'll keep you posted on how it goes!
  4. by   spineCNOR

    Please do keep us informed. Support and commiseration available here free!
  5. by   medman
    Hospitals and doctors do not pay attention to us little people until it hits them in the pocket. Just such a situation happened in the town i am working in. Neuro surgeon called his scrub tech an unflattering name and threatened to have her fired. She sued him and threatened to sue the hospital if they did not back her. She won, she now has a very nice home, a bmw, and a new jeep. Now the hospital insists on incident reports being written and presented to the board of directors. The Nuero surgeon in question is now off staff because since he has had a couple of simular situations.
  6. by   JoRn
    I work with many abusive surgeons. My facility does not do anything about this situation. Another local hospital has suspended privelages for an abusive surgeon. When a surgeon steps over the line with me, I give them one verbal warning, and then I write a formal complaint. At this time my facility is only giving the surgeons a "slap on the hand", however sooner or later I am confident that something will be done. This is a large part of the turn-over with staff in the operating room.
  7. by   liveintheOR
    When a doc starts demanding and blowing up I just say "
    Yes,sir" "No, sir" It usually freaks them out and they can't think of anything to say. I have one surgeon who wants everything under the sun opened for his cases. He then will complain how much the case is costing the patient. The other day he asked me how much telfa costs, that it was too much to charge the pt. If he sees something on the back table that he doesn't want he says "The cost of that should be taken out of your pay!!" I just say "yes sir' and give him a blank stare. He's always looking for someone to argue with, and I refuse to give him the satisfaction. Another doc said to me " I ought to slap you" My reply was "Oh please do. I have another child to send to college and I sure could use a new house. " He just looked at me then laughed. I guess no one had ever called his bluff before. He's always throwing tantrums so I just treat him like a child since he is acting like one.
    I have reported one surgeon who was and is always verbally abusive. Thank God he moved to Reno.
  8. by   spineCNOR
    Good idea, liveintheOR--I will have to try that myself. Thanks!
  9. by   Shevalove
    I am really truly shocked that in this day and age Drs. still treat nurses like #$*%, not only that, but they are allowed to get away with it! I have had only one run in with a DR over the phone and it was because I was totally clueless about a patient (First day on the job) I am just disgusted that this is allowed. If you worked in any other field and you were spoken to like this there would be action taken. I do agree with one of the above posters about letting yourself be treated like this. I do think if you show right from the beginning that you aren't going to stand for it, you are less likely to have to put up with it
  10. by   cwazycwissyRN
    Dr.s are not exempt from mental disease, I'm quite sure I know a few that need medication and counceling. Drugs many drugs, some are sicker than others. tee hee saw one lying on his back kicking his legs, looked like a bug. I do my best for the docs most are very professional and act accordingly. We all have our ugly moments, however there is a line and when one crosses it we do have a means of righting them up and having it identified and delt with.
  11. by   MrsK1223
    My mother is an RN and has been for years in OR and she said that the nurses are who gets the brunt of some of the A__holes...but the surgical techs dont that she works with cause if they piss them off the don't care a bit to thumb the instrument swiftly and firmly into their hands causing some discomfort....she's seen it first hand and she said they don't ever bother them.
  12. by   Sarah, RNBScN
    They are everywhere...not all but it only takes one bad apple. I've been asked to scrub out from a surgeon just newly being on my own in the OR because I couldn't keep up. "No, the surgeon couldn't keep up with the bleeding." He was doing a lap. chole which turned into a open chole. Guess what? Once the bleeding was controlled...he was calmer and told the other scrub nurse coming in..."Oh it's o.k. I don't need you Sarah is doing a fine job." I wanted to spit nails. As they say, don't argue during to add to the fire. I have a few others but they are lenghty...someone said it before "in one ear and out the other." One thing I recommend for any OR nurse to have is your own "file". Keep it for references re: abuse, case went bad, anesthetist was bad, etc...Record everything...who was in the room, what when on, everything...YOU never know if you will need it. Our hospital "feeds the beast to keep them happy since CEO's are a dime a dozen and surgeons aren't." It is very sad. No wonder I work other areas to get away from the bull****. Have a good one.
  13. by   DawnRN36
    Hi I am new to this board but I am in desperate need of some advice about an incident that happened in our OR. The surgeon I am familiar with but does not practice at our OR all the time was doing a lap chole, and long story made short he was "playing around" with the suction irrigator squirting it on the drapes AFTER he used this same instument to suck blood and bile, etc from the patient. It was causing backsplash, and I put my hands up, turned my head and leaned away saying DR!! when he pointed the darn thing at me and squirted me..hitting me in the side of the face with it and dripping inside my mask. I stepped back from the table, just basically in shock, he said "oh, did i get you" and I said yes you got me its on my face and in my I was disrobing he was saying he was sorry but I was about to blow. I walked out to the charge nurses office and was so angry crying I couldn't breathe...she "talked me down" then it was back to work b/c we are so short staffed and very busy that day. The next day I contacted the employee health nurse, who was very rude to me and my concerns, but I did have HIV, HepC and the hepsurface antibodies drawn. My concerns: no one from administration or my nurse manager has come to me yet to address this. This is really a very nice dr and I truly believe in my heart he was just trying to be goofy, not malicious, and it backfired in a big way. I mean it when I say I believe he is sorry but sorry doesn't help ease my mind. For example, the EHS nurse told me to be "professional" when I was crying, that we are at risk for things to happen.....I told her I am prepared and well aware of risks involved in my job but not crap like this. THen she tells me I am being upset too soon to just "put it out there" then the next sentence..pick up a box of condoms on your way home since you have been exposed. I asked is a box of condoms going to help my small children? I shouldn't have to be dealing with this. I am so sick with worry I am not sleeping, my husband is having an absolute fit. I talked with the medical staff director today, who seemed genuinely concerned, and has promised to look into it. I think I am going crazy.....and help advice anything .... am I over reacting?