Today I had a mini meltdown at work. I had a patient who was quiet ill and the earlier in the day, the family had requested a specialist consult. The nurse previous to me had checked with the hospitalist, who denied the family's request. The family had left at that time, and I'm not sure if this doctor's decision was communicated with them or not. However, when I came on shift, they returned and filled the room. When I entered, they started asking questions and I answered as best I could. Then they asked when the specialist was coming. When I explained to them it wasn't ordered, they became irate & demanded to get one involved.
I admit I was a bit intimidated by their attitude and numbers, so I caved. The hospitalist had left for the day but was still on call. When I paged him to ask him about the specialist as well as a few other questions the family had, he returned by call and ripped me apart for asking him about the specialist yet again when we he had already said no.
He hung up on me and I felt the tears coming. I excused myself to the restroom, took a few deep breaths, and did my best to return to work and talk with the family.
The hospitalist called back to apologize for his reaction an to address some of the other questions, and that almost restarted the flow of tears again.
I think I've been working too much OT lately. Does anyone else cry when frustrated or being berated? I want to be able to handle these situations with grace and not dissolve into a blubbering mess.