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Rude doctors

Emergency   (550 Views 4 Comments)

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Hello everyone,

I am sure we all have experienced this a time or two working in a busy emergency department.  I have worked er for awhile now and get along well with all the doctors save for one.  This person in particular is unpopular because of her behavior.  Lately, however it seems her ways have become magnified.  She is SO RUDE and in the past she would vent frustration at me and then apologize later.  In fact, she has done this multiple times.  I have never had any other provider treat me this way, just her.  It is really frustrating and I am thinking about reporting her, but I am not really sure how.  I am also scared she will retaliate against me and may even be successful at doing so.  One event that really irked me was when I was helping in the trauma bay and was incredibly busy and a bit stressed.  She starts demanding I go find a scribe for her and I tell her when I am finished with my current task I will go find one (which was more kind than she deserved) she literally just stared at me until I finished my task when she could have gotten a scribe or called one herself.  Another occasion she yelled at me for taking too long to give a patient Ibuprofen (it had been 25 minutes since ordered, given at 30).  She is also treating other staff this way and it is very frustrating.  I dont know what to do.  I just hate working with her.  Should I pull her aside and talk to her or just report her.  I want to smooth thing over not kick the hornets nest.  Personally though I feel her attitude is a big problem and she is the kind of person who thinks nurses are beneath her and she can just kick them around when she is frustrated.  What do I do?  I seriously feel like the next time she says "im sorry" im going to say "yeah, heard that before." then I'll really get into trouble.  UGH!

Edited by SnickerDoodle_RN

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12 Followers; 3,684 Posts; 27,370 Profile Views

People behave this way when they know it will be tolerated. It's almost guaranteed that she does not treat every one of the ED nurses this way; she knows when to temper herself and when she can get away with it. She knows that you hate the idea of even a minor confrontation and will stress yourself in order to avoid having to assert yourself.

This is a matter of being pleasantly assertive. Assertiveness is not: aggressiveness, sarcasm, being argumentative, mean retorts, or trying to pacify her.

Not being pleasantly assertive is enabling her behavior.

Pleasant/low-key assertiveness is a state of mind and emotion that recognizes that X thing (whatever little issue she has become unglued about) is not about you, and therefore you are free to proceed very neutrally; in a pleasant, matter-of-fact manner.

If X is the scribe issue: In a pleasant/friendly manner state, "Oh! That number should be in your phone. I can help you find it in just a second..." This achieves the goal of being pleasantly assertive and offering a solution, but not performing her unreasonable demand and not giving any indication that you are willing to perform the unreasonable demand or are going to do it 2, 5, or 10 minutes from now--but that instead, something different is going to happen.

If X is the Motrin issue: Let her belly-ache. If she was just grumbling about it into the atmosphere, pretend you didn't hear. If she approaches you and is pointedly complaining about it, keep moving and pleasantly state, "I was with another patient but it's next on my list." Don't stand there to give her an audience.

Basically don't do what she wants you to do. Be calm, be neutral and pleasant, realize that X is not about you.

Look around your ED. I'm certain there are people she doesn't treat this way. Learn from them--although for your own happiness I wouldn't pattern myself after the ones whom she leaves alone because they are just as inappropriate as she is...they are quite often miserable themselves, and you don't need a different kind of misery any more than you need your present problem.

👍🏽

Edited by JKL33

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TuxnadoDO specializes in Emergency medicine.

62 Posts; 1,085 Profile Views

As a female ER physician, I would much prefer if a nurse pulled me aside when it wasn't busy and calmly/politely told me how my behavior made her feel. Communicate with her before resorting to tactics like being snarky or reporting her. 

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12 Followers; 3,684 Posts; 27,370 Profile Views

3 hours ago, TuxnadoDO said:

As a female ER physician, I would much prefer if a nurse pulled me aside when it wasn't busy and calmly/politely told me how my behavior made her feel. Communicate with her before resorting to tactics like being snarky or reporting her. 

Agree with this and in most other situations it would have been my advice, but the elements involved in the scribe incident make it sort of beyond the pale. I'm happy to try to make the physician's job easier when I can, as a courtesy. But that would never involve leaving a trauma because someone has chosen to throw a tantrum instead of dialing their phone or pulling out a pen and paper.

The stare-down was utterly 6th-grade-mean-girl. Such people are not unaware of how it may make other people feel. They are actively trying to make people feel that way.

Your tip is okay for those who are maybe a little high-strung when stressed or are slightly brusque and unaware of how they sound.

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