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Surgeon's hand-picking favorite nurses

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We have a new surgeon that insists upon allowing only four nurses on staff to be scheduled in his rooms. (I happen to be included in the four) I am a preceptor and find this incredibly frustrating because new employess off orientation must take call and work with a surgeon that they have never worked with. My facility is small and all of us must do everything! I have approached management with my concerns and presented them with the Nurse Ethics and Nurses Working Rights literature through NY Nurses Association. The management appears to be fearful of losing money by upsetting the doctor. However, I have explained to them that this battle should be fought within the walls of management offices and not in an OR on call with a patient on the OR bed (He has thrown nurses out of his room that are learning):confused: :confused: . I am thinking about filing a grievance with NY state due to my concious. Any thoughts? Ideas? HELP?

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

A surgeon at our facility can REQUEST certain nurses to scrub, but management makes it clear that it's not guarenteed they're going to get them, and that don't give in all the time. The only way they can ensure that is to hire them as their own private scrubs.

We have one ortho surgeon that does just that, he always wants this one nurse as his first-assist. He does surgeries on Mondays, so she's OFF from the hospital on Mondays, and working for Dr. K. on Mondays, even though she's at our O.R.

Two of our eye surgeons have their own private scrubs too, but they aren't employed by the hospital.

ALL of them abide by policy though.

We had the opposite problem happen last week. A nurse INSISTED for the longest time that a surgeon always reqests her, yet (not sure how this was found out) in a conversation, the surgeon said "Um i never REQUESTEDher, but i did find it weird that she was ALWAYS in my room though.". She had a crush on him. Sheesh.

Anyway, i agree, management needs to be dealing with this, i mean i'm all for TRYING to do the best thing, but that surgeon's being unfair, i think.

shodobe

Specializes in O.R., ED, M/S.

Surgeons are always requesting certain individuals for their cases and we try to accomodate them, but it is not a given. This gives them a false sense of security so they "think" they are running the show. Many years ago we had a neurosurgeon that was very hard to work with and only wanted people who really wanted to work with him. Another nurse and I were the only ones who could stand to be around him, so every Monday we worked all day doing his cases. Everyone else was afraid to go into the room.One day he called me an idiot and I informed my super that I would no longer work in his room under any circumstance. I guess she told him because later that night he called me at home and apologized!From then on no problem and to this day we get along just fine. There arose a situation where I was going on a month vacation to Europe and had to train everyone to be in the room, when I got back the surgeon was a happy camper and from that point on everyone rotated through his room. I think all surgeons should be able to work with people they feel comfortable with, but should always be aware there may be a time where someone else will be in the room. Mike

yeah, Shodobe, I remember the good old days when nurse a only scrubbed for surgeon b, to ensure a happy atmosphere. I also remember when nurse a was on vacation and the rest of us had to put up with being treated like crap because we dident know what this idiot liked. After all how could we?, we never got the chance to work with him. I can honestly tell you now I havent met this situation in years, thank god, those days are well and truly gone. I feel it places the surgeon in a position where he can manipulate the nursing rota to suit his own needs, a big no no. It allows him to manipulate the nursing team into the haves those who scrub for him and the have nots those who dont, another big no no. It exaults one or two nurses into a position of power, hey we must be wonderful he only wants us, a huge no no and finally and most importantly it could lead to a dangerous situation regarding patient care and delays happening if a new scrub nurse is forced into scrubbing for this person and is nervous and unsure of what "the master" wants and is not focused on the matter at hand. These surgeons should be told that they will have all the nurses in the room scrubbing for them in rotation, they will not discriminate against nurses and if they dont agree then they should be told that if their personal scrub nurse is on vacation, sick, ect ect then their list is cancelled as it puts the other members of staff under stress and more importantly un necessarily under stress. I personally dont know who I find sadder, the surgeon who wants his own little "handmaiden" or the idiot who thinks he, she must be something special as they have been handpicked. A sore topic here in london this!

We have surgeons (3 come to mind)who request certain nurses or scrub techs for their cases. For these three, our office will accommodate, for the sake of the surgeon and everyone else, since these are usually surgeons that nobody else wants to work with. Now, if anyone else tries to hand-pick their nurse and scrub, the office will give the speech about how they can't guarantee it. One's thing for sure...if the surgeon is new and tries to make that kind of request as in the first post...forget about it, our manager won't stop laughing.:)

We have a couple in our OR that handpick their crew from the tech to the anesthesiologist. These are the big money maker docs for the hospital. It is not right but its done enough to be notable.

I find that this is a very common problem. If it isn't the nurse or the tech, then it is the surgeon. X doesn't like to work with Y and Z doesn't like Q and Dr. No doesn't like nurse Rachet. Some of these guys won't give the new people a chance, and some of the nurses and techs won't give them any slack either. At our facility, it has become a real challenge to do staffing. :uhoh3:

I know what you mean, we have a couple of surgeons like that. I am lucky that I am able to scrub pretty much any case that comes through the door, but I feel awful for those who are just off orientation, working their first weekend alone, and end up with one of those guys. It is really unfair and doesn't do much for retention or moral. I think your right in taking it as far as you have. Just stick to your guns, and your fellow nurses, especially the new ones, will appreciate it later. One of our managers has been known to tell a couple of these jerks that if they want the same staff all the time, they can hire their own.

We have a new surgeon that insists upon allowing only four nurses on staff to be scheduled in his rooms. (I happen to be included in the four) I am a preceptor and find this incredibly frustrating because new employess off orientation must take call and work with a surgeon that they have never worked with. My facility is small and all of us must do everything! I have approached management with my concerns and presented them with the Nurse Ethics and Nurses Working Rights literature through NY Nurses Association. The management appears to be fearful of losing money by upsetting the doctor. However, I have explained to them that this battle should be fought within the walls of management offices and not in an OR on call with a patient on the OR bed (He has thrown nurses out of his room that are learning):confused: :confused: . I am thinking about filing a grievance with NY state due to my concious. Any thoughts? Ideas? HELP?

You may need to look where in management the problem is, At our facility, our direct manager tries to help us, as well as our nurse manager, but our administrator is an idiot, and the buck stops there. She lets certain doctors dictate to her, and others don't get the time of day. It is frustrating as staff to see this happen, and know there is nothing that can be done about it. Well, I guess you could quit-but that is about the only thing unless the administrator leaves.:imbar

I work in a large metropolitan hospital with 28 OR's. Surgeons do not specifically request to work with certain RNs but the charge nurses who make out the assignments work hard to assign RNs to those cases where they function best. This is especially true with complicated ortho cases (like joint replacements) and neuro cases (ones that use MetRx instrumentation, for example). The ophthalmologists who do 20 cataract replacements a day also generally work with the same team all the time, just to keep turnovers short and schedules runnning. The surgeons and the staff that always help them are able to function smoothly as a team, and everyone benefits. Personally I have no desire to spend hours in a space suit so I am just as happy that the same crew of a dozen or so people routinely staff the total joint rooms. This is, naturally, very different from a surgeon saying, "I only want to work with so-and-so," especially if it's a fairly straightforward general surgery case. The management here would never put up with shenanigans like that.

Ellen

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