Ever Ask a Nurse About Daffy Doc Behavior? We Don’t Have to Ask. They Tell us Every Day

Patients rarely are the direct targets of a physician’s disruptive behavior. When doctors hurl insults or instruments, they’re usually aiming at nurses. ‘How to Handle Disruptive Physician Behaviors’ – Rick Gessler, RN; Alan Rosenstein, MD; Liz Ferron, MSW

shouting doctor

“Just the other day, one of our private docs went into a tizzy while seeing one of his patients. He threw our blood pressure cuff against the wall because he couldn’t figure out how to use it. When the patient explained to him that her nurse had been using it all night, and it seemed to work just fine, the frustrated doctor said, “Well I didn’t go to nursing school!”

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“LOL. I had a doc come find me one day because he wanted to turn off his patient’s IV fluids. So he walked all the way down our loooonnng hallway (seriously it’s really long) to find me and ask me if we could stop the patient’s fluids. I said ‘sure, just switch the pump off.’ He stared at me like I was speaking another language. So I had to walk all the way down the corridor to show him how to press the OFF button!”

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“Years ago we admitted a lovely baby to our special care nursery for some respiratory observation. As one of the docs began his exam, he said sadly that, ‘this poor baby has Down’s Syndrome. Look at his eyes’. We looked at the baby and then at the parents at the window, and asked this idiot if he had met the parents yet – they were Asian, for God sakes! The baby was fine; the dumb doc was as embarrassed as he should have been, and the nursing staff was in stitches for a week.”

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“One of my coworkers had a patient whose heart stopped beating at 2:00 a.m. After the code team arrived, the nurse called the patient’s primary physician to tell him. She said ‘Doctor, your patient is in heart failure and we’re trying to revive him. Doctor: “What happened?” (I think this question is pretty self explanatory. The guy’s heart stopped) Then the doctor goes on to say that he doesn’t believe it and we are trying to kid him. Sure, that’s what nurses do: we call doctors at 2:00 in the morning to kid about CPR. Ughhhhhhhh!!!”

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“I’m sure we’ve all been there. Sometimes docs just say and do the craziest things. My example: at my last long term care facility, I had one doctor seriously outright fight giving pain meds (for patients who really, really needed them and were dying) According to him, ‘prescribing narcotics leads to methadone and crack usage.’

These poor patients have been here for years. This twit thinks these sad, dying folks are going to get better, jump out of bed, and dash out to buy crack cocaine? WHAAAA!!!!!”

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“I was working med-surg my first year as a nurse. A doc wrote an order for a med my patient was allergic to. I brought it up and asked for a new order. The doc started yelling at me to ‘stay in my lane’. I started walking down the hallway to the nurse manager’s office when he heaved the patient’s chart at me, which bounced off the back of my head. The nurse manager told me that this particular doc, ‘often made mistakes like that.’

When I realize now, years later, how badly nurses allow themselves to be abused by these egotistical bastards, and how easily hospitals let it happen, I cringe.”

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“We had a doc who was known to be a complete ass. One day I was working at the computer screen and suddenly felt something on my neck. I glanced back and saw what I thought was a little stuffed animal wrapped in plastic. I kept working. The doc was laughing behind me. It turned out the stuffed animal was a dead rat in a Zip Loc bag. Cannot imagine why three wives divorced this mental case.”

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“Hate to say this, but at our nurses station, our favorite stories are the tons of clueless MDs who show up in shopping malls and restaurants while a full code on the floor suddenly happens  – and they have not the slightest idea how to run a basic CPR case. ACLS might as well be a Martian alien concept. You should hear the unbelievable stories the medics report to us about doctors on emergency scenes.”

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“We have a female doc whose ego gets her into trouble at least once a month. Last week she came down to pronounce the death of a patient we had called her on. But this twit stopped listening to me halfway through the phone call, so when she got here she went into the wrong room and assessed the wrong patient. Then she came out told us that we didn’t know what the hell we were doing – the patient was still alive. Oh, it gets worse. She continued her refuse-to-listen-to-nurses routine. She went out and told the family that their mom was still alive. It took us an hour to comfort the family about the death that really did happen, and to convince them the doctor was not a total fruit-loop. We can’t wait for her next wacko escapade.”

 

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