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Has a doctor every YELLED at you and how did you handle that situation?

September 27th, 2021

I called a doctor because the order said to call at 1400 for Coumadin dose. So I called the doctor for the Coumadin dose. The doctor gave me the Coumadin dose. The patient was bridging from heparin drip to Coumadin. The doctor comes in and starts screaming at me because the “patient was getting a scope tomorrow, why would I give Coumadin?” Asked if I was a new nurse (I have been a nurse for eight years) WAS YELLING AT ME at the nurses station that we were bridging from COUMADIN to HEPARIN not the other way around (what?! You don’t even do that first of all) he then wrote a doctors progress note stating that I “refused to wait for him to round before giving Coumadin dose” to make it look like it was my fault the patient received Coumadin before their so called scope. Told the doctor after he yelled at me and falsely documented against me that GI wanted them to schedule a scope OUTPATIENT, no scope was ordered tomorrow, and that we were indeed bridging the patient from heparin to back to their home COUMADIN as ordered and I simply called him for a Coumadin dose because on the MAR that is exactly what it told me to do! I told him to fix his false documentation and to never yell at me like that ever again. I wrote him up for causing a scene and the false documentation. That doctor could never look at me in the eye again. He is also in prison now. Doctors aren’t your boss. Don’t let them belittle you, a lot of them shouldn’t be doctors.

November 22nd, 2021

I simply told the doctor that I wasn't available for uncivil "conversation," and that I'd welcome any conversation he needed to have with me in civil terms - and just walked away. He raised his voice again, and began to follow me. I put my hand up in a "stop" signal, and told him there would be bigger problems if he continued the behavior. He turned and stalked off. About a half hour later, he approached me. His manner was crisp, but not abusive or uncivil - and we talked, completing the necessary conversation. I remained calm and respectful, as I would towards any other co-worker.

April 4th, 2022

I have an advantage may nurses do not. I am male, 6'2" and was ht/wt appropriate at the time....usually I was the same gender, and usually larger than those thinking about yelling at me, I'd been in the trenches a long time - usually ER/Trauma, and I was in The US ARMY Reserves as a Nurse Corps officer - so intimidation was not something anyone could do easily.

There was a time I was running the ICU during a severe staffing shortage AND THE beds were full. One of the Nurse Managers on the floor told the doc, falsely, I had refused to accept his patient. He came charging down to the ICU 'drags' me into the nurses lounge and proceeded to scream at me. Mind you I am 5 inches taller than he, I thought he looked silly spitting and sputtering all red faced. I worked hard not to laugh and it was showing. I actually never said a word. He got crazy whipped open the door and slammed himself in the forehead, full force, with the door. Later when a bed became available we brought his patient to the ICU and nothing more was said of it.

April 4th, 2022

In my 50 years of nursing I was yelled at many times. I either said"would you like me to get you another nurse? I'd be more than happy to ", or I simply said "You are not my Father, boss, or anyone important in my life and don't need to tolerate your behavior" and walked away.

December 12th, 2022

Simple. I said "Most workplaces do not take workplace violence or workplace harassment very lightly. I suggest you take some time to review policy and procedures to prevent this type of behavior in a professional work environment. We are all stressed, and we all care for our patients equally, with the same amount of passion and drive to ensure the best outcomes. Please take time to cool off, and we can begin where we left off, in a more professional and productive manner. Thank you." They looked even more pissed, but then settled down almost immediately when they realized it wasn't worth it. Then we began taking care of the patient. It was a stressful situation, but if you don't set boundaries it'll happen more often, and you will regret it and hate your job.

November 23rd, 2021

I have been a preceptor for many years. One of the thing I tell new hires is to not back down from physicians. However it's not that better know what you're talking about. If you do, then provide ANY person / physician, in a civil tone and delivery, that you will simply not be spoken to that way. That if there is an issue you / they can work on it collectively. Better yet, ask them to teach you their way(s) ~ they mostly love having their ego stroked. I established very early on that I am not a child; won't be spoken to that way, ever!!

January 29th, 2023

Definitely stick up for yourself. They are not your boss. You work TOGETHER. Especially if you know what you did was correct. There is never a reason for someone to yell at you in a professional setting, in private or in front of others.
When I worked med surg, we had a doc who was notoriously rude, condescending to nurses, also yelled. I had to page him one day (as he requested per the chart note) about something and he went off on me. I calmly told him that it was written in the chart by him to be paged for said whatever I called for. Also told him he could call me back and discuss the patient once he could speak to me in a polite manner. Got an in person apology for calling him out and I became one of his favorite nurses. He looked for me any time he was on the unit.
Like I said, there's never a reason to yell. Be polite and calm and call them out on it.

December 12th, 2022

Yes. As a new nurse the doctor had been listed incorrectly as being on call for the night I was working. And he was intensely angry for me making the mistake of calling him, no matter why that took place. I apologized profusely. Again. And again. And again. Finally I said "I made a mistake, but I have already apologized six times, for something that I had no idea could have even been wrong when I called. Is there something else you need from me, other than a lot of apologizing? Do you need me to bow down the next time I see you? Because all I am certain is that you need to stop yelling at me. And I'm done apologizing." He actually got a little flustered and said "No no, I don't expect you to bow down...." then he kinda lost steam. I said "If you are all done yelling at me, I'm going to give you report on your patient's change in condition, and you can tell me how we are going to handle it."

April 2nd, 2022

First, let’s admit that our jobs are tough. We are around life and death every day. Ultimately, the doctor is the one who is responsible for the outcome of his/her decisions. They are under a lot of pressure. So are we. Yes, I have been yelled at. I am confident that I am a good nurse. When the situation devolves into a doctor losing his/her cool, I do my best to maintain mine. It helps to seek out the doctor when the air has cleared and to speak to them privately in a calm and collected manner. Nine times out of ten, the issue will be resolved. Be sure to own your part of what caused the situation. We are all human and fallible.

March 16th, 2023

I politely ask him how he put his pants on in the morning and then told him I put my pants on the same way he does every day and until he can speak to me with respect to go talk to my director! My director was informed of the situation and he came back a week later and apologized! I don’t take being disrespected! Been doing this far too long!

February 27th, 2023

As a male nurse, I don’t run into this situation often. I have had it happen only once to me, usually doctors give me more of a passive aggressive attitude if they’re upset. That being said, doctors are NOT your boss. They are a coworker and, as such, need to conduct themselves appropriately. Be assertive and let them know that it is absolutely unacceptable for them to speak to you that way. Stand your ground. They don’t get a free pass to treat you poorly. In the situation I experienced, the doctor failed to put in the correct order and became irate that I didn’t do something that he didn’t order. He started to yell about how I needed to learn how to read (even when there wasn’t any order to read lol), etc. I told him there was a right way and a wrong way to address someone you have an issue with, and that was the wrong way. I said he needed to calm down and speak to me appropriately or not at all. I then proceeded to point out I didn’t perform what he asked me to because he never ordered it. Once he went back and looked, he came and apologized. You’d be surprised at how far being assertive and standing your ground will get you.

February 8th, 2023

Yes, and I wrote the doctor up with an attached Joint Commission’s sentinel alert no. 40. “… Behaviors that undermine a culture of safety continue to be a problem in health care. While the term “unprofessional behavior” is preferred instead of “disruptive behavior,” the suggested actions in this Alert remain relevant.”
“Zero tolerance” for intimidating and/or disruptive behaviors, especially the
most egregious instances of disruptive behavior such as assault and other criminal acts. Incorporate the zero tolerance policy into medical staff bylaws and employment agreements as well as administrative policies.

All nurses should read this because it works both ways.

February 3rd, 2023

It was actually from an on-call NP. I wasn’t a baby nurse but I hadn’t grown into my full nurse self, if that makes sense. Got a new admit and I knew something was wrong beyond admitting dx. The only service on for them just had the on-call. Pt was hypertensive, hyperthermic and had other stuff going on I called at 2130 given a prn and basically told to wait until dayshift bc it wasn’t an urgent situation; charge was made aware of what they said. I even went to our neuro floor to ask a float nurse I knew bc there was a hx of stroke but they were at baseline per the NP.

Second call around 04/0500 I’m getting yelled at for calling again and asked if I had done all the things stated before. Another nurse is right next to me and hears the whole thing; I then follow up with criticals and while annoyed, they stopped yelling and said they’d let dayshift know.

They were upgraded that day for all the reasons I had mentioned🤔. 100% I had documented everything and let the right people know the situation. I’ve found when you say whatever you need to say in a straight forward, brief manner, and only what that service cares about, you get on their good side. It’s also helpful that while small and light hearted, I speak their language of being very straight forward. Which they’re comfortable with bc of med school/residency 🤷🏻‍♀️

January 17th, 2023

Of course, many times when I was an RN earlier in my career. I learned to be assertive and would reply “please do not speak to me like that. This is your patient I’m caring for and very concerned ie”

January 3rd, 2023

Yes, by letting him know that his tone was not appropriate nor appreciated due to the fact that I was doing my job, and if there was a problem with me doing so I’d be happy to call the director for him. I also stated that I was not yelling at him and I was due the same respect. That is how you handle that, they are not gods they are in most cases brats. Once you establish you don’t take crap from anyone you will no longer have those problems.