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Comment of the week: Dr. Disrespectful

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A friend was working the back office in the local clinic. The doctor got mad about something and began yelling at my friend. She backed him into a wall, stuck her finger in his face and said, “If you ever yell at me or are disrespectful again, you will be running the back office all by yourself.” And she walked away. Ten minutes later, her doctor came up to her and said, “Excuse me, I’m sorry. Please stay.” He was never disrespectful again. I loved it. He is known as a very difficult doctor, but he is always very nice to his nurse.

—Wahela on Funniest Ways to Quit

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2 Responses to Comment of the week: Dr. Disrespectful

  1. jas RN

    Years ago, as a fairly now grad, I worked at a small community hospital that didn’t have House Officers on nights. The ER Dr. would only respond to codes. I called a Dr. 3 times to tell her this pt was in CHF, I wasn’t backing down either. I had my charge RN, supervisor, and RT standing beside me. The Dr. informed me you can’t tell if someone has CHF just by ausculating. Needless to say, the pt. ended up in pulmonary edema and a MI shortly afterwards. I ended up calling his primary Dr. and sent the pt to ICU. After that night, the first Dr. treated me with the utmost respect.

  2. NightNurseTom RN

    Ever heard of a “Code White”?

    One of my teachers told me about it. It was a fairly well-used tactic from her days as a new nurse back in the 70’s, although it appears to have fallen into disuse presently.

    Pretty simple, really.

    When a Doc or other authority figure is seen to be bullying a nurse, other nurses simply enter the area, staning near whomever is on the receiving end of the unwanted behavior, and subtly allow the bully to recognize that his behavior is being noted.

    It’s not confrontational, no “staring down”, much less any verbal response. Just a presence.

    I’ve tried this at work with one particular Doc who was ripping up a nurse in the station. Just walked over and stood near the nurse. Worked surprisingly well.