Thursday, November 19, 2009

Must be able to deal with MD temper tantrums - part of the job description

If you are a nurse or have been for more than a week, then you've been chewed out by a doctor.  I don't understand what happens to them during the course of med school and residency that makes them think they can talk to other human beings (especially nurses) like dogs/idiots/children...  Not all of them behave this way, but unfortunately, the polite and professional doctors are in the minority.  I can only think of a small handful of doctors I work with that I haven't been eye witness to one of their outbursts.  I used to cry when doctors yelled at me, but now I've gotten to the point where I can politely and professionally defend myself.  I once heard a nurse say that when a doctor starts yelling at her she just thinks, "The louder you yell, the slower I am gonna go."  That totally cracked me up.  Maybe when I'm on my way out of my nursing career, I'll have a chance to say this to someone.  Doubt I'd be able to do it, but it's fun to imagine=).
The doctor I was working with the other night chewed me out for something ridiculous and you know what kills me?  If I had talked to her the way she talked to me, I can guarantee, I wouldn't have a job.  The hospital seems to set the tone that it's okay for a doctor to yell at a nurse, but not vice versa.  I don't work for the doctors, I work for the hospital.  Nurses are just as vital to patient care as doctors are.  But apparently because I don't have and MD behind my name, I am less deserving of respect.
For any of you budding OB's out there, let me just clue you in on something.  OB/GYNs don't have a "great lifestyle" all the time.  It is a busy specialty.  So, if you don't like long hours and working late, this might not be the profession for you.  But if you do choose to go into OB, please don't take it out on your patients and nurses when you have a crappy week. 
Have a nice day!


  1. This is so true Abby! I will never forget one time when I got chewed out by a female doctor at Brookwood....won't name any names. I was finishing up my orientation and they assigned me to a pt. at like..7 o'clock. She was an induction and her iv had not even been started....whew when the md came in at 0710 she was more than mad at ME for not having her ready yet!! There were other times too, but that one made an impression.

  2. I just came across your blog, even though I have no idea how I got here, and I read the whole thing! With my daughter I was induced at 39 weeks and had an epidural pretty early in my labor, but with my next I hope to go natural. Your stories have been inspiring! I wish you would keep them coming! I'm sure you aren't busy at all with two little ones! haha

  3. My mom is an L&D nurse, and I'm about to start my ob/gyn residency in July, and I just want to give you hope that there are a lot of young docs out there who are more mindful of inter-professionalism, and hopefully residency won't beat it out of us! Especially with the advent of larger group practices that give us a chance to have a bit more of a life, hopefully there will be some change! But you said it, if we didn't want to work hard, we shouldn't be going into this field!