Doctors Throwing Fits

Here is a rather long article, but it is important and necessary to read and acknowledge the problem as it affects patient care and patient outcomes.  We all have to possibility of becoming a patient at sometime in our lives, so our health outcome should be a priority to us.  Doctors throwing fits creates a hostile and dangerous environment for nurses and patients alike.

Doctors throwing fits is universal to all healthcare environments but should that make it be okay?  Stress, fatigue, disappointment, and fear of loss all combine to make the attending a pressure cooker about to explode.  Nurses have historically done all they can to soothe and care-take physicians to prevent such outbursts; but in today’s workforce, such behavior has come to be seen for what it really is.  Doctors are bullies.  Somewhere in the course of their training, they have gotten the idea that they are in control and everyone else is just there to do their bidding.

This is so far from the truth that I can’t even begin to address it.  Nurses are there to attend to the patient’s needs and to protect the patient’s rights when they are unable to do so due to illness or anesthesia.  Techs are there to provide the muscle and to present the necessary equipment needed, as well as to attend to the patients.  Doctors seem to forget that they only spend a short time with each patient but the nurses are with that same patient for 24 hours a day.  Who do you think should know more about what is going on for that same patient?

I hope you take the time out of your day to read this long article. It is important to make yourself aware of all the dangers that may befall you if you find yourself in that awful position–patient.

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Doctors Throwing Fits

One of the hardest parts of being a nurse is dealing with bullying doctors.

A doctor-bully epidemic is jeopardizing both nurses and patients
Most nurses have witnessed or been the victims of doctor bullying.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Thinkstock

Adoctor-bully epidemic is jeopardizing both nurses and patients. In news reports and hospital break rooms, stories abound of physicians berating nurses, hurling profanities, or even physically threatening or assaulting them. Doctors are shoving nurses in the operating room; throwing stethoscopes, scissors, pens, or surgical instruments. In Maryland, a surgeon yelled, “Are you stupid or something?” at a nurse and hurled a bloody surgical sponge at him. A surgeon threw a scalpel at a Virginia nurse, who told me, “He was angry because I didn’t have a rare piece of equipment he needed, so he endangered me and several others by throwing a tantrum.”

Many things surprised me during the reporting for my new book, The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital, which follows the stories of four nurses and is based on interviews with hundreds of other nurses across the country. But this disturbing problem was one of the more shocking discoveries when nurses pulled back the curtain. Most nurses have witnessed or been the victims of doctor bullying. A 2013 Institute for Safe Medication Practices survey found that in the year prior, 87 percent of nurses had encountered physicians who had a “reluctance or refusal to answer your questions, or return calls,” 74 percent experienced physicians’ “condescending or demeaning comments or insults,” and 26 percent of nurses had objects thrown at them by doctors. Physicians shamed, humiliated, or spread malicious rumors about 42 percent of the surveyed nurses. A New York critical care nurse told me, “Every single nurse I know has been verbally berated by a doctor. Every single one.”  (read the rest of this article here)

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