Friday, May 14, 2010

You Are Such a Jerk!

Dr. Condescending was working the night shift when I got a patient who was experiencing some mild shortness of breath. The man had an extensive respiratory history and had recently been diagnosed with CHF. The department was swamped and I was transferring patients to the floor left, right and centre. The new patient had blood work done, ECG done, was hooked up to the monitor, had a rhythm strip printed and had a foley catheter inserted because I knew he’d be getting lasix and someone would want accurate ins and outs.

I sit back at the desk huffing and puffing (getting over a cold – again) when the good doctor sits down in the chair beside me and asks, “Are you nurses not printing out old records and ordering chest x-rays any longer? Because I just had to sit down in front of the computer, log in under my name, look through his old chart, print it off and then had to order the x-ray. This took me 14 minutes to do and in those 14 minutes I could have seen 3 patients. I’m sure you nurses are busy but it’s your job to maintain the patient flow in the department right dear?”

Being polite with Dr. Condescending doesn’t work. It seems that he makes it his life’s work to make newbie nurses hate their jobs. He used to provoke a whole lot of anxiety for me. Not anymore. Why? Because I have come to realize that his snobbery is beyond my control. He’s a jerk – plain and simple. He’s a jerk to the nurses, he’s a jerk to the patients, he’s a jerk to the residents and med students, he’s a jerk to the other staff doctors and he’s even a jerk to the coffee guy.

He continued to look at me expectantly waiting for an answer and when none came his way, he started to ask again. Not being in the mood to listen to his baseless ranting (again), I said quite a few things to him that I probably shouldn’t attempt to rewrite. His lame response in kind was to suggest that I was likely experiencing monthly hormonal fluctuations while my student for the shift looked on in horror. He then gave the charge nurse $5 to “order something for the poor hungry nurses”. His money was promptly returned while the rest of the department enjoyed a ridiculously delicious pot luck dinner. He of course criticized the food as being far too pedestrian for his sophisticated tastes.

If there’s any moral to the story, it’s that no matter how hard I work, there will be a jerk willing to dismiss everything I’ve done. But he will be the lone voice that will be silenced by many of my patients and friends cheering me on!


StorytellERdoc said...

Hello friend

Excellent post. Well-written, very interesting...i'm sure we all picture the asshole doc in our heads while reading this post...

Hope a great friday is coming your way.

L said...

...Hi Maha...sounds like a right ass! How empowering for you to initially hold your own, when I for one would have given it to him on a silver platter. No need for it aye, when you get enough ass patients!!! PS...I do admire ER nurses...I can't stand working down there, give me a ward any day.

Old MD Girl said...

Now Maha, you HAVE to tell us what you said to him!

Maybe next time you could reply, "I'll get right on that, honey." I wonder what he'd say to that?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

You will always encounter idiots beyond your control. When we are young and naive we try to reason with them. At some point we realize we are wasting our time, and that it's their problem, NOT ours.

Julie said...

*LOLOL* I LOVED this! Have definitely worked with my fair share of ass. Hang in there - you're right - it's just not worth your time.

Anonymous said...

Maha, I think he does cross-coverage with us... he sounds way too familiar. What a jackass!

And for the "dear" crap, I would have either gone postal or simply and pointed turned my back. Probably postal!

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Albinoblackbear said...

The phrase "you nurses" is enough to make me grind my molars into dust.

My usual response to that type of asinine interaction usually includes
"let me put down my needlepoint and see what I can do".


Or as my father used to say "can't win for losin'". He'd probably have bitched if you ordered the x-ray.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't every unit have a doctor like this?

When I started working ER (11yrs ago now) we had a dr. who referred to the nurses as "dear," or "sweetie." I started calling him, "honeybunch" and "snookums" or whatever other cutesy nickname came to mind. If memory serves me, he stopped calling me dear when I got to "lovemuffin." (sadly, I stopped short of patting his tummy when I said it.)

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Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, the "joys" of working with special people....the ones with IQ's off the chart but not a lick of common sense or courtesy. To these folks, there are NO other people on earth...just them and some other "things" to serve and/or annoy them.

As Dr. G said, in the beginning we try to talk to them.....fruitlessly. I have learned the power of the long, silent and deadly stare, followed by an exit. They still don't "get it" but it helps my sanity.

Pattie, (old) RN

PS...also works for spammers trying to sell you fonts and bogus "awards"!!!!

Nurse J said...

ha, i love what anon #1 said, about the nicknames. sugarbear, bubble butt, sweet pea, sweet cheeks, papa bear, big & tasty, skin-so-soft,, i could really get in trouble....

Anonymous said...

Great post! I've definitely worked with some jerks to say the least!

AngelMc said...

sigh..they are everywhere aren't they? having both a heart and a head for medicine is almost an impossibility.
i have had success with doing what dr. bailey on grey's anatomy said to do..."stare him down!"
i have used it twice recently and both times the jerk broke eye contact was a good feeling.

Allan said...

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