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Dealing With Jerks

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Podcast Transcription

Welcome to another episode of the nursing.com podcast. I thank you so much for listening to this. I thank you for leaving a good review. I thank you for rating it and sharing it with your friends. Today we’re going to talk about dealing with doctors and specifically I’m going to be answering this question that came to us said I would love to hear about tips for dealing with doctors. You know, the ones who make nurses ugly cry in the break room. First of all, let me say how ridiculous this is that this happens. And when I say that I’m not negating that it does happen because I’ve seen it happen and I think it’s the most absurd and ridiculous thing. Unfortunately, in medical school and providers are not trained in management and leadership and communication. They’re trained in treating the human body. Uh, but what happens here guys is that we are required to work as a team in an interdisciplinary team, right?

You have the nurses, the PTs, the physicians, the nurse practitioners, the OT, everything all requires working together for one single goal. And that is to take care of this patient and to get this patient better. Now, the problem here is that we don’t really get much experience in communicating with each other outside of actually doing it on the floor. And so when we do have to talk to each other, which is every day, we see those people who are terrible communicators act out and throw temper fits and it’s incredibly disheartening and it’s unprofessional and it’s not appropriate. So I want to start with saying that, okay, is that you don’t deserve it. Um, and it’s inappropriate and there’s no place for it. And I don’t care what the role of the individual is. There’s no place for talking to other people like that. All right. So with that, having seen this quite a bit in the hospital and seeing different providers talk like this, uh, to others, let me give some tips and some suggestions.

Specifically, I want to get five different tips for how to handle this, how to deal with this. Um, and so the first one is look them in the eye. Hold your head up, look them straight in the eye as they talk, whether it’s positive talk or negative talk. Look, everyone in straight in the eye as they talk to you. One tip that I used, uh, in high school growing up was that if you look someone like right at the bridge of their nose, you can, it looks like you’re looking in their eye. So if you maybe are too nervous to look them straight in the eye or, or you don’t have the respect or to want to look them straight in the eye because they’re an ass, you can look right at their nose and it looks like you’re looking in the eye. And that sends this message of, uh, you’re not intimidated, you’re not nervous, you’re not scared, et cetera.

The next one would use a strong voice. Clear your throat, gather your thoughts. It’d be better to spend five seconds getting your thoughts and be able to talk with a strong voice than a trembling, scared voice. The next one is to stand firm. If you have done in your mind what you believe is the best thing for the patient or you’ve done all that can be done, stand firm in that you don’t need to cower, you don’t need to apologize. You need to remind them that you’re doing what’s in the best interest of the patient. The next one kind of goes along with that and it is know your shit before you call a provider or before a provider arrives or before rounds. Make sure that you know every anticipated question. Don’t call a provider. Don’t wake somebody up in the middle of the night. Don’t show up to rounds and not have complete information on your patient.

Get the full backstory and always dig for why. You know yesterday they started maxil. Okay, well why was the reason for that? And dig and get those answers from the rest of the team. Whether it’s an offgoing report, whether it’s through the char, whether it’s through digging some of the notes and try to fully understand what got the patient to where they are now, why certain things are being done, and then what the plan of care is for this patient to make sure you really over-prepare for phone calls or for rounds or for anything that might go on where this patient is being discussed with an interdisciplinary team. And the last tip I want to give you guys is be honest. Ask for feedback. Look if there’s some honesty or some truth to their screaming and ranting and acting like a child. And that element of truth is maybe you weren’t prepared on X, Y, or Z.

Ask for honest feedback. Say, look, it appears Dr. Jones or whatever that you would like. Certain things to be done before you round on your patients and I want to know your preferences. Will you tell me what those are? Now they might throw another temper fit, but you can resolve it then by understanding what their preferences are and if it makes sense. All right. Is it the best thing for the patient? If it’s not the best thing for the patient, you need to begin working up the chain and then ask questions. We need to understand if they say, look, we always do this before this. Try to understand the director of the neuro ICU where I worked as a new nurse was very specific and very gruff and he wouldn’t even bother to learn your name until he thought that you knew your stuff and knew what was going on.

So I let it roll off like I didn’t care that he didn’t know my name. I was taking care of my patients. I didn’t need his respect or his validation to be a good nurse. I knew I was doing what was best, but one thing that I would do when I had chance to talk with him and cross paths is I would ask him questions. I would say, why are you doing this? Say, you know, this was my understanding of what’s going on with this patient. What’s the reason for this? And he would begin to share some of that with me, even if it wasn’t even making eye contact with me or whatever. I let all of that roll off. But what I did is I began to learn from him, learn his preferences and understand he was very brilliant in neurological care. And so it was a great opportunity for me to learn regardless of what he thought of me or didn’t think of me.

I used it as an opportunity to learn. So I know that it’s not easy and I know that there’s going to be moments when you feel like, God, why are they built? Look what you, you have two options and the couple options are to let it affect you and let it impact how you take care of your patients or to not. And I would suggest that you, um, prepare as much as you can. Look them in the eye, ask questions when need be. And if you truly believe you’ve done all that, you can ignore it. Just completely ignore it, um, and respond to them that that’s inappropriate. Um, and if that, if there’s abuse, if it’s verbal abuse, that it continues, you need to find another place to work because that’s completely inappropriate and uh, you don’t deserve that for 12 hours, 36 hours a week.

Right? But there is some truth to it and it’s that you weren’t prepared or you didn’t ask the right questions or you then separate the truth in what they’re saying from them carrying on like a child and learn those things and implement those changes that you can to be more prepared for the next conversation. So no, there’s not a lot of super concrete information you guys realized. We do have a lot more information in our new grad Academy course and we also have in a communication course for nursing students over on nursing.com and I invite you to check that out if you would like more. But I hope these tips help you and there are things that you can carry with you into your day to day practice. You guys belong where you are. You can do this. We love you guys so much. Now go out and be your best self today. Happy nursing.

 

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