Friday, October 29, 2010

Dr. Handsome Throws a Fit

I transferred from the ER to Preop holding and Recovery almost a year ago. I have come to appreciate the ER doctors I worked with, the vast majority of whom were quite competent, respectful, and team oriented. On occasion we would deal with surgeons in the ER, but these were typically fairly brief encounters. Now that I am working with surgeons on a daily basis I have learned that these guys (they are predominantly male, at least at this medical center) are a different breed. Even the "nice" ones can be jerks. The other day I literally had to step into the restroom for a moment to keep from crying, something I had not done since being on orientation right out of nursing school. 
I am starting to toughen up though. Witness the case of Dr. Handsome. I had heard of Dr. Handsome in the ER, but had only met his partners not him. An orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Handsome has women talking about his good looks throughout the entire hospital. I could not wait to see this guy.  His photo in the hospital directory was distant and grainy, not giving a clue as to what this Adonis looked like. I was working in preop and had a patient scheduled for a hip fixation by  Dr. Handsome. I waited with baited breath. To my disappointment it was only his Fellow that showed up to mark the patient's hip and sign and fill out the dozens of forms that spell out repeatedly exactly what the surgery is, who the patient is, and which limb is being repaired. The woman went off to surgery and I assumed it would be another failed attempt to glimpse the famous Dr. Handsome.
To understand this story I have to explain the computer system where I work. We are in the process of moving from an old outdated system to a more state of the art one. So, our tasks are scattered between both systems and then a third system that is just for the surgical area. So just keeping track of the various passwords is a pain, much less remembering how to do everything. So, this lady has been in surgery for over an hour and one of the OR nurses runs out wanting to know how to print out a medication reconciliation form, a fairly new required form, which allows the surgeon to see the patient's list of home meds. Then he can  specify on the form which if any of these drugs should be continued in the hospital. I tried to explain the process, and she left. Then I received a frantic call from my friends in Recovery. They said the OR nurse was unable to print it out and asked me to do it. So of course at this time the Preop computer decides not to cooperate. So I rush over to Recovery to use their computer.
I walk in to see Dr. Handsome. I knew it was him. He was so gorgeous in his surgical green scrubs. However his beautiful face was in kind of a snarl. He was ranting on and on threatening to call the Nursing Supervisor. Apparently when no one printed out his form in a timely manner, he started spewing threats. He insulted the staff's intelligence a  few times while I got into their computer. He continued to threaten to call the nursing supervisor. "Maybe SHE could figure it out" he said. I finally managed to print the damn thing out and hand it to him. He calmed immediately. "Thank you" he said.  He continued writing on the chart. HE WASN'T EVEN DONE with his notes. He had been yammering on and on about how we were delaying him and he was not even done with his other charting. Then when he got what he wanted he was instantly pacified. It reminded me of my 1 year old child. Like he was threatening to call his Mommy, the supervisor, if he didn't get his treat and then immediately settled down when he got his candy or blanket or binky or whatever. I just had to laugh (to myself of course). I think from now on when a surgeon is spewing threats or dissatisfaction, I will picture him as a little one year old having a fit and smile to myself.


  1. I am not sure why surgeons act that way. If nurses acted the same, they would get fired. I supported your advertising today too! Found you through Change of Shift.

  2. i have found the same...surgeons are the worst...esp orthos and ENT.....

  3. I had a surgeon pick up my stethoscope of my space (the black hole I cleaned and use to chart in the ED). Anyhow, he picked up my stethoscope and then said "is this yours". I said "yes the stethoscope you have in your hands is mine". He said "I forgot mine". I said "that's a shame". He said "can I use yours?". I said "Please? Why sure you can use my stethoscope". He said "why do the nurse here have attitudes?" I said "when am I allowed to come to work un-prepared?". Anyhow, long story short, surgeons have attitudes...but mine can be worse ;). Loved your post.