ORRN

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Hello Drs, I'm an RN from Canada. Just completed my program. Starting work in the OR now. I came across your site when googling surgical caps. Couple of questions for you.

In nursing school, we're taught that in the hospital we are all part of the same team. We each have different roles but we're to work together for the betterment of the patient. What are you guys taught. I've found that on the floors, most of the doctors are unapproachable, they give of this air of "I'm better then you so why are you talking to me." Is this what you're taught in medical school, that you're at the top of the health care food chain and everyone is below you therefore should be treated like so.

I'm starting work in the OR now and I'm actually a little scared of the surgeons. I get the feeling like they have the "god complex" thing going on. Is it just my imagination? Is it my own inferiorities that are showing here? Are you guys misunderstood or generally *******s who should not be talked to unless spoken to first.

If you're taught to look down on nurses please tell me. I want to know how you think. How about some tips on the best way to approach a surgeon. Should it be with meekness, as in yes Dr, no Dr, whatever you say Dr, or with authority and confidence, risking offending you. Honest answers welcome.
 

filter07

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Generally I've found that OR nurses that treat surgeons like anyone else get along with them better. A lot of people fear surgeons, but I don't think most people want to be feared. They would rather have someone who will say something interesting, joke with them, and make the time pass by faster. That being said, there is a hierarchy. Surgeons give out orders and nurses follow them. So mutual respect is important, but fear is not.
 

Castro Viejo

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Hello Drs, I'm an RN from Canada. Just completed my program. Starting work in the OR now. I came across your site when googling surgical caps. Couple of questions for you.

At the risk of this being a troll, I'll bite.

In nursing school, we're taught that in the hospital we are all part of the same team. We each have different roles but we're to work together for the betterment of the patient. What are you guys taught. I've found that on the floors, most of the doctors are unapproachable, they give of this air of "I'm better then you so why are you talking to me." Is this what you're taught in medical school, that you're at the top of the health care food chain and everyone is below you therefore should be treated like so.

We're taught similar things. Healthcare is a lot different from the way you describe your experiences on the floor with "unapproachable" physicians. The team model of healthcare delivery states that each person is important for the "betterment of the patient," however, we're taught that ultimately physicians are the Captain of the Ship, the Team Leader, and he who is most responsible for the outcome of the patient.

The whole idea of the team model is such that each person has a vested interest in the well-being of the patient, but any team without a leader is pretty ineffective at completing its defined mission. And, naturally, this should be the physician.

Does this then make the physician a demigod? Of course not. He is the most knowledgeable, the most experienced, and the most capable person on the healthcare team, but he is not infallible. I want to hear the opinions of the nursing staff, but I would hope they're educated opinions and not something they heard on Dr. Phil, one of those Dr. Oz appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show, or read in Reader's Digest. I want to hear evidence-based opinions. And I'll guarantee you that if you approach a physician with that level of preparedness, he won't bite your head off so long as he's not a misanthrope of some sort.

I'm starting work in the OR now and I'm actually a little scared of the surgeons. I get the feeling like they have the "god complex" thing going on. Is it just my imagination? Is it my own inferiorities that are showing here? Are you guys misunderstood or generally *******s who should not be talked to unless spoken to first.

Honestly, it's probably your own inferiority complex. Most surgeons in the operating room are pretty nice so long as their routine is followed. Surgeons like things a certain way and deviation from that creates stress for him. I personally think that he should be afforded the privilege of having the OR the way he wants, as again, he is the Captain of the Ship in that instance.

I've heard nursing staff ARGUE with surgeons when the surgeon has requested the thermostat in the OR be turned down a bit, as he was sweating, and was about to drip sweat beads into the operative field. "But we're cold!" the nursing staff shot back.

That's pretty selfish, don't you think?

If you're taught to look down on nurses please tell me. I want to know how you think. How about some tips on the best way to approach a surgeon. Should it be with meekness, as in yes Dr, no Dr, whatever you say Dr, or with authority and confidence, risking offending you. Honest answers welcome.

No, we're not taught to look down on nurses, but many of us through our training and various experiences with nurses have learned that 1) there is an extremely wide range in quality and competence amongst nurses and 2) they don't have the same level of dedication to patient care as a physician. And that sours our opinions of nurses.

I have met good nurses and bad nurses. The good ones I stick by all the time and will defend them to the death. I also value their opinions. The bad ones I just ignore.

I'd try to teach the bad ones, but they're always on that damn 15 minute break for every hour of work.
 
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ORRN

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Apr 13, 2008
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Honestly, it's probably your own inferiority complex. Most surgeons in the operating room are pretty nice so long as their routine is followed. Surgeons like things a certain way and deviation from that creates stress for him. I personally think that he should be afforded the privilege of having the OR the way he wants, as again, he is the Captain of the Ship in that instance.
I think that's what this is. I've been browsing the site and got this from one of the "nurse bashing" threads.

In short, the only behavior that you need to concern yourself with is your own behavior. The truth of the matter is that " No one can make you feel inferior without your permission". If you are feeling inferior, it is because you somehow "feel" that you are inferior and not because of the actions of others......Most physicians do not "look down" on anyone. We actually don't have that kind of time to waste. So don't waste your time worrying about what other "think" or "do". You can't change anyone's behavior or thoughts except your own.
I think that's spot on. It's my own feelings of inadequacy that are showing here. From what I've read, the doctors are frustrated with "stupid" questions from the nurses and are more respectful of knowledge based requests. I guess it's my own beliefs that I'm stupider then the doctors, therefore feel like they're looking down on me and I'm therefore scared of them. It's something I'm gonna have to work on. I just don't want to look and feel like an idiot if I ask a question that I *should* know the answer to. Damn issues.
 

Southpaw

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From the point of view of a medical student, I can say we probably learn much less of the team approach to patient care than you guys do. What we do learn is very informal, and might only come up while discussing a patient's plan on the floor. We learn more the decision making involved with regards to patient care, and that the final decision will rest on our shoulders.

During my third year I've learned the importance of a good nurse who cares for her patients, and also the importance of supportive therapies like PT/OT, etc. If you work hard, know your stuff, and simply care for your patients and take responsibility for the care you provide, you'll be awesome and will quickly gain the respect of the docs you work with.

As far as viewing docs as unapproachable, I've at times held the same viewpoint during medical school. Just be yourself, talk to them as regular people and you'll be fine. Don't walk on eggshells around them. Are there some real a-holes out there? Yep, sure are. You can't sweat that though. If you have a question, ask it. Don't be insecure, you've worked hard to become an RN, so continue to work hard and take responsibility for the care of your patients and you'll be fine. Good luck.
 
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