All through nursing school you hear about doctors yelling at you over the phone. I didn't believe it could actually happen. That's just a bad stereotype, right?
Then there was yesterday. My patient had a tracheotomy last week. When I came on shift, site was red, swollen, and angry and the patient's white count was up (an indicator of infection). After consulting with some other nurses and the pulmonologist, we figured we'd better let the surgeon know. So he was paged....His response was, "I've been called about this four times, now! How many times do I have to say I don't care what the site looks like! I'm coming over to talk to your manager and to post a big sign on the patient's chart warning all future nurses NOT to call me again" and so on.
I put down the phone and laughed. Call me terrible, maybe I should have felt bad about it, but it was just too ridiculous! He was blowing a gasket over my doing exactly what my job is and his NOT doing what his job is!
He did in fact come talk to my charge nurse, our medical director, and post a note on the chart to NOT call him again. I like to think maybe he had been up all night doing emergency surgery, saving a life, and did not have his wits about him....and his dog had just died....and his car was stolen....and he had stubbed his toe...that's why he yelled at me.