Have you ever come across problems with rage and temperament issues in the OR. I have been an operating room tech for many years and have been in a variety of surgical settings.
A certain surgeon brings in a lot of money to the hospital, but he is terrible. I have been called things no one has ever called me. He throws instruments on my table and mayo stand, screams, and implies that I and my colleagues have no idea what we are doing. I have reported him to my manager and the OR director, but nothing ever comes of it.
Other surgeons have witnessed his behavior and have said something, but nothing was ever done. I understand the OR is a beast of its own, but the culture has to change with these newer guys coming out of residency. The mindset of the surgeon being our 'customer,' which is being rolled out to us now, is not reason for us to put up with abuse. What have you encountered on a peer-to-peer level on how to handle such demeaning behavior? I trained and worked at a level 1 trauma center with emotions that constantly ran high, and still it was less stressful than this particular surgeon. Thank you for your advice.
A recent paper in the American Journal of Surgery addressed this topic. The authors interviewed 19 OR personnel including nurses, medical students, surgical residents, anesthesiologists, and 2 scrub technicians. Dr. Amalia Cochran, the paper's lead author, told me the reason there weren't more scrub techs was that they were reluctant to participate.
This figure, modified slightly from the paper, describes the harm that disruptive surgeons can do and suggests some coping strategies.
|Italicized items are discussed in the paper|
I suggest you read the entire paper. Your hospital's medical librarian should be able to obtain a copy for you without difficulty.
It's a tough situation. When I was a surgical chairman, I had some experience with surgeons behaving badly. I always had trouble getting the nurses and techs to go on the record with their complaints.
If your immediate boss can't help, maybe you could try your hospital's risk management department. A surgeon who bullies the staff is a patient safety risk. Some hospitals have anonymous hotlines where complaints can be lodged.
The only other thing I can suggest is to get several other staff to join in the complaints. Administration can ignore one or two people but not eight or ten.
Can anyone else comment?