Ten Things Doctors Do That Nurses Hate
1.Leave sharps lying around – this is a sackable offence. It is your responsibility todispose of your own sharps. Likewise, do not clear up someone else’s sharps, as if you are unlucky enough to sustain a sharps injury you may not be able to tracethe donor.2.Leave writing to take away (TTA) sheets until a few hours before the patient isdue for discharge.3.Leave rewriting drug charts until they are full so nurses cannot dispense thepatients’ medications.
Miscommunicating or not communicating information to nurses, patients and theirrelatives. The most effective way to decrease National Health Service (NHS)expenditure is to improve communication. This in turn decreases clinical error andthus, litigation.5.Not certifying patients deceased rapidly so they can be sent to the mortuary.
Borrowing notes or radiographs without letting the senior nursing or wardadministrative staff know.7.Being arrogant or not admitting you are wrong.
Thinking you know more than you do (see point 7). This is extremely dangerousand one of the most common causes of clinical mistakes. If in doubt ask a senior.
Not answering your bleep within a reasonable time. Most nurses expect juniordoctors to answer within approximately five to ten seconds (as we have nothingbetter to do and will obviously be sitting by the telephone in the doctor’s mess).However unrealistic their expectations, you should not take longer than oneminute to answer your bleep unless you are performing a procedure or talking torelatives, etc. In this situation, try and ask someone to hold your bleep until youare finished.
Expect a nurse to set up a trolley for you so you can perform a practicalprocedure.
Last one, promise! Not visiting the ward before you go to bed when on-call. If there is a good night sister on (and they usually are) then they will amass anumber of non-urgent jobs that need doing before you turn in, for examplecannulation, reading electrocardiographs and checking observation readings. Theywill often not bleep you for these as they are not ‘urgent’, but require doingbefore bed. It is good practice to drop in to each of your wards before bed to (i)clear up any jobs and (ii) let the nurses know so they do not bleep you too much.Most nurses appreciate that doctors need their sleep too and will try to minimisethe number of bleeps they make if they know you have gone to bed.
Ten Things Nurses Do That Doctors Hate
1.Bleeping you more than once for the same minor task.
Bleeping you ‘just to let you know …’: you can avoid the majority of these calls bysetting a threshold limit for the nurses to call you, for example bleep me if MrSmith’s systolic drops below 100mmHg, oxygen saturations drop below 94%, etc.3.Bleep you and then immediately walk away from the telephone.
Not take a verbal prescription order for intravenous fluids or simple analgesiaover the telephone.
Not set up a trolley with all the kit you need after they have offered to do it foryou or set it up but do not give you everything you need.
Ask you to do jobs just before you are supposed to go home or when you are noton-call. In these cases, diplomacy and patience are the only way forward. You willoften want to wring someone by the neck after a long difficult day but this reallywill get you nowhere. Do not forget that they probably asked the right personwho conveniently ‘forgot’ to do it. You will quickly establish which of your peersconsistently ‘forget’ to complete certain tasks such as rewriting drug charts orprescribing TTA sheets, leaving it instead for the on-call doctor to do.