Surgeons can sure be annyoying…

…like when they hurry me to get a patient into the room. One would think that it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out that if some patients’ surgeries take longer than others, then the preoperative assessment for some patients will take longer than others, especially those with congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, multiple past surgeries, etc. And it should also be common sense that an add-on patient (a patient I find out about immediately before the surgery) will take longer to evaluate than one whom I’ve known about and have read about the night before.

Any good suggestions for responses to when surgeons complain about “turnover time” given the above? Maybe I should just point blank ask them, “Are you complaining that I took too long to evaluate this patient?”

Even worse is interruptions. This has got to stop. At least three times this last week, I was interrupted by surgery residents or attendings as I’m visiting with a patient. It seems the height of rudeness to break in and start speaking while a physician is evaluating a patient. I need to have a good line ready; maybe something as simple as, “Excuse me, you just interrupted me. Could you please wait for me to finish?”

The nurse in the recovery room, however, takes the cake. A patient for whom I was to provide monitored anesthesia care was tearful even as the I.V. was being put in by another nurse! As high-strung as she was, I tried to be reassuring. At the end of my preoperative assessment, she asked me, “Have you done this before?” I smiled and said, “Many, many times.”

As she was waking up from the sedation after the procedure, this patient kept saying in a cute groggy manner, “Thank you all so much for taking care of me! Thank you!” Then she looked at me and said she hoped I hadn’t been insulted. I asked her what for. She explained she felt bad for asking about my experience.

Before I could answer that if I were a patient I would certainly be interested in my anesthesiologist’s credentials, the recovery room nurse broke in, “It doesn’t matter. He just does anesthesia.”



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8 responses to “Surgeons can sure be annyoying…

  1. Anonymous

    To situation #1 – I would be inclined to *sweetly* say with a smile: “Do you feel like I’m taking too long since I am being thorough with this patient?”

  2. Anonymous

    And situation #2 — once again a wide smile and “excuse me one minute please…” and turn back around and continue talking to the patient. =)

  3. Jonathan

    Ha ha, I liked your response to situation 2, C!

    I nearly forgot to finish the post. After the nurse’s insulting comment, the patient said, “No, no…the anesthesiologist is VERY important!” My patient knew better than the nurse taking care of her.

  4. Anonymous

    If you had kept with your original plans, it might be you rudely interrupting other physicians and acting like you ran the hospital! Now instead you get to cultivate a healthy passive aggressive attitude. Table up!!!!!

  5. Melissa

    Those darn yankees! ;0)

  6. Anonymous

    ….interesting article on Addicted Anesthesiologists.

  7. Doctor J

    Perhaps she’s jealous of your mad skills!

  8. Anonymous

    …or you could understand the the surgical resident is a 100 times busier than you are and is not being rude but trying to get some work done before he starts the case. See, unlike anesthesiologists who can go for coffee breaks and bathroom breaks anytime they want, surgeons actually have to stay for the whole case. That’s right America, your anesthesiologist gets a coffee break and lunch break even if you’re still asleep with your abdomen open and the surgeons still working. Understand that there are other residents who have to do more work in less time and there’s nothing rude about it. If i could go grab a donut, void, then come back and see the pt when you’re finished, believe me, I would. -dl

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