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Reality Unscripted
The Surgeon Kicked Me

Just the other day, a surgical nurse, nine months out of nursing school, wrote me,

"Not long ago, after a difficult surgery in which the patient died, the surgeon started swearing at me, as if it were my fault. I know this sounds crazy, but he kicked me. Yep, with his foot. I hesitate to report him. What should I do?"

Now, in my 24 years of nursing, I've heard all kinds of degrading things doctors have said to nurses, but I’ve never heard of one that kicked! At this point in my life, I’m quite sure I would have kicked back.

How this new nurse handles this situation will determine how she is treated in the future. At least that is my initial thought.

What do you think? Post a comment on how you would advise her. I'm sure she'll be grateful for any help you can provide.

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11 Responses to “The Surgeon Kicked Me”

  1. David Aguiar Says:

    You should also know that most hospitals should have disruptive physician policies that address this sort of problem. If your hospital does not, encourage your nursing administrators to look into developing one. Its important that that type of behavior is addressed, for everyone’s sake.

  2. Pat Says:

    That is an assault and must be reported, period.

  3. dave Says:

    Agree 100 percent, but difficult to live with the consequences. The system doesn’t reward people who report such incidences.

  4. Joseph RN Says:

    Dear friends, Pat is right, this is assault and must be reported. Dave is only partially correct. The consequences will only be difficult until the right eyes read the report and then my friends everything will change. I tell you this from experience. Just speak the truth softly and eventually it will be heard and acted upon. You will have the respect of your co-workers and most importantly yourself.

  5. bbutler1027 Says:

    You are right the system does not reward at all. I am agency nurse I felt like I was alone, Not one person who witnessed the assault said anything. I reported it to adminstration but nothing has yet been done. I contacted a attorney and we found this doctor has a record of abusing nurses and other staff.

  6. Garrett Says:

    My father-in-law is an OR nurse. He once told me a story of a doctor who let his temper get the best of him and lashed a nurse across the back with an endoscope.

    It didn’t take long for the judge to make his decision concerning the lawsuit. The nurse is now retired and doing quite well.

    I doubt she’ll have to work again for a long time.

    That is assault and the doctor should be prosecuted.

  7. Lizzy McCarte Says:

    There is absolutely no excuse for a man hitting a woman, and kicking counts. We all know that, but practically speaking it’s a little more difficult of a situation. My guess is that if you report him and explain the situation to the nurses around you, they will respect you. Maybe the doctor who kicked you won’t, but who cares? He’s already lost your respect anyway.

  8. motherjonesrn Says:

    Call the police and file a police report, then file a lawsuit after he is found guilty of assault in a court of law.

  9. ERnursey Says:

    I second what Mother Jones said. Violence in the workplace must NOT be tolerated. Most states have regulations to support you. If your institution does not support you I would include them in the lawsuit.

  10. Silver Says:

    If you don’t report him you send a clear message: “This kind of behavior is acceptable”

    Dont let that be the message he hears, if not for your own sake than for the sake of the other nurses you work with!

  11. nursingaround Says:

    once had a surgeon throw dirty forceps at me, i dodged out the way just in time. He didn’t actually look where he was throwing them, so I guess it wasn’t personal. I was in my final year of nursing at the time, so of course nothing happened about it, although it did make good gossip back in class.

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