Code 13

It happens.

Most of us have had our share of experiences.

And for those of you who haven’t, you’ve been lucky.

The relationship between physician and nurse is of great importance to all parties involved. Everyone, the patient, the nurse, the physician, the family, the ancillary staff, etc. (you get the point) This relationship is at the fulcrum of the overall healthcare model, and has a mirror-like cause and effect to it’s success or failure.

When this relationship is working like a well oiled machine it’s something nurses treasure and fight to be a part of. Having a physician work with you. Having a physician value your opinion. Having a physician listen to your view. Having a physician involve you in the patients plan of care. Having a physician take the time to teach and educate you on a disease process. And having a physician not only speak to you in a fair and just manner, but having them speak to you and not down at you.

It’s an invaluable experience. I hope every nurse has the chance to feel that awe.

I started my nursing career in a very CRAPPY DIFFERENT environment.

Physicians treated you like their secretaries. Physicians only wanted you to communicate populated information and nothing more. Physicians barked orders to you and scoffed at the thought of you asking questions about the patients disease process or their plan of care. Physicians pointed fingers at you for making ANY mistakes in judgment, and disrespected your contribution to the healthcare team. Physicians EXPECTED you to move out of there way, clear the area and get up from your seat so they could sit at the station and do their work. Physicians did not include you in any plan of care.

I am the same nurse now, that I was then. The difference is I value my work, and I value the work of a physician who is the genuine article.

I despise these feelings of mine. I cannot understand for the life of me how a nurse (like I was ) can accept the working environment in which I began my career. To think I thought that was the ‘norm’. That all nurses were experiencing the same. That all the physicians I would work with would be that way?

These thoughts surfaced from an article that a co-worker was reading recently. The article was about Code 13.

In a particular hospital setting the nursing staff was having a very difficult time with physician-nurse relationships. It was so bad and so ‘hostile’ an environment at times, that some physicians were known for berating a nurse in front of a patient and their family in the patient’s hospital room.

The nursing staff developed Code 13 as a way of ‘protecting’ or ‘saving’ a nurse from these physician attacks.

Whenever a nurse was being berated, treated poorly, or unjust a Code 13 was called and every available staff nurse hurried to their defense.

I can’t say I know much more about the article. I only took one deepening thought from this concept/article.

How sad is it that Code 13 had to even be created? The last time I checked we (nurses & physicians) were on the same team?

Carpe Diem

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4 thoughts on “Code 13

  1. @ NurseExec Thanks for sharing your story. It’s a very trying and difficult situation.

  2. @ NurseExec Thanks for sharing your story. It’s a very trying and difficult situation.

  3. I’m sorry you had to work in that environment. I only experienced it once, after many years in great environments, and it sucked. I lasted 6 months, and went hunting for another job, rather than spend most of my time in that toxic place.

    In our SNF, our relationships with the MDs and ARNPs are good. They seem to get (thank God) that we are here 24/7, and they aren’t, and value our judgment and insight. We have one jerk, but he’s just warped, and doesn’t abuse the nurses so much as act inappropriate at all times, LOL. He’s pretty much just laughed at, and I think he knows it. It helps a lot to have a very accessible medical director who doesn’t have issues with calling any other MD on the carpet if need be. I’ve only had to go that route once, and had no further problems, nor retaliation, afterwards.

    A collegial environment is good for everyone.

  4. I’m sorry you had to work in that environment. I only experienced it once, after many years in great environments, and it sucked. I lasted 6 months, and went hunting for another job, rather than spend most of my time in that toxic place.

    In our SNF, our relationships with the MDs and ARNPs are good. They seem to get (thank God) that we are here 24/7, and they aren’t, and value our judgment and insight. We have one jerk, but he’s just warped, and doesn’t abuse the nurses so much as act inappropriate at all times, LOL. He’s pretty much just laughed at, and I think he knows it. It helps a lot to have a very accessible medical director who doesn’t have issues with calling any other MD on the carpet if need be. I’ve only had to go that route once, and had no further problems, nor retaliation, afterwards.

    A collegial environment is good for everyone.

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