Improper Dose

A nurse checking new orders on her patient notices that the dose on the fentanyl patch was to high. She calls the physician for clarification before faxing the order to the pharmacy. The physician answers the phone and becomes very upset because the nurse is questioning his order. He insults the nurse and right before hanging up on her, he says, “Nurses are stupid.” The nurse reports the incident to the nurse manager. The response she receives from management was, “Don’t worry about it, the physician must be having a bad day.”

Later that day the physician quietly returns to the floor and make adjustments to the medication dose. The nurse was correct but did not get an apology.

Does a bad day give a physician the right to insult a nurse? We nurses have bad days almost everyday. Can we insult the physicians as they come on the floor? After all, we are having a bad day.


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