Thursday, November 17, 2011

i lost it!

my temper, that is.

anticipating a long day in the OT today, i arrived on the dot & expected to start right away. i was horrified that the IV drip has not yet been set up for the patient & hence the pre-medication has also not been given. the nurse at the reception bay was nowhere to be found. i asked the other nurse at the counter where the reception nurse was & she said nurse M was in the pantry.

i marched straight to the pantry & there she was - nurse M having breakfast at 9am with a few others. i didn't hesitate to give her a mouthful & then went straight into the Sister's office to let her know my disgust - how can your staff have breakfast during working hours when the work has not been done??

naturally, Sister gave nurse M another earful. so there you are, a lousy start to a long day that got at least 3 people upset & left everyone else uneasy. i was surprised when nurse M confronted me later & accused me of humiliating her in public. although i didn't respond, it bothered me for a while & after much thought, i realised that i should have pulled nurse M to one side before reprimanding for her tidak apa attitude towards work.

in the end, i decided that although i was upset at nurse M for not doing her job, i should have handled the matter more professionally (& gentlemanly?). i managed to catch her before she completed her shift to apologise.

at least, i know that i will sleep easy tonite & tomorrow will be a new day with a new start.


Yvonne Foong said...

Go Nurse M! :P

Doc, do you think this tidak apa attitude is inherent in the culture of the whole organization? I mean, a single nurse won't behave this way in an organization that does not condone it.

TZ said...

Sometime it's tough to control the emotional part. I usually will get the person to talk before i go to their boss unless that particular person is so arrogant that no way that i could talk to...

Anyway, this is a good learning eh~

wenn said...

true..I wouldn't like to be scolded in public too

Yan said...

But you found it in Him.

eugene said...

Hey Doc,it was just one of those days lah, now who says Christians cannot get angry?

chill ya,the weekend is here and God bless

missyc said...

what's done is done.. 'once volcano erupts it takes awhile to settle down' hope everyone learnt a good lesson & move on ego aside

ilene ong said...

Nurse M is brave to confront you! Many would have just left the issue be but go around gossiping and tarnishing your character.

DOC, we're after all human and an occasional outburst like this is allowable. Yes? :) In any event, you were looking after the best interest of your patient and to this, you have my full respect. Not many of these doctors around you know.

Adino said...

I don't think you should feel so bad. The first and most important fact is the nurse didn't perform her duty.

It doesn't matter if you told her nicely or reprimanded her in front of others.

At least now you know she will be more careful with her responsibilities.

doc said...


you are right. wasn't there a chinese proverb that states, the fish rots from the head?

doc said...


you are a true professional!

doc said...


neither would i.

doc said...


i found it in this verse:

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

prov 19:11

doc said...


definitely one of those days!

"In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

ephesians 4:26

doc said...


we all moved on already.

doc said...


i'm glad she confronted me, or else, i may not have apologised, & the ill feelings may persist & explode another day.

she has my respect.

doc said...


we all felt bad for awhile only. we've moved on since.

Small Kucing said...

at least now the both of you feel better

doc said...

Small Kucing,

yes, things were like back to normal the next day.

Unicorn Girl said...

Aiyoh Doc ! U pun loose temper wor ??? Hard to believe-lah !
Anyway , it was humble of you to apologise for your action :)

doc said...


actually, i have a horrible temper which occasionally blows up. :(

btw, i'm unable to access your blog.

Cara Lim said...

Hi Doc,
Situations such as this gets my goat too. I would have definitely done the same, probably worst. *smirks*

But you are so much a bigger person that I to apologise. I would have expected the nurse to apologise instead of the other way 'round. Yeah, I definitely need to work on my EQ skills :-D

doc said...

hey Cara,

i would have expected her to reciprocate after i apologised, but she didn't. anyway, i've done my part to reconcile & i slept well that nite.

you have a temper, too?

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

You can move on and let the episode rest. Eating humble pie is such a relief!

Michelle Mak said...

its her fault after all.. atleast u did apologise... some docs don even bother to apologise.. hmmm :) *wondering how fierce can u be* hehe

doc said...


the 1st bite was difficult though!

but yes, we've moved on since.

doc said...


my temper is my Archilles heel.

Anonymous said...

I am appalled that this nurse had the gall to confront you to complain that she was humiliated in public! What has happened to people nowadays?! I would have thought she should have come to humbly apologise to you, instead of coming to reprimand you, in effect for calling her out, which she fully deserved in private or public. Does she not think of her profession, her duty, her responsibility to the patients if not just to her job? What has happened to people nowadays? I think you should not have apologised to her, but instead call her out on her coming to you to tell you this, and that she should be apologising for her tawdriness and dereliction in her duties - eating during office hours! Please. Please do put things in perspective, people!

(ps - I don't know this blog writer, I don't know who the nurse is, nor where this took place. I just stumbled on this blog and am appalled at the state of things nowadays.)

doc said...

dear Anonymous,

thanks for stumbling in.

the mindset of the nurses these days have changed. because of the proliferation of private hospitals, there is a relative shortage of nurses & because they are assured of employment & as long as hospitals are prepared to take in whatever nurses available, we all can expect a general deterioration of nursing care.

me said...

tolerance only leads to more mediocrity. her humiliation did not lie in the fact that you reprimanded her in public, it lied in the fact that she did not do her job properly. she tried to turn it around to make it your problem. for her own good, for the good of the patients, really dr, next time just tell her off and don't feel bad about it. if she feels bad, she learns. if you save her face, she will think she is not in the wrong. i don't think any one of us will like to be a patient under the care of a nurse who does not understand the concept of professionalism.

doc said...


a lackadaisical attitude leads to mediocrity; tolerance is good & it fosters friendship.

but now that you mentioned it, i agree that she felt humiliated because her shortcoming was revealed in public. i felt bad because i'm not normally confrontational, even with a wayward subordinate.

but as you would have correctly perceived by now, our medical & nursing care has, by & large, along with the govt of the day, gone to the dogs.

me said...

but it is also partly because we tolerate those lackadaisical attitude that the medical and nursing care has gone to the dogs.if we ask for the best and only accept nothing but the best, anything or anyone short of the best will not find room for surviving in the industry, which is the right way. survival of the fittest. cold but necessary for the improvement of any industry.the weak will have no way out but to buck up.

we tolerate salespeople who say 'tak ada' without even checking, we tolerate nurses who give wrong medication, we tolerate govt staffers who take long break and are slow to carry out their work, we tolerate teachers who are not qualified. tolerance should be for people's difference, not for people's lazy and indifferent attitude.

doc said...


we tolerate things/people when we can't change them. we tolerate staff at a govt department, eg hospital, because that's just the way things run, & nothing you say or do will change that.

but we can choose the best if we are prepared to pay, eg schools, private specialists. however, not everyone can afford to pay, so they have to make do with, & tolerate, whatever that is available.

we are less tolerant to private doctors because we pay them & expect a certain level of service; otherwise, we change doctors till we get what we think we deserve. but we can't do much about nurses in private hospitals because we don't directly pay for their services. & because there is a relative shortage of nurses, most hospitals employ whatever is available, even to the extent of recruiting foreign nurses.

so yes, most private hospitals have excellent medical care, but the nursing part is a different matter altogether.

govt staffers flourish in publc service because because the survival-of-the-fittest principle can't apply here. most just stagnate there & still get pay-rise & bonuses.

make sure you make your vote count at the next GE. for now, that's the least each of us can do.