Throughout your nursing career, you will be working with a variety of personalities. This is true not only with patients and managers but also the doctors themselves. What happens when you encounter a physician who is difficult to deal with? You may feel like you’re not in a position to challenge or confront them, even when you have concerns about their behavior. But here are some tips to help you deal with any difficult doctors you encounter throughout your nursing career.

Avoid a heated confrontation.

While it may feel cathartic in the moment, confronting a difficult personality is never going to provide you more than a temporary emotional outburst. While you may wish that the other party would keep a level head or not be so condescending, you can take control over this action and avoid snapping back.

Understand the workplace policies.

If you find yourself angry or upset about a situation, look into the policies in your facility. There may be a formal method for filing a complaint with management. It’s important that you do things by the book to ensure that you’re safe in the process.

Initiate a conversation.

When the initial situation has passed, ask the doctor for a moment of their time to talk about what happened. They may be surprised to find that another healthcare employee is willing to take time out to talk to them about the situation and when everyone’s calm, they may be able calmly discuss what happened.

Have empathy for their situation.

Empathy is an important component to our day to day conversations. It’s important to take their perspective into account when you discuss their behavior with them. Being a physician can be difficult and you can’t be fully certain the other aspects that influenced their behavior on that day, so be kind.

Find your own support network.

You should also be able to rely on your own support network. You never have to do things alone. Have a friend or family member you can talk to about the things that happen in the workplace. You may also want to talk with a professional therapist to help you better process your own thoughts and feelings.

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