Your first name is Dr. So and So

Two weeks over here in Plymouth and so far and cautiously optimistic about how this place will be. In review, this place is an LDRP similar to my home spot. They do between 600-800 delivers a year and have 10 beds, so far smaller than what I was doing in south San Fran. As usual, they are having a staffing crisis that started two years ago and has only gotten worse. 22 people have quit or gone per diem in the last 2 years. That number is insane to me for one floor considering how small they are. 

I had two 12 hour shifts of orientation of which there were no labors so I shadowed a nurse caring for postpartum patients. They were swamped with patients the few days prior to me starting so of course they drop down when I get there to orient. Which means I end up doing labor as soon as I’m off orientation. I can do labor anywhere, heck I can do postpartum anywhere. It just gets dicey when they have a mountain of paperwork I have to try to muddle through. I’m still trying to make sure I’ve crossed all my Ts and dotted my Is. 

I also find their relationship with their doctors interesting. 

After 10 years of nursing, I’m formed a distinct opinion of physicians as a whole. When you’ve been yelled at, belittled, questioned, or had things thrown at you, you allow that to shape your respect for those with DO or MD after their name. I’ve adopted a guilty until proven friendly approach with all physicians. They may be very nice outside of work, but the first time they treat me terribly, I only interact with them as far as work is required. We aren’t friends and we could barely pass as colleagues. I’ll advocate for my patient when we have to talk, but beyond that we don’t have much need to converse. 

This place is different because they have good relationships with their docs. First they happen to be really nice and willing to work with the nurses, and second, they let themselves be called BY THEIR FIRST NAMES. 

Wait… What?! 

I was talking to a fellow traveler and we both remarked on how bizarre that is. Not just that they address the docs by their first name, or that the docs introduce themselves as such, but this is the nicest group of physicians I’ve encountered in my career. 

Someone help me find a flat surface because I feel faint. 

It made me examine how I’ve allowed the bad behavior of previous doctors to make me use the title of Dr as a shield. Part of me understands the natural level respect for someone’s title. You’ve worked hard for that degree so you deserve to be addressed properly. Whether I like you or not, my mama raised me (semi) properly so those with a certain level of authority have earned a certain amount of respect. 

That’s on one hand, but on the other, titles can be used as a way to distance yourself from understanding or caring for someone. They are a doctor so of course they’re prone to arrogance, outbursts, disrespect, and disregard. I’ve been taught to give the barest level of respect, but you’re nothing to me beyond my interaction with you in caring for my patient. Terrible behavior on my part. 

Look, even though these docs seem very nice and personable, I don’t anticipate most physicians to be friendly or willing to be addressed by their first name. I don’t see myself doing it either, but I should try to stop letting my preconceived notions of how docs have behaved to turn me cool to all docs. 

Heaven help me, I’m entering into a new era. I’m going to need some time to make this attitude adjustment/change. 

12 weeks to go. And it’s felt fast even with me working 40 hours a week. Of course I’m already thinking of where I go next… 

Travel on, road warrior 


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