When I was a nurse practitioner, a physician who didn’t treat me very well, almost got me fired. Here’s how I kept my job and overcame his mistreatment of me to feel good about myself.
The biggest challenge in my career happened when I was a nurse practitioner. I left one clinic in the same health care system to work in another one nearby. I was working in my new position when my former collaborating physician, Dr. D, started to call me every day. He never treated me very well so I decided not to take his calls. One day, a woman from human resources (HR) called me to her office. When I arrived, Dr. D was sitting in a chair staring down at his feet.
“Dr. D says you promised to stay at his office until he got a replacement for you.” the HR woman said.
“That is not true.” I replied emphatically my angry eyes piercing the top of Dr. D’s bald head. I wanted to call him a liar, but not knowing where this conversation was going, I didn’t want to make things worse for myself.
“Well, I expect you to come back to Dr. D’s clinic two mornings a week until he can find another nurse practitioner or don’t bother to come in tomorrow,” was the HR woman’s ultimatum. In other words, I either returned part time to this clinic or I lost my job.
Dr. D never looked up as I walked out the door.
I was mad. I yelled. I cried. I ranted. I raged. I could not leave my job at this time. I did not have a choice. I had to go back. On my way home, I stopped at a florist shop to pay a bill. As I walked out the door, the florist handed me a red rose. Something about his kind gesture made me take a different perspective on my dilemma. Since Dr. D was not my collaborating physician anymore, he no longer had control over me. I was just like any other specialist who worked at his office. When I showed up at Dr. D’s clinic, I dressed in my best suit with my hair in a French twist. All registered nurses and nurse practitioners called the physicians “doctor”, followed by the first letter of their last name. Now that I was their peer, I decided I would address the physicians like they addressed each other. As each physician in the practice walked in, I called them by their first names. They looked surprised and puzzled. The nurses loved it. They couldn’t wait for Dr. D. When he arrived, he looked at me with pity. I’m sure he thought I would be angry for at him for almost getting me fired.
“How the hell are you, Doug?” I asked him cheerfully.
The look of shock on his face almost made up for what he had put me through. What could he do? He needed me. All I had to do to overcome his mistreatment of me was to change how I looked at the situation.