what is dignity, what is pride?
i’ve been working in the cardiology clinic for almost 5 months now. and i ask myself that question more often than i have to ask about things i do not know medically.
i gripe about my boss yes. but in actual fact and in real life, it’s more than just griping. i face him 4 days a week with him slighting me at every chance. it’s as though i am a person, not even a nurse, unworthy of his basic respect that he doesn’t look me in the eye nor calls my name.
a doctor deserves respect, because he is a doctor. it is given to him on a plate. but a doctor is a human too, and a doctor has to earn that respect he demands. that said, i usually and almost always give them due respect.
with my boss, i’ve had always been rather meek- unusual of me- and respectful of him. i don’t talk back to him, i do what he wants, i let him insult me, i let him look at me with those slighting looks, everything. and we all thought, he just wasn’t used to me yet. the only times he called my name were the 2 weeks my colleague wasn’t around. in my near 5 months, only 2 weeks.
i don’t say all these about my boss without reason. i am a healthcare professional, a registered nurse. i am no less a professional when i stand in the room with him and the patient. yet he tells me off in front of the patient, once even ripping off all the ECG leads that i had placed, claiming that i placed them wrongly. or in another case that i placed them “where there’s no hair” , and then placing them himself saying aloud the placements as if i didn’t know them. he wasn’t consistent- once he said V6 was at anterior axiliary line, and then another time he said mid axiliary line. i am taught, i am cardiac-trained, and i was confused. in all honesty, nurses do more ECGs than doctors. it’s a FACT. period.
when i convey information to him, he replies to my colleague. when i do it in person, he looks at the notes/results and looks over my shoulder and talks and replies to my colleague who is at least 5 to 10 metres behind me. what is this really?
there was once when i didn’t know that the lady sitting in the corner was our patient. he stormed out and silently asked me to get to her so that we could register her and then he could see her. i greeted her like how i greet all my patients.
“Hello/Hi/Good morning! Can I have your name please?”
after the mentioned patient’s consult was over, he called me and my other senior colleague into the room. he berated me for my lack of manners when speaking to the patient. he claimed that i had just gone up to the patient and asked her “what’s your name???”. okayyyy. i won’t fight back. but i lost my cool when he went on to say, with his slighting stare as his pupils rolled up to look at me:
“i don’t have a voice a recorder with me, but you know what you said.”
and then i knew, from then on, that this boss, lies and manipulates. i know what i said. i spoke to my manager about it, and she knows how i greet my patients. in fact, she is the one who says my PR skills are excellent and insists on putting me at the counter.
there were times unnecessary mistakes were made because of him- improper documentation, wrong instructions etc. in the end, the onus is on me (if i’m handling it) to rectify it and accept the blame from the patient and boss, who would conveniently write off his mistake, insisting it’s not his fault. there is always the blame game, and even though it is HIS fault, it is always inevitably my fault in the end.
it’s immensely difficult to work with a boss who cannot even give me basic respect, or even worse, has me working so bloody hard for him behind the scenes, yet denies my identity in the clinic. i find it disgusting.
my colleagues tell me to give it time right from the start. we thought i got his acknowledgement of my existence and trust when he started calling my name at the start of my 3rd month. but again as i said, it was short-lived for 2 weeks, only because my sonographer colleague was on leave. he had no choice but to call my name. and after that, it fizzled into nothingness. i became zero again. negative maybe,
i finally told my manager that i can’t and i won’t. not anymore. i did not want my tears to fall, but they did in the end. i told her how i felt- in the room with him and the patient, my morale is so low and i feel so small, like i’m dirt on the ground. i asked her why boss is like that to me, but she told me that do not need to understand why. when my colleague echoed the same thing, i kinda understood.
i deserve better. soon enough.