Can anything be done about feeling like a waitress? - page 2

Don't get me wrong. I believe patients should have nourishments and drink all they can if there's not a fluid restriction. I never mind getting them ice, drinks, fresh water, etc...... My... Read More

  1. by   canoehead
    The SECURITY GUARD!!!???

    What a trip.
  2. by   ceecel.dee
    We've got a coffee cart out in the lobby area with air pots of coffee and plates of cookies. It is replenished by the kitchen, so if 201's wife says "is there more coffee?", we can just say "we'll let the kitchen know we need more". This way, we are being helpful, but not spending valuable time serving people who are not our patients. After all, happy families are much easier to have around!
  3. by   kbclary4
    This is where I am afraid I will get into trouble. I do not have any patience for this kind of thing.
    I work as a Pharmacy Technican part-time while I am in school and had a lady the other day who wanted her mom's prescription done immediately. I told here there would be a wait because several people had come in ahead of her. She said "she's really sick, so you will need to do hers now and skip all of these other people." I nicely explained to her that it was a first come first serve basis and that the other people who were dropping off prescriptions were sick as well (duh), but that we would get it ready for her as fast as possible. This, of course, was not good enough and she just kept yelling "but she's really sick." I just kept explaining that others were sick as well and we would fill it as fast as possible. That's when, in the nastiest voice she could muster, she said "so you're just not going to help me." I lost my cool and said "look, I don't have a magic wand, so I don't know what you want me to do. We will get these filled as fast as possible, you will just have to wait your turn." Needless to say, she called a manager and I was reprimanded (only verbally). I guess I will have to learn to keep my mouth shut.
    Just out of curiosity, how much trouble can you get into for mouthing off like that to someone in a hospital? The pharmacy I work in is a nationally recognized chain and they are concerned with customer service and 'the customer is always right' but is it the same in a hospital?
  4. by   miphillli
    I would not want to make a meal for a visitor either BUT service with a smile is the name of the game,doesn't your dietary dept. send late or extra trays for pt's? We have a coffe machine at the very end of the hall that gives free coeffe to all that want it....still get pop and jucie water ect. from our gally for pt's.I am glad we only had to post a sign that reminded visitors and pt's that the gally was "staff only" and to ask.
  5. by   Indy
    Quote from kbclary4
    This is where I am afraid I will get into trouble. I do not have any patience for this kind of thing.
    I work as a Pharmacy Technican part-time while I am in school and had a lady the other day who wanted her mom's prescription done immediately. I told here there would be a wait because several people had come in ahead of her. She said "she's really sick, so you will need to do hers now and skip all of these other people." I nicely explained to her that it was a first come first serve basis and that the other people who were dropping off prescriptions were sick as well (duh), but that we would get it ready for her as fast as possible. This, of course, was not good enough and she just kept yelling "but she's really sick." I just kept explaining that others were sick as well and we would fill it as fast as possible. That's when, in the nastiest voice she could muster, she said "so you're just not going to help me." I lost my cool and said "look, I don't have a magic wand, so I don't know what you want me to do. We will get these filled as fast as possible, you will just have to wait your turn." Needless to say, she called a manager and I was reprimanded (only verbally). I guess I will have to learn to keep my mouth shut.
    Just out of curiosity, how much trouble can you get into for mouthing off like that to someone in a hospital? The pharmacy I work in is a nationally recognized chain and they are concerned with customer service and 'the customer is always right' but is it the same in a hospital?
    If you mean specifically with the hospital pharmacy, not where I work. The pharmacy works their butt off 24/7, and there's not many people working the pharmacy at night, so you can bet I'm nice to the ones who are there; I need meds for my patients. I suppose I could get nasty if I had to, but there hasn't been any need for that. Pharmacy in our hospital doesn't have to put up with families that I'm aware of, just nurses.

    If you mean overall and you're thinking of going into nursing, there is a pervasive attitude through the whole of (at least) american or western society that "the customer is right." So if you're thinking of working in any area of patient or family contact in the hospital, you're going to run into people with this diva attitude. People think that if they break their bodies we fix 'em, and if they complain more, they get better service. So a lot of folks start out complaining, not realizing that A)they did some of the damage to themselves, B) some of the damage isn't fixable and will kill them, and C) you catch more flies with honey.

    All that said though, I'm still not the coffee lady.
  6. by   CEN35
    Not sure about your situation, but the trend is "scripted" answers, on what your facility wants you to say. Some have even come out with a book, telling you what to say.

    The patient and family are always right, seems to be how things have to be.

    waitress, maid, etc.

    Staffing goes down, insurance and payments go down, the workload increases, the pays the same, the stress is more, the nursing shortage continues.........and yet your situation occurs regularly everywhere. they will keep expecting the waitress attitude is my guess.
  7. by   cher722
    DELEGATE. CNA's, PCT's
  8. by   Fiona59
    Up here in the frozen north, we only feed patients. There are vending machines and a food court for families. Nobody gets fed in ER until they are seen by the Doc and a decision has been reached.

    On the units at night, you are lucky if there is cheese and crackers and a couple of jellos for the patients. There is more food in maternity but a full meal, forget it. The floor refreshment area can make tea, instant coffee, cup of soup and toast. You don't like it? Bring your own.
  9. by   Emma123
    Set a tip jar on the pt's BS table.
  10. by   Elizabeth Hanes
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    Don't get me wrong. I believe patients should have nourishments and drink all they can if there's not a fluid restriction. I never mind getting them ice, drinks, fresh water, etc......

    My problem? Our nourishment room door is locked because too many pts and family members have raided it in the past. So the only way to get something is to ask a staff member. The nourishment room is just across from the nurses station. Doing charge I am "constantly" interrupted to get coffee, water and cokes for visitors and family members. You would think they would see that you are busy, signing off charts, talking to staff, talking on the phone, but no "can I have coffee?" I hate to say no but somedays it really gets to be a problem. I have to walk around the station, which is large, open the door, get their stuff, etc.....Any polite ideas about how to handle this? I've tried asking "who is this for" but they catch on and lie and say it's for the patient. Sometimes I say Ok I'll bring it to the room because I really can't stop what I'm doing. Does the public not realize how much trouble it is? or how inconsiderate to interrupt someone doing their work? I wouldn't consider doing that. Once I was so mad the person asked me to go into the kitchen and make them a meal. I told them that as long as they could walk they would be expected to go to the cafeteria and purchase their meal like any other visitor. We do make acceptions for elderly or mothers of children. But gees!
    I hope this doesn't get me flamed, but I wanted to address this original complaint from "the other side of the desk."

    I am only just beginning pre-reqs for nursing school, but my dad has had over 20 major procedures done in hospitals over the past 30 years, so I've spent A LOT of time in hospitals and around various medical personnel. Not to mention, I have multiple nurses, doctors, PAs, and paramedics in my family.

    One thing I've noticed over the years is this: it's become increasingly difficult to tell apart the various medical professionals. These days, when I'm visiting someone in the hospital, I cannot usually tell just by looking at a person whether she's an RN, CNA, tech, orderly or something else. Everyone wears scrubs -- all in different colors and patterns -- so they all look the same, to me. (Except the doctor, of course, because s/he has that distinctive white coat.)

    Keep in mind, most people do not know, first of all, that there is any difference between one person (usually female) in scrubs and another. They think all of them are "nurses." Secondly, most people probably would be happy to ask the CNA for assistance getting ice chips or coffee for the patient, if they knew which person around the desk was, in fact, the CNA.

    Recently, my mother-in-law was in a nursing home. One of the RNs always wore white scrubs, top and bottom. It made it easy to identify her as the nurse and, hence, not to bother her with trivialities.

    I know we don't want to go back to the dress and cap days, but it would be helpful to patients and families if we, as nurses, found a way to easily differentiate ourselves from the other very helpful members of the hospital team.

    Having said all that, let me also add that there's no excuse for plain bad manners on the part of the patient's visitors. No one should expect a medical professional to "cook them a meal" or run errands for them! We are there to take care of the patient, plain and simple.
  11. by   Thunderwolf
    This is a common complaint by patients and visitors. We all look alike because of little differentiation...unless you get REAL CLOSE to a name badge. Some facilities have different disciplines wearing different, but standard colored uniforms/scrubs. But, some do not. This is common. Don't see it changing soon, however.


    Quote from semisweetchick
    I hope this doesn't get me flamed, but I wanted to address this original complaint from "the other side of the desk."

    I am only just beginning pre-reqs for nursing school, but my dad has had over 20 major procedures done in hospitals over the past 30 years, so I've spent A LOT of time in hospitals and around various medical personnel. Not to mention, I have multiple nurses, doctors, PAs, and paramedics in my family.

    One thing I've noticed over the years is this: it's become increasingly difficult to tell apart the various medical professionals. These days, when I'm visiting someone in the hospital, I cannot usually tell just by looking at a person whether she's an RN, CNA, tech, orderly or something else. Everyone wears scrubs -- all in different colors and patterns -- so they all look the same, to me. (Except the doctor, of course, because s/he has that distinctive white coat.)

    Keep in mind, most people do not know, first of all, that there is any difference between one person (usually female) in scrubs and another. They think all of them are "nurses." Secondly, most people probably would be happy to ask the CNA for assistance getting ice chips or coffee for the patient, if they knew which person around the desk was, in fact, the CNA.

    Recently, my mother-in-law was in a nursing home. One of the RNs always wore white scrubs, top and bottom. It made it easy to identify her as the nurse and, hence, not to bother her with trivialities.

    I know we don't want to go back to the dress and cap days, but it would be helpful to patients and families if we, as nurses, found a way to easily differentiate ourselves from the other very helpful members of the hospital team.

    Having said all that, let me also add that there's no excuse for plain bad manners on the part of the patient's visitors. No one should expect a medical professional to "cook them a meal" or run errands for them! We are there to take care of the patient, plain and simple.
  12. by   Nurse-To-Be-Joy
    I also am a pre-nursing student, but have been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for many years because of a health problem of my own and my mother before she passed away.

    When my mom was in the hospital, I knew who her nurse was every day, and would never bother her for little things, especially things for me. (I would never go to another nurse unless there was an emergnecy.) Even when my mom was in the ICU and I would spend all day there, I never once asked a nurse (or any other staff member) for food or drinks for myself. That is what the cafeteria is for.

    When I had worked in a hospital as a transporter/housekeeper, I could not believe the nerve of some families that would raid the refrigerator, in a clearly marked staff-only room. I had even seen one family member (a 30ish man visiting his mom) fill up a small bag with crackers, jello, juice boxes, etc (right before leaving the hospital). This is not allowed, but I have seen so many nurses allow the patient's families to "help themselves" so they wouldn't have to be bothered.
  13. by   sweetielin
    in my small hospital, we have a small kitchen directly across from the nurses station. it has a big sign on it stating only staff are allowed inside and that all snacked and drinks are for patients only (except coffee, which is available to everyone). we have several family members come to the nurses station and ask for coffee when see that we are running our behinds off. i don't mean once or twice. i mean the same family member coming 10-20 times a shift, then asking for 2-3 cup at a time. what really ticked me off is when you are passing meds and someone comes up to you while you are at your cart pulling meds and asks for coffee/snacks. i always tell them "i'm sorry but i can't leave my cart. you will have to ask someone else." i know this may seems rude, but i cannot leave my cart out in the hall unattended for someone to rifle through and steal meds off of it. our cnas do pass at snack cart at the beginning of the shift, but it is only for patients. that does not stop family members from trying to get ice cream, cokes, or other things from it. when they are informed of our policy, they get mad. of course it doesn't help when some of the employees give them things from out kitchen. also with blankets, we do supply them for family member who stay with patients if we have enough. but some family members want 4 or 5. do they not understand that we only have so many? as for the security guard, he was totally out of line. our security guard gets his own coffee and even makes it for the rest of us. whoever notices it's getting low or it's cold makes it. one of our security guards even will answer call lights and telephones when we are busy if he is up there.

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