Customer service and nursing - page 2

I really hate customer service pitches and how almost everyone in the hospital is a customer except the nursing staff. In plain English what I feel we are being told is that nurses have to bow down... Read More

  1. by   WashYaHands
    I agree with thisnurse, grouchy, and fiestynurse. I define these things as patient care, not customer service.

    I also agree with Furball in that setting priorities is an important part of nursing care and I don't define this as customer service either.

    If you want customer service, call the hospital billing department.

    Linda
  2. by   thisnurse
    Furball,
    if you are in a patient's room and they ask you for ice water do you say no?
    im not trying to argue you with you but i am just curious. it seems to me that it takes just as long to explain why i dont have time to get them water than if i just did it.
    of course you have to prioritize.
    and im not talking about ALL of the patients. if i see nobody has water i FORCE my assistant to fill them.
    this is one of my little "things" because i know what its like to not have water and not be able to get out of bed to get any. very frustrating to have to keep calling the desk for something as simple as water. i remember that. i wont put my patients thru it.

    pateints, clients, customers....different names for the same thing
  3. by   deespoohbear
    I don't mind taking care of finding a channel for a pt, or getting them something to drink if I have time. What I do mind is patients who think we are running the Waldorf-Astoria and expect a breath mint on their pillow every morning. I try to be kind and nice to everyone, but I am not above telling someone in plain English why I couldn't tend to the "need my pillow fluffed right this instance." I had one family one time that was griping because I hadn't tended to their mother's every whim in the past hour and a half. I was a little busy in the room next door trying to prevent that patient from dying. This daughter was griping at me about my lack of attention I had paid to her mother. I just flat out said, "Well, I have been busy next door. That patient was trying to die!!" Pretty much shut up the daughter. I do what is in the best interest of my patient and the others can kiss my butt!! My job is to make sure that my pt has what he needs to improve, or if that is not possible, at least be comfortable. If I wanted to be a customer service rep, I would work at WalMart!!
  4. by   thisnurse
    pooh,
    i was reading your post when something occured to me. has anyone stayed in a hotel recently?
    i stayed at the hilton in LA and i didnt get too much in the way of service.
    we keep comparing our service to the service we get at a hotel.
    try calling the desk and asking them to fluff your pillow, change your channel, or get you a drink of water...lol

    i dont mind getting people water but i have to tell you...it REALLY pisses me off when someone asks me to fluff their pillows or "fix" their blankets when they can do it themselves. fixing the blankets is the equivalent of tucking them in.
    i cant stand that. i am not their mommie.

    also...when someone is *****ing at me for not being able to get into the room to do something like fluffing, i am not above lying and saying i was giving cpr or something like that. it shuts them up and makes them feel like crap.
  5. by   Riseupandnurse
    Nursing is NOT customer service. When you're a customer, you can basically have anything the establishment has for sale, if you have the money. We care for many patients who have no money. Why is a sales relationship now so much more honorable and noble than a patient-care relationship?

    Also, there are many, many times when a patient, unlike a customer, is not always right. What about the patient who wants his morphine two hours too soon or wants to lay in bed for three days when he needs to be up ambulating? Or the family who wants to monopolize your time so that there is no time at all for the two little old men who are nonverbal and have no family to demand things for them? Our patient care manager now wants us to offer to do anything the patient or family want, and wants us to say, "I have the time." No, I don't have the time, and if you would walk a mile in my shoes once in a while, you would realize that.

    Customer service is all about administration looking good to the board members by producing good "customer satisfaction" surveys. Doesn't anyone care that nursing is all about *health*, and what nurses can do to achieve *health*? Health may mean many things, but it doesn't mean getting every little whim satisfied. A customer might get that by hiring a personal assistant at $100,000 or so a year. But a customer might not find someone to hire for this even at that salary, because to spend your time satisfying some of the senseless demands made on nurses is demeaning and unfulfilling. The only people who consistenly operated like that were called slaves. If this is what nursing is becoming, let me out. I'll be a waitress and at least enjoy my tips. Nursing has trained me to be capable of getting big tips, that's for sure.

    No, nurses need to stand up for our profession. We are worth it; it's time we started acting like it.
  6. by   Furball
    Originally posted by thisnurse
    Furball,
    if you are in a patient's room and they ask you for ice water do you say no?
    im not trying to argue you with you but i am just curious. it seems to me that it takes just as long to explain why i dont have time to get them water than if i just did it.
    of course you have to prioritize.
    and im not talking about ALL of the patients. if i see nobody has water i FORCE my assistant to fill them.
    this is one of my little "things" because i know what its like to not have water and not be able to get out of bed to get any. very frustrating to have to keep calling the desk for something as simple as water. i remember that. i wont put my patients thru it.

    pateints, clients, customers....different names for the same thing
    Of couse I fill pts water pitchers and all those things. I'm just FURIOUS that everything seems to fall on the nurses shoulders. I try to treat all my pts as I would want myself treated. The good old golden rule. I take away trays, mop, straighten rooms, order different food if the pt doesn't like what he/she receieved. BUT, my point is, when there are emergencies and there aren't any aides on the floor what are my options?? If "customer service" is so important shouldn't these hospitals make sure there's enough staff? Thanks for letting me vent whew!
  7. by   deespoohbear
    I do like the comment about going to a hotel and trying to get everything you want. I don't mind doing things for my patients like making sure they have ice water, enough blankets, etc. I do mind having to bow down and kiss their a**es though. I am nurse, not a personal servent. I treat people like I would want to be treated. I think I will mention to our administrator about customer service for the nurses. No one cares about the nurses
  8. by   Curlytop
    Originally posted by deespoohbear
    I don't mind taking care of finding a channel for a pt, or getting them something to drink if I have time. What I do mind is patients who think we are running the Waldorf-Astoria and expect a breath mint on their pillow every morning. I try to be kind and nice to everyone, but I am not above telling someone in plain English why I couldn't tend to the "need my pillow fluffed right this instance." I had one family one time that was griping because I hadn't tended to their mother's every whim in the past hour and a half. I was a little busy in the room next door trying to prevent that patient from dying. This daughter was griping at me about my lack of attention I had paid to her mother. I just flat out said, "Well, I have been busy next door. That patient was trying to die!!" Pretty much shut up the daughter. I do what is in the best interest of my patient and the others can kiss my butt!! My job is to make sure that my pt has what he needs to improve, or if that is not possible, at least be comfortable. If I wanted to be a customer service rep, I would work at WalMart!!
    Too Funny! You sound like me. I treat all my Patients the same, however my ICU often gets the "well-to-do" prominent citizen, or the "Dr. So-and so's mother" as a patient who of course get completely open visitations and expect the royal kiss-as* treatment. I never was and never will be a kiss-as*. Patients are Patients no matter their social status. Most people are clueless to the education, knowledge, and straight-up hard work necessary to be an ICU nurse!
  9. by   dawngloves
    If I'm having a relatively easy day, I'm not beyond offering juice, snacks, little extra TLC, but if a patient is well enough to complain about the "quality of service" it's time for them to be discharged.
  10. by   shay
    Originally posted by dawngloves
    but if a patient is well enough to complain about the "quality of service" it's time for them to be discharged.
    YOU SAID IT!!!
  11. by   thisnurse
    jan,
    your post is excellent. you are right in all you say. unfortunately, thats how it supposed to be but thats not how it is.
    our manager told us that 40% of our eval is based on customer service. we are being evaluated on a concept that is vague and undefined.
    and furball i get furious that everything falls on us too. you are right, if the administration is so concerned about customer service they should supply adequate staffing. their main concern is making as much money as they can while spending as little as possible.
    maybe we should be paid by the tasks we perform.

    fluff pillows-$100
    fix blankets-$150 (its more work)
    assessments-$1000
    dispensing meds-$100 each med, $500 for injections
    monitoring IV's-$1500 per 8 hour shift
    blood draws-$300 per stick
    maintaining central lines-$1000 per 8 hour shift
    assist with ambulation-$50 per foot
    I&O's-$5,000 (only because I hate that)


    anyway you get the idea. ICU and ER nurses would make a bundle. if someone fixes your car they charge you for every task they do. doctors charge per visit per task. sure would end the nursing shortage.

    this is all off topic anyway. the original question was are nurses customers


    dawngloves...what an awesome name!
  12. by   OneChattyNurse
    I chose other as well so I will explain. I work at the VA and "customer service" is a concept that is constantly brought up. I do feel that we have a responsibility to our patients...BUT...we are not there to be the eyes, ears, hands, or legs of each and every patient. I work on a long term care unit and a big part of our job is to help our patients achieve and/or maintain their maximum level of independence. This cannot be accomplished if the families and/or patients demand us to do everything for them. To a family member, encouraging a patient to do something for him/herself, constitutes a nurse not doing his/her job! Sometimes this requires alot of patient AND family teaching so they understand.

    I also feel that there is alot of staff (Drs, nurses, CNA's etc...) that have caused this huge surge towards customer service. I am amazed everyday at the way some of the patients are treated by the staff. I think long hours, staff shortages, and burnout have contributed to the poor attitudes and apathy exhibited by so many healthcare professionals.

    It is sad that we have to care more about pleasing our "customers" than actually caring for and treating out "patients".

    Just my humble opinions!
    Shari
  13. by   thisnurse
    oops this is the customer service thread...i am such a weirdo

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Customer service and nursing