customer svc the norm?

  1. Hello...

    I didn't want to hijack another thread, but the topic there of "customer service" and "clients" vs patients and having comment cards is disturbing!

    Is the the norm in all hospitals? I just got accepted into nursing school for a hospital that is known to be a "big hospital with a small hospital feel" so I would be surprised to see that they would follow this, but not sure if this is being mandated, it's recently been awarded magnet status if that makes a difference.

    I am leaving the travel industry after 20 plus years and sick to death of the 'customer always right no matter what' and whining about insignificant things like seat assigments and wanting us to have a crystal ball on whether a flight will definitely depart tomorrow when it's still TODAY!!!

    I want to go into nursing to make a difference...to touch peoples lives and have them touch mine in a way that isn't possible in other careers. I understand it is very stressful, however to me the stress has a purpose, either the patients are scared and or not understanding what is happening to them, it's completely different than just have a grandios opinion of oneself (I understand patients may sometimes have that too ) But what I'm saying is I really hope I'm not trading one set of insignificant complaints, for another such as was it the right flavor of jell-o etc...

    I think nursing will have an impact on my life that the good days do indeed outweigh the bad and I'll know I made a real difference and have done something that truly matters in the big picture to help someone...Please tell me I'm not wrong!

    Thanks,
    Michele
    Last edit by Kitty Hawk on Mar 1, '07 : Reason: used "is" instead of "if" and blew sentence meaning
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    I have mixed feelings about this. Yes, pts deserve to be treated with respect and with compassion/kindness, but at the same time we deserve the same.
  4. by   Antikigirl
    The whole customer service deal will eventually fade away because it simply doesn't work! Healthcare and treating pts is a totally different type of service vs restaurants/stores that want to get return business by paying someone min wage to open a door for you and smile! FAR DIFFERENT!

    I mean frankly...do you want someone smiling at you as you enter the ER doors for your long wait and say "HI, welcome to ______ Hospital, we hope you enjoy your stay with us!" I would be thinking...okay, just entered the twilight zone! LOL...yeah, enjoy my stay...hmmmmmm how about treating me in an hour and sending me home...that is all I want!!! LOL, oh and wipe that smile off your face before I tear it off due to severe pain!

    Oh yeah that would work!

    Or treating that meth addict that is in for a free meal and slave (RN's and CNA's) and cable tv for the umteenth time because they are homeless and know that all they have to say is "I want to kill myself and I have a plan". Yeah, welcome them with a walmart greeter! Talk about boomerang return pt!!!!!!!! Why not!?!?!

    Or on the same page...people that want to smoke, why not be customer service to them too! Sure...have a great smoke sweety, and please don't accept any drugs from those friends that are with you cause that may be harmful too and we would loose such a wonderful valued customer! Yeah uh huh!

    Lets put mints and roses on pillows, lets get a bartender in there, lets have a service rep come in and take a survey daily to make sure our pts are the happiest they can be after having their guts re-adjusted surgically! Lets make these rooms more fen shui (sp?), waterfalls in the hallways so that there is a sence of peace and tranquilty, harp music in the lobby, individual nurses for each pt so that quality is assured, painless surgeries and pokes, a private bather that will take care of you NEEDS , naked nurses to make sure that you are totally satifsifed if that is your thing!

    Hey, lets go ahead and do a gold member plan that allows those that donate or have come in and paid enough to have private rooms with a sauna and personal servant. A free X-Ray with a purchase of three! Free instillation of that pacemaker when you recomend a friend! Free surgery if you find yours was not what you expected. We will beat anyones price guarenteed! Lease option on your transplant! We do it your way! We cut in surgery and in prices! Sale on amputations this week, ends Saturday so you better hurry! Free meat for each customer! Gourmet meals at a fast food price! Couples discount! 10% off for seniors! Upgrade to our platinum plan and get 50% off your next blood transfusion! Lets make a deal folks..we want your business!!!!!!!

    Yah...sure..lets go there!
    Last edit by Antikigirl on Mar 1, '07
  5. by   blueheaven
    You GO Triage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROFLMBO!!! Any time you are dealing with John and Judy Q. Public you are going to face some similar issues. However in the healthcare setting some folks will absolutely push you to the edge and beyond. As for the crystal ball thingy...I have a saying at work. "If I could read minds, do you think that I would be here."
  6. by   traumaRUs
    triage rn - you are so right. I loved working in the ER. However, I felt that I didn't need "scripting" to say the right thing. I never had any problem communicating with my patients and I never used the scripting either.
  7. by   climberrn
    On the flip side of that...I had a very customer service oriented history before I became an RN; I waited tables throughout college and worked for Marriott at the front desk and I honestly feel that those "skill's" have served me well in my nursing career.
    When you think about it, "true" customer service is being treated like you would want to be treated and that can't be more important when dealing with sick people.

    They don't know that their child is your 10th case of snotty nosed slightly tachypneic nothing. They know that their child is sick and their doctor was worried about it enough to admit them to the hospital. So if they are terrified when the monitor beeps, it's not too much to ask for me to explain what the monitor is showing, why I'm not concerned over the beeps (or why I AM ). It's not too much for me to show mom where the water is or God Forbid actually get her a glass of water myself if I have the time. Customer service is about showing kindness and empathy and recognizing that their frustration over green vs orange jello is maybe more about them being afraid than anything else.

    I agree that the whole "mint on pillow", bowing and scraping, 'yes mum whatever you say, mum' model doesn't work in healthcare. However, kindness could be considered to be the best customer service and is never inappropriate.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    climberrn - you are right that kindness is always important. That is not part of customer service, though, its part of being a nurse. What upsets me is the scripting - the exact words that you must say. It does not sound so sincere when the patient and the family hear their harried nurse spouting trivialities.
  9. by   RNsRWe
    Our hospital has recently begun using Comment Cards and encouraging people to complete them upon discharge. It asks patients to rate various key areas of the hospital, those with direct patient care and those without (ie: nursing staff, housekeeping).

    I guess on the good side, our unit always does extremely well on these surveys. Sometimes I wonder why, LOL, since I spend so much of my time saying "no, you can't do that" or "no, you can't have that" Maybe it's because overall, pts get the idea that we are really there to help them. Ok, MOST pts, LOL!

    I work in a community hospital, maybe that helps. So many people have friends or family that work there, they kinda know how hard it can be. There's always the unreasonable crank as well as the drugseekers who can never be satisfied but hey, who's listening to them anyway? So far, administration isn't. Hoping it stays that way!
  10. by   MIA-RN1
    We have comment cards and now they are being xeroxed and posted for all to see, with interesting parts highlighted. Its completely demeaning to put so much emphasis on comment cards. We all read the Disney book as assigned reading and customer service is the name of the game.
    We are being told that our press gainey scores are being made public so all stops are out to make it less of a hospital experience and way way more customer service oriented. Gotta keep those beloved PG scores up at all cost, nevermind that we are first and foremost a freaking hospital, not a hotel.
    I hate it.
    It does not feel like professional nursing at all, I fear. We can't even wear white pants. I think the other floors look at us as a cupcake floor.
    We now have to hand out business cards with our names written on it to our patients. So patients will now leave with a number of extra business cards for what reason?
    What thread do you refer to where they were talking about this?
  11. by   Tiwi
    The nursing role includes education. Can you imagine going up to someone in a restaurant and educating them about the right way to hold a knife and fork? Or how to eat their meal in such a way that they won't spill it?

    Sometimes nursing isn't nice because you have to bring up issues such as the effect of certain foods and habits. But you do have to learn to do it without being patronising.

    I think assessment sheets from patients may be useful, as long as the right questions are asked, and the results can be acted upon. The problem is, who determines the right questions? I guess the person who does, has to know the different roles of those working in the hospital/institution. Yeah right, the questions are more likely to be customer service questions, not role related...
  12. by   RGN1
    Our patients get a whole darn booklet to fill out about there stay with nice little check boxes on every aspect of the stay from room comfort to food. The nursing one has the most boxes - NO surprise there. They get to rate us from 1-5 on everything from prompt answering of the call buzzer to how knowledgeable we were!!!! All department scores are then put on the notice board every month!!!

    Still, I've learned how to keep nursing at least at 98% satisfaction because I simply forget (oooops) to give the booklet to the whiners!! Now a few of my colleagues have cottoned on we're looking forward to our run of 100% satisfied customers months ahead!!

    Statistics - gotta love em - gotta use them - gotta make sure they make you look good!!
  13. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from RGN1
    Our patients get a whole darn booklet to fill out about there stay with nice little check boxes on every aspect of the stay from room comfort to food. The nursing one has the most boxes - NO surprise there. They get to rate us from 1-5 on everything from prompt answering of the call buzzer to how knowledgeable we were!!!! All department scores are then put on the notice board every month!!!

    Still, I've learned how to keep nursing at least at 98% satisfaction because I simply forget (oooops) to give the booklet to the whiners!! Now a few of my colleagues have cottoned on we're looking forward to our run of 100% satisfied customers months ahead!!

    Statistics - gotta love em - gotta use them - gotta make sure they make you look good!!

    LOL, I love your "tweaking" of the statistics!

    It would burn me if part of my NURSING rating depended on how fast a PCT answered a call light. Yes, I answer call lights, but NO, it's not my primary function. They can't grade us on what we really do....can't you just see "Rate the Nurse on how well she did your dressing change: did she keep sterile technique?" How about "Were all your medications properly prepared and appropriately administered? What mistakes did you catch in the handling of your triple lumen line?"

    And how knowledgable we are?? Heck, I have had pt's family members argue with me over stuff I can recite in my sleep because they know someone who had this procedure and they didn't have this tx/med/complication. Many of them wouldn't know actual knowledge vs BS if it was silvercoated and handed to them on a platter.
    Last edit by RNsRWe on Mar 2, '07 : Reason: got more on a roll!
  14. by   RGN1
    Quote from RNsRWe
    LOL, I love your "tweaking" of the statistics!

    It would burn me if part of my NURSING rating depended on how fast a PCT answered a call light. Yes, I answer call lights, but NO, it's not my primary function. They can't grade us on what we really do....can't you just see "Rate the Nurse on how well she did your dressing change: did she keep sterile technique?" How about "Were all your medications properly prepared and appropriately administered? What mistakes did you catch in the handling of your triple lumen line?"

    And how knowledgable we are?? Heck, I have had pt's family members argue with me over stuff I can recite in my sleep because they know someone who had this procedure and they didn't have this tx/med/complication. Many of them wouldn't know actual knowledge vs BS if it was silvercoated and handed to them on a platter.

    You know I think I might just get me a copy of that booklet & scan it so you all can see the nurses section. I'm sure you'd all get a laugh out of it!

    Personally I'd love to create my own spoof one for rating the management on their support, dedication to their duty (when it snowed all the real working staff from cleaners & waitresses through to us nurses made it in but NOT ONE manager!!) and knowledge! They'd be lucky to get a 10% satisfaction rating from me!

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