Nursing as a customer service profession? - page 2

I am graduating from nursing school in the next few months, and I am just beginning my job search. I have discovered that many hospitals have something about nursing as a customer service profession... Read More

  1. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    A close friend of mine was hospitalized for a total abd hyst. I was with her most of the time and the nursing care she received was deplorable. However, she wanted me to help her write a letter saying how great everyone was!

    I told her about problems that occurred when she was just out of PACU, that if I had not been there to INSIST the problems be addressed, she may have had serious complications. The lack of care she got there was appalling.

    BUT......everyone was VERY courteous!

    CEOs and managers know that many lay-persons don't know the difference between good and bad care or good and bad staffing.

    However.....
    Everyone can tell if they are being treated courteously, or if no one ever said "please" or "thank you" during their stay.

    This is just another way for CEOs and "health care" corps to fool the public.

    Disguise the wolf of poor staffing in the sheep's clothing of super courteous customer service!
  2. by   kitty=^..^=cat
    "Competence is more than knowledge and skill -- it's how knowledge and skill are communicated through behaviors that are sensitive to the needs and expectations of the individual patient." --- Me.
    --------------------------------
    One of the best "customer service" facilities I've ever worked for used what seemed like a BATTALION of retired volunteers to do all kinds of the "nicey-nicey" things. Several different little old ladies would roll a magazine/flower delivery cart around to patient rooms throughout the day. It seemed to take the heat off nurses for things like TV channel changes, thermostat and lighting adjustments, telephone and water pitcher placement, etc. They all had their list of things to tell the nurse (pain, IV leaking, patient can't breathe...) and things to tell the CNA (needs to get up to pee, legs are in the siderail...) Our volunteers were frequently complimented by name in patient satisfaction survey comments and letters we got from former patients. They really seemed to make a big difference in keeping the patients happy.
    Last edit by kitty=^..^=cat on Apr 23, '03
  3. by   renerian
    Every client is a customer or potential customer. Heavy competition. You will see it in time.

    renerian
  4. by   kitty=^..^=cat
    The truth is, people are always going to care about how they are treated. And sadly enough, our current malpractice crisis has almost as much to do with poor customer service as it does with bad care and a litigious society.
  5. by   ceecel.dee
    Hospitals are big business! Nothing new.

    I really don't think a smile costs a person much. Do your job well, and you don't need to have personality to spare...as long as you are unoffensive.

    Even drafters, in their little cubicles with their computers, are expected to offer what they know, and find out what they don't if they answer the phone.

    You needed some customer service skills at the grocery store you worked at in high school, and in the swimming lesson instructor job you held in summers....all jobs require it to some extent. Are the patient's or families at the Hilton?...NO!...but they are not at the Bate's motel either!
  6. by   passing thru
    "Proper" telephone communication is a reflection of your level of professionalism. Communication skills are one of the most desirable skills any professional can acquire.
    Friendliness and courtesy are interpreted as caring aspects of nursing.
    Simply try to treat people the way you would like to be treated or the way you would want your grandparents treated.

    Patients are in an unfamiliar envoirment. The nurse is seen as
    the "guide" through the maze, the "problem solver". We
    can either "grease the wheels" of the bureaucracy or leave them to try & find their own way.
    I choose to
    be a leader, a facilitator.
    Small things make a big difference in their comfort level.
    Just last week, I admitted a patient for acute cholecystitis. She was 25 years old. She was a Down's Syndrome patient. Her
    60' ish mom was at the bedside for the night. I admitted the patient at 11 p.m. They had been in the E.R . since 2 p.m.
    I asked the mom, "have you had anything to eat?" She hadn't.
    I had to go to two other units to find a sandwich and fruit and jello, made a fresh pot of coffee, milk and cookies (from my lunch), and juice. Placed it all on a tray....and took it to the patients' room. The pt. was NPO of course. Mom scarfed it all up in 15 minutes. Then found her a couple of pillows and a blanket.
    This is my routine ....every shift. If a family member is staying and helping me with the patient, I am going to do all I can to see they are comfortable. It is my gesture to show my appreciation for what they are doing.
    I'm sure this family will want to return to my hospital for any other needs they have. And, I imagine what they will remember is my sincere desire to make them comfortable, and familiarize them with our routines....not my nursing skills....cause frequently, nursing skills are performed in
    ways that aren't real memorable, especially when there are no
    complications.
    I think of myself as an ambassador for my hospital.
    And, yes, there are nurses and assistants who would not make the extra effort.
  7. by   MrsK1223
    Now it would be nice if they would send the doctors to these customer service classes....after all they get paid the big bucks and get all the glory when its over and done....and I've known many to piss many a patient off and when its over they are suddenly "god".
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    passing thru, I applaud your efforts. Unfortunately, many of us do NOT have the spare time to be such "ambassadors" and really, truth be told, I am not interested in being such.

    I AM interested in being a COMPETENT, caring and considerate nurse. I DO treat that patient in my care as if she were my mother/sister/friend/daughter. Cause she COULD EASILY BE and she is to SOMEONE. BUT I only have so much of "Me" to go around (as do my coworkers), and being an "ambassador" is not always on the list when acute care comes to into play.

    But I agree. Little things mean a lot and I DO try to go the extra mile whenever possible. It IS important to me as a NURSE much more than it is as a rep of my hospital. It is part of being a NURSE to me.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 23, '03
  9. by   ceecel.dee
    Originally posted by passing thru
    [BCommunication skills are one of the most desirable skills any professional can acquire.

    Friendliness and courtesy are interpreted as caring aspects of nursing.

    Simply try to treat people the way you would like to be treated or the way you would want your grandparents treated.

    I choose to
    be a leader, a facilitator.

    Small things make a big difference in their comfort level.

    I think of myself as an ambassador for my hospital.
    [/B]
    AN EMPLOYER'S DREAM! A PATIENT'S DREAM! A FAMILY MEMBER'S DREAM! A COWORKER'S DREAM! and a good, christian human being.

    You can be all of these without "selling out". Work ethic is important, rewarded or not by employer. Rewarded "in the long run", and by patient evaluations (formal or internal).

    I hope YOU are the nurse on duty when my son breaks his neck trying the double back "sommy" off the diving board this summer! :kiss
  10. by   moonshadeau
    I agree that nursing must be driven in at least part by customer service. Especially now with the HIPPA rules in effect. Now I will be the first to say that I refuse to be someone's handmaiden when they expect it. For example, I overheard a patient say that we were holding back her water. And the general tone to her family was that we were torturing her Not true, her water was within reach the entire time and even offered to her when we helped her with some ADL's. It doesn't matter what the truth is, the only truth that the family know is that we are not providing basic care in their opinion.

    Every person that we encounter is a "client". There is no two ways about it. If not only a client for the hospital, but also the family members that may be considering nursing as a career choice. I guess that my point is that it doesn't take any longer to smile at someone, introduce yourself at the beginning of each shift as the registered nurse or ask someone if need anything else before you rush out of the room. Customer service can be something as simple as keeping your promise to a patient. As in "I will be back in about 10 minutes" when you can, keeping your patient informed on what is going on with their care (tests they are waiting for, expected times and routines of procedures).

    I don't think that customer service is that big of deal. I think that it is just common curtousy and respect. "do onto others".
  11. by   debRNo1
    Originally posted by ?burntout
    The hospital I work at is VERY into "customer service." We have even had a 4 HOUR class on customer service
    My hospital which is part of a larger system also uses customer service "classes" during orientation. They borrow what they teach from a major hotel chain and mentioned DISNEY WORLD (where ALL employees smile ) more than once.

    They showed a cute video of a man and his dog. They get hurt while jogging. The man is treated so badly at the doctors office and then at the hospital when he goes for Xrays. People are ignoring him and very rude. The doctor could care less and the nurse was mean. He gets lost at the hospital, nobody would direct him and one employee says "do I look like a MAP ?"Finally he finds xray and the tech picks a fight with him when he wants to xray the wrong body part.

    Meanwhile the wife brings the dog to the vet. Top of the line treatment is given. Everyone is overly polite and helpful, the vet is caring and kind, and the staff is courteous and professional. Later on that evening the phone rings and it the vets office calling to see how the dog was doing- nobody called to see how HE was doing !!

    Yes Yes my hospital is REAL BIG on customer service and that video was a good way of getting the point across.

    deb
  12. by   Repat
    Originally posted by maia1212
    Now it would be nice if they would send the doctors to these customer service classes....after all they get paid the big bucks and get all the glory when its over and done....and I've known many to piss many a patient off and when its over they are suddenly "god".
    I've said this before, but the thing that irritates me THE MOST when I get to work is the sign in our break room 'Remember, the doctors are our customers, too'. What happened to being professional colleagues? I know the doctors don't believe that, but a little 'education' can go a long way, and acting as their 'service providers'is not the way!
  13. by   betts
    FAQ's

    Q. What is Nursing?
    A. Nursing is the fine art of caring for patients who know everything. Nurses spend years of their life honing their clinical skills and expanding their knowledge base so that when presented with a clinical problem, the patient can tell them not to worry, they have something in the medicine cabinet at home to take care of that.... Nursing also requires tremendous skill in filling water pitchers and adjusting bedside televisions.

    Q. Do nurses always respect the Doctor?
    A. Absolutely (Tee-hee)

    Q. Nursing School is all about making beds and emptying bedpans, right?
    A. Yes. The primary function of nursing school is to instill a sense of pride in forming *perfect* corners at the bottom of the bed. In my years of nursing practice I've also taken pride in my bedpan emptying skills. All those lectures on physiology, biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, psychology and etc. were primarily to kill time between bed bath classes.

    Q. How do nurses keep their uniforms so white?
    A. I'd tell you but I'd have to kill you.

    Q. Are women in hospitals all nurses? Are all men Doctors?
    A. Yes. We do that so you'll know the difference.

    Q. Will the nurse fluff my pillow?
    A. Yes, he will.

    Q. Why do I always have to wait for the nurse to come into my room?
    A. There are two possible causes for the nurse not coming to the room immediately. First, you may not be using the call bell enough. Try hitting the call bell as soon as the nurse leaves the room. Nurses love the feeling of being needed that this evokes. Second, the nurse may not have enough patients to keep his/her attention focused solely on you. Please let the nurse know that you'd like his/her undivided attention for the entire shift.

    Q. How do nurses read Doctor's handwriting?
    A. Years of meditation and incantations. Experience in reading sheep entrails is helpful before trying our skills on Doctors' handwriting.

    Q. Nurse...what should I do? It hurts when I do this.
    A. Don't do that.

    Q. Why are Nurses frequently seen with pizza boxes at the Nurses Station?
    A. A Pepperoni Pizza supplies all of the four basic food groups, the dairy group, the bread group, vegetable group and the meat group.

    Q. Why are Nurses never actually seen eating the pizza?
    A. Nurses don't actually have time to eat; they just wish to be good role models for Healthy Nutrition.

    This FAQ is based on years of unscientific research and in no way should be taken seriously.

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