Nursing as a customer service profession? - page 3

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   EmeraldNYL
    Originally posted by debRNo1


    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
    OMG!!! We had to watch that video in one of my nursing classes and it was so funny, sad but true.

    Thanks for your input everyone. I agree that nurses should treat all patients with dignity and respect, but the current push towards kissing families and patients butts kinda irks me sometimes. And sometimes it just isn't possible to do all those nice little extras because we just don't have time! But I agree that a friendly smile and introduction and keeping the patient updated go a long way.
  2. by   New CCU RN
    I have also seen that video...hahahahaha.... in part of my orientation to my current position. Too funny.

    I do agree that politeness and friendliness is essential to patient care, it is a shame that we need to be taught this. It should be an innate quality, that shouldn't take any effort.
  3. by   udontwannabme
    Originally posted by Gomer

    Think of it this way, you treat your patients/patient's family/co-workers/etc (customers) as you wish to be treated. This is nothing new, our health system has been practicing on-going customer service for the last 20 years.

    I work with people that complain about the needy people. The way I look at is, If someone is that needy, they are scared, lonely and need a little extra tlc. I would call this customer service. I've been asked why did you do that? My answer is, if I were here, and was going through the same thing, I wouldn't ask for a lot, but I would be very glad to have someone ask me if I needed it. Don't get me wrong, some times I get tired of running my hind end off, but it's rewarding in the end. I like to hear the family say when they leave, take good care of him/her. I always say I will and it's great when they say I know you will.

    I have also found that if you make a little extra effort to make someone comfortable, they might not ask for as much.
  4. by   angelac1978
    You know, I really don't buy the whole "the patient is our customer" business. IN the hospital I worked in, we weren't even supposed to call patients patients. The "proper" term was either customer or guest. Um, yeah, like its the ******* Hilton or something. The term customer, to me, gives the implication that said person has a choice in where they receive treatment. I don't know about anyone else's healthcare plans, but in mine, I am able to go to only one of the local hospitals and have to get prior approval to go to larger, metro-area hospitals. I do remember, though, having an hour long customer service session in our orientation in which the cust serv mgr handed out little badges that said "It's my pleasure!" that we were supposed to wear at all times. I think that thing is still somewhere at the bottom of my purse...

    A
  5. by   passing thru
    Here's another "customer service" situation that took place at my hospital last week.
    I came to work for the 7 P-7A shift. Got report. One patient was in " the process" of being discharged. Making initial rounds, the 70'ish patient was fully dressed and sitting in a chair in her room with two family members about her age who had arrived hours before to take her home.
    When I introduced myself and explained we were changing shifts;
    she looked at me with frustration in her voice and demeanor, and asked , ""Do you know WHEN I WILL GET TO
    GO HOME????? The doctor told me I could go home at 9:30 this morning.""
    It was about 7:30 PM. I asked her what was taking this long?
    She said the nurse had told her "one excuse after another, first, waiting for paperwork, waiting for wheelchair, waiting for a volunteer to take me down, waiting for my prescription, and waiting now for the paperwork to be finished."
    I told her I would check on it.
    I went out and ask the day nurse what was holding up this lady leaving, as she hadn't explained it in report. She said she "still had to finish the paperwork before the patient can go, and her prescription hasn't come up from pharmacy." I looked at the doctors' orders, told the day nurse, "I will finish the paperwork," gathered up the patients chart and "paper work."

    Called the pharmacy, yes the script..(eyedrops) was there and had been there for hours....told the pharmacist I'd be right down to get it.

    Went to patients room, said, "I understand that you are waiting for your eyedrops. Is there anything else that you need before you leave?? Do you know when you have to go back to see your doctor?"
    She replied, "Yes, I know when to go back to my doctor....I don't need anything else, just for someone to LET ME OUT OF HERE. "
    She & her family members were very "upset" to have waited over 9 hours to be "processed."
    I said, "Well, you can go now. I will take you down and we'll pick up your eye drops at the pharmacy on the way out."

    The three of them were in total disbelief. The above transaction took less than 5 minutes..... they actually ask: ""We can GO?""

    "What about yhe paperwork??" I told them I'd do it after they were gone, that I could get all the info I needed from the chart.
    She signed a discharge form and in one minute , we were out the door.. she did NOT want to wait for a volunteer, or a wheelchair..."they told me I HAD to wait for a wheelchair."
    In less than 5 minutes, the three of them were in their car.

    What is this situation about? Customer service and someone assuming responsibility. I was the first person (after the doc) these people had seen who assumed the authority to say, "You can go."

    (I've been doing this 20 years, if I'm not at the "top of my game now, WHEN will I be?")
    I'd like to see younger nurses assume more responsibility re: situations like this. The day nurses' perception of the "paperwork" was one of sheer drudgery. The discharge forms, also, in her view, had to have every t crossed and every i dotted, "before I can LET the patient go." And , she had made the patient wait > 9 hours while she shuffled the papers around.
    I see this a lot where I work. Some nurses seem to be on a power trip, "they can go home when I SAY THEY CAN GO HOME."

    I have my own "personal rule." I try to have every patient out within an hour of the doc saying they can go. I cross all the t's and dot the i's long after they are gone.
    These three people, regardless of the patients' care during her hospitalization , left our facility, NEVER wanting to be "held hostage" there again. The "customer service" was non-existent in their views.
    RN's have a lot of power & authority. For me, the buck stops with me. Once the doc discharges you, you are outa there. No volunteers, wheelchairs, pharmacy, paperwork, etc. is an obstacle to your leaving. I will personally facilitate your leaving ASAP, "within the hour."
  6. by   funnygirl_rn
    Originally posted by debRNo1
    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
    Saw the same movie too!! Do Doctor's see that video as well..just curious? Also, our hospital has sent nurses to the Disney Manners school...if paitents have complained about them being rude, not introducing theirselves, not knocking on their door, answering the phone & being impolite. Some of these same nurses have taken the "Manners" class 3x!!
  7. by   Repat
    Whew, so true passing thru (I think I remember saying that on another post!)! Anyway, I guess that's what I mean about being a professional - take responsibility. Make decisions. Be a facilitator, not an obstructor. What is it with some people? The surely do get into 'power trips', totally inappropriate for our profession. I had a patient call another nurse on our unit Nurse Ratchett because the patient could only do things the nurse's way, or not get things done at all. Some people need to step back and remember why they are there.
  8. by   babs_rn
    Originally posted by ceecel.dee


    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! [/B]


    I don't think anyone is disputing that. It's the whole "McDonald's Medicine" concept that has everyone screaming. Make the "customer" happy even if patient care must suffer along the way. Wait on everyone RIGHT NOW and don't make anyone wait just because you might have a trauma code on your hands. Enough is just e-damned-nough.
  9. by   redshiloh
    You know, I don't think the problem is that nurses resent customer service, it's just that staffing is so bad usually you don't have time for niceties.
    Most people get into nursing because they like people and want to help them. Unfortunately, the BUSINESS of medicine gets in the way.
  10. by   EmeraldNYL
    Originally posted by redshiloh
    You know, I don't think the problem is that nurses resent customer service, it's just that staffing is so bad usually you don't have time for niceties.
    Most people get into nursing because they like people and want to help them. Unfortunately, the BUSINESS of medicine gets in the way.
    EXACTLY!! You totally hit the nail on the head and said it waaay better than I could have.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Originally posted by babs_rn
    I don't think anyone is disputing that. It's the whole "McDonald's Medicine" concept that has everyone screaming. Make the "customer" happy even if patient care must suffer along the way. Wait on everyone RIGHT NOW and don't make anyone wait just because you might have a trauma code on your hands. Enough is just e-damned-nough.
    sorry dup post again!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 25, '03
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! You said what I did not say well. THIS is my peeve. I am not interested in being an "ambassador" of my hospital (or any)...but I AM INTERESTED in being an ambassador of sorts for NURSING...this does NOT mean I am a short-order cook, waitress, butler, custodian in addition to being an RN (which by itself keeps us busy and incorporates compassionate caring).

    If administration wants everyone happy (our customer base), quit spending big bucks on the latest wallpaper schemes and chrome faucets in all the bathrooms and HIRE US SOME HELP SO WE CAN ACCOMODATE people more.....That would be ok w/me!

    THIS is what I think burns some of us up as nurses when all the pressure is put on US to make EVERYONE happy--- no matter the cost to our patient care and our SELVES in the process. I don't like the feeling of having neglected ANYONE in the process of keeping my head above water during a crazy shift. I believe you can be a good customer service provider and compassionate, efficient professional w/o "bending over" for management in the process!
  13. by   moonshadeau
    Originally posted by passing thru

    (I've been doing this 20 years, if I'm not at the "top of my game now, WHEN will I be?")
    I'd like to see younger nurses assume more responsibility re: situations like this. The day nurses' perception of the "paperwork" was one of sheer drudgery. The discharge forms, also, in her view, had to have every t crossed and every i dotted, "before I can LET the patient go." And , she had made the patient wait > 9 hours while she shuffled the papers around.
    I see this a lot where I work. Some nurses seem to be on a power trip, "they can go home when I SAY THEY CAN GO HOME."

    I have my own "personal rule." I try to have every patient out within an hour of the doc saying they can go. I cross all the t's and dot the i's long after they are gone.
    These three people, regardless of the patients' care during her hospitalization , left our facility, NEVER wanting to be "held hostage" there again. The "customer service" was non-existent in their views.
    RN's have a lot of power & authority. For me, the buck stops with me. Once the doc discharges you, you are outa there. No volunteers, wheelchairs, pharmacy, paperwork, etc. is an obstacle to your leaving. I will personally facilitate your leaving ASAP, "within the hour."
    Passing thru-

    I agree with you on the fact that no patient should be made to wait nine hours on discharge. I am glad that you are able to get your patient out the door within the hour. In my facility I usually try to get them out the door from an hour to hour and half, or I tell them when I expect that they should be able to get out of here and we agree on a set time.

    I do take issue with your generalization of "I'd like to see younger nurses assume more responsibility re: situations like this. "

    It sounds that you have more of an issue with a particular nurse than with ALL younger nurses. I can assure you that younger nurses do take responsibilty when action is called for.

    Otherwise, it sounds like you are really doing a great job.

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