Nursing as a customer service profession? - page 4

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   live4today
    Just my heartfelt two-cents and then I'll mosey onward.

    In all of life...whether professionally or personally speaking...it's common courtesy to be polite and respectful. Having said that, I was raised to be a "nice girl"...then life ran me over with a double mac truck...life happened in a mean way for years for me...but in spite of it all...I came out shining on top because I never compromised those valuable lessons I learned about "Doing unto others as I would have others to do unto me." I take these lessons to my daily work environment. I don't see myself as a maid, therefore, no one else can MAKE me be something I know I am not. My own perception of myself is all that matters. If I do for someone...patient or nonpatient...I do it from the goodness of my heart.....to poop with what the Admins may write about "customer service". I KNOW HOW TO BEHAVE...on and off work.

    It didn't take becoming a nurse to know how to morally and respectfully behave, nor did it take becoming a nurse to learn how to serve mankind without forgetting about serving my own needs in the process.

    I give the best of myself no matter what. How that is viewed is not my problem. As long as I know that I am giving my very best to life's day to day contact with others, I can say "well done" at the end of the day.

    It's not what others write for us as nurses to do when it comes to the treatment of patients we care for...it's about what we live in our walk as nurses when it comes to the treatment of others...patients or not.
  2. by   betts
    passing thru,

    What I've got posted at the nurses station:

    This is the story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody:

    There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry with that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody, when Nobody did what Anybody could of done.
  3. by   zudy
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    Just my heartfelt two-cents and then I'll mosey onward.

    In all of life...whether professionally or personally speaking...it's common courtesy to be polite and respectful. Having said that, I was raised to be a "nice girl"...then life ran me over with a double mac truck...life happened in a mean way for years for me...but in spite of it all...I came out shining on top because I never compromised those valuable lessons I learned about "Doing unto others as I would have others to do unto me." I take these lessons to my daily work environment. I don't see myself as a maid, therefore, no one else can MAKE me be something I know I am not. My own perception of myself is all that matters. If I do for someone...patient or nonpatient...I do it from the goodness of my heart.....to poop with what the Admins may write about "customer service". I KNOW HOW TO BEHAVE...on and off work.

    It didn't take becoming a nurse to know how to morally and respectfully behave, nor did it take becoming a nurse to learn how to serve mankind without forgetting about serving my own needs in the process.

    I give the best of myself no matter what. How that is viewed is not my problem. As long as I know that I am giving my very best to life's day to day contact with others, I can say "well done" at the end of the day.

    It's not what others write for us as nurses to do when it comes to the treatment of patients we care for...it's about what we live in our walk as nurses when it comes to the treatment of others...patients or not.

    As always, cheerfuldoer, so well put. I hope that I, too, will always give the best of myself, on or off the clock.
    I also had to go to the lecture where the man and dog were hurt. The person giving the lecture wondered out loud,"Why don't they make ER's more like Disney World?" (What he meant was, all smiles, happy greetings, etc.) Trying to explain a busy Trauma 1 ED to ppl like this is like trying to teach a pig to whistle, it wears you out and it annoys the pig. So, be good to your pts, be good to yourself.
  4. by   BrandyBSN
    Originally posted by EmeraldNYL
    Excellent post, I totally agree. I feel it's important to treat all patients and their families with dignity and respect, but where do you draw the line when they have such a sense of entitlement and think the hospital is really the Hilton? How do you experienced nurses out there deal with overly demanding/needy patients? What do you do when a patient or one of their family members complains about you to administration?

    Exactly. What do you do? Smile, be cheerful... One of my coworkers has a pin she wears that says "I'm a nurse, im here to save your a$$ not kiss it). I am ALWAYS nice and courteous, but I refuse to cater to the whims of patients families. If they ask me for a soda, or something to eat, I show them a map and point out where the soda/snack machine is... I feel I stand up pretty good at the end of the day and rarely feel pushed.

    However, at the end of other days, I feel like just getting a note and taking their orders. It makes it easier.


    Would you Like Fries with That?
  5. by   Puffie
    I've been in nursing for more than 40 years. I remember when nurses were allowed to be nurses and provide nursing care to their patients. I've also been a waitress on the side and a hostess. Now a days my nursing role consists mostly of being a waitress and a hostess to my patient while they quote nursing care advise given them in the local restraunte or hotel.
    I don't feel that it is my legal, professional, nor ethical duty to be "best friends" with my patients as I let them continue to harm not only their own body's but often the bodies of those around them. When did nurse begin to be spelled ENABLER!
    Last edit by Puffie on May 2, '03
  6. by   udontwannabme
    We have one nurse where I work, I like her alot, she does a good job, but she speaks her mind and tells the pt how it is. She is very close to being fired, for so many pt complaints because she isn't as nice as the other nurses. I really can't understand this, because the last time she was wrote up, the pt told her that he could get any one fired, and the only thing she did wrong was tell the guy that he couldn't go out to smoke! (drs orders) Thing was he could have gone out on his own, but he was a copd'er and wanted to be taken out in a wheel chair!!!! But since she had a complaint the supervisior told her to keep her job she had to go to anger management. We are so big on customer service, that no matter what the pt is right. It really makes me sick.

    Go figure, I would hate to think that I did everything I could, but the pt didn't like my looks and complained that I didn't smile or something, and then I would have to go to anger management.
  7. by   nrw350
    I think that there is a very fine line between customer service and showing common decency and curteousy that should be shown to all no matter what. Yes I agree nurses should be kind and polite to patients, but not to the point that would allow the patients over-ride the doctor's orders for treatment and care. A nurse is not to sugar-coat things, or give mis-leading information either.

    Quote: "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"." -- moonshadeau

    Same thing that I am thinking..... it is not really customer service but just the decency towards our fellow human beings.

    Sorry for the ramblings..... in my head I understand my feelings, but I can not put them into adequate words.

    Please someone help lol.
  8. by   Ellen
    I get concerned about the importance placed on the statistics of Patient satisfaction. Every monthly staff mtg we look at our current 'ratings' - percentages of satisfaction - sometimes based on as few as 23 responses to a patient satisfaction survey!
    It really bothers me when I am telling my Nurse Manager about a Nursing Assistant I feel could be dangerous but she doesn't tell me to write her up until I say a patient complained. The concern is too much patient satisfaction and NOT patient safety issues!
    I have found it's mostly the family members that cause the most problems, not the patients. With lawyers on TV telling them how unsafe medical care can be, the general public is showing a general loss of respect to healthcare personnel. Waving the threat of lawsuits over our heads at every turn. I recently had a patient call his lawyer about signing the consent to GET blood! Malpractice has touched our profession in soooo many ways !
  9. by   moonshadeau
    Plus, I wonder if there is any correlation with customer service and being named in a lawsuit.

    For example, a negative outcome occurs to a patient but the nurse provided above and beyond superior customer service, would the patient be as likely to name the nurse in the lawsuit if they were happy with the nurse but not the hospital,doctor,etc.

    I don't know of any solid proof whether this would be true or not, but who knows in this age of lawsuit happy clients.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Ahhh, interesting point, moonshadeau....we were taught in nursing school ( I grad in 1997) that the NICER you were perceived to be by your client and his/her family, the LESS chance of being sued. She quoted some study showing this. So I believe there IS something to this. Still, I agree with the above adage:

    I am here to save your ***, not kiss it.

    But I DO treat EVERY patient as if she were potentially MY family member. How is that? With respect, courtesy and COMPETENCE (most important to me). The person I am caring for is a HUMAN to me, not a room number. IF THAT IS customer service, then well so be it. I am in the business. But NOT of kissing butts. It is how I have always practiced and always will.
  11. by   udontwannabme
    If a pt complains about me, I would be written up, but under no curcumstances am I allowed to complain about a pt being rude, abusive, or just down right mean.

    I try to treat every pt with respect, and treat them like they are a family member. Most of the time if I get a really crabby pt, I give them a little extra tlc. So far no complaints, but you never know.

    We were told by the sup that remember customer service when on the phone, Even with the new HIPPA laws, I guess some one wouldn't give out information about a pt being discharged and some one complained. The sup told us to remeber "customer service"!! I'll bet the world that if anyone came back on the law, that we would be at fault and be paying $$$ for the fines!! Go figure?

    I think of customer service as returning things, getting help with something, and things like that. What we do at the hospital is CARE!!! If everyone cared for their pt, then who cares about customer service!
  12. by   kitty=^..^=cat
    There have been several studies linking malpractice claims with customer service. There's one I'll try to find and post a link to, that specifically addresses physicians, the amount of time they spend with their patients, their "bedside manner" and malpractice claims. The relationship is very clear.

    I've seen several others in print journals, but I'm not sure if they're available online. If you're interested, you might check with your hospital's quality department. The folks there should have articles available.
  13. by   Vailgang
    One of my doctors was doing rounds on a patient and she had had surgery several days prior and most of our patients only stay one day. Anyway, he told the patient you need to go home, this isn't the hilton. It was so funny. :chuckle

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