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 in their mission statement or RN job description. For example, the performance review at one hospital rates nurses on customer service skills-- such as phone etiquette, meeting patients needs, and acting in a friendly and courteous manner.
I don't see nursing as a customer service profession. I think that my primary responsibility is to help patients get well, and if that means making them get out of bed when they don't want to, then so be it. I think the best nurses are nice yet firm at the same time. I don't think it's my job to coddle patients and give them whatever they want. What does everyone think about this-- is nursing a customer service profession?
Apr 23, '03
The hospital I work at is VERY into "customer service." We have even had a 4 HOUR class on customer service
I do what it takes to make my patients happy and comfortable, within reason, to help them heal. But we are providing care in a HOSPITAL, not the Four Seasons.
I am more than happy to help someone find the gift shop, cafeteria, etc. if I am not busy with my patients.
There is my $0.02....
Last edit by ?burntout on Apr 23, '03
Apr 23, '03
Food for thought:
With the big push on customer service and the ever increasing acuity of the pt. population. Why don't we let the nurses focus on providing health care and hire a separate waiting staff? This staff could attend to every whim the pt. or family members may have.
I am just kidding of course, the hospital admin. will never go for that, it would cost to much and why should they? They will just pressure the nuses to provide that kind of service while we also do the rest of our work.
Bedside nurses are expected to wear way to many hats and that is one the primary reasons I am trying get into an advance practice role ( crna) so I can focus on prmary care and not have to worry about also waiting on people non stop. I believe we should treat everyone with respect and be polite, but the new trend of customer service is out of hand.
I work in an ICU an have experienced the pt.'s and or family members getting aggrivated with me when I can't run to the bedside every time they want something. When I try to explain that the other pt I am responsible for is very critical at this point and I must be at his/her bedside in order to help them possible survive they sometimes get it and some times don't.
And while we are on the subject of improving customer satisfaction and it has become a national trend in every industry. I feel that it is good to a point, some industries really needed to improve in this area, however, I feel we are creating a spoiled culture who expects to be treated like a king or queen just because they are a customer. I see it every day in different ways. It is a entitlement attitude that allows them to rationalize being rude and nasty just because the service is not perfect. I have watched in area of business from fastfood to high end stores. We live in a fastfood culture, everything now and my way and if it is not, I can act anyway I want because I am the customer. What a crock of crap, where is the civilty and politeness in our society? Peoples expectations are out of hand in many cases and it is no where more prevalent than in healthcare, many feel if they can just get to the ER they will be fixed and if not they are ready to sue. I see it all the time, you know the types they are walking time bombs ( many under lying pathologies) but continue to not make any life style changes and then expect the doctors to fix them perfectly when they get to the hospital. Medicine is not a perfect science and we rarely can guarantee any outcome especially with really sick people.
Last edit by MICU RN on Apr 23, '03
Apr 23, '03
Originally posted by Furball
One of the best nurses in my ICU has the personality of plain tofu...if she were an EKG tracing it would be flatline, never up, never down....but man, if I were in the ICU crapping out I would rather have her at my bedside than "Ms/Mr personailty" anyday.
PS She's had a few complaints from pts families that she was cool, not mean or nasty....just cool
to them.....never mind that she saved their loved ones lives on several occassions...ridiculous!
I work with a lot of these types myself. And same thing. EXTREMELY COMPETENT but very flat.
It will take the hospitals getting more and more desperate for nurses before they realize we are NOT waitstaff/butlers/maids, etc. (they get a real bang for their buck, I would say, smart business even if you ARE screwing the nurses).
And even THEN, don't hold your breath, because before they beg for nurses back, they will beg, borrow or steal every last nurse they can grab up from other countries---- nurses who WILL put up the garbage and lousy pay on top of it. Yes, they will do that LONG before they will realize our value ANY time soon. So like it or not, like stated above, you are in the customer service business or you get out and find some other opportunity as a nurse. it won't change any time soon.
Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 23, '03