Patient or Client??? Which do you say?

  1. I am in nursing school...our instructors and our books refer to patients as clients. We've had long discussions with differing views as to which is correct. Which do you say?
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  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    my bosses use clients.
    i always say patients.
    they are there for healing, not room service.

    leslie
  4. by   donsterRN
    I agree; "client" is so impersonal, although the textbooks all use it. My instructors, bless their hearts, use "patient". I do, too.
  5. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Profs in nursing school always used "clients" but I disagreed with it. If you are sick, you are sick or injured you are my patient. I am there to help you get better, not wait on you hand & foot. Plus, customer service & the customer is always right does not always work in health care. If I worked for a medical device company trying to sell them a new brand of glucometer or wheelchair then they would be my client.



    Quote from earle58
    my bosses use clients.
    i always say patients.
    they are there for healing, not room service.

    leslie
  6. by   rn-jane
    I remember in nursing school they always said clients. I call them patients, and our hospital does too.
  7. by   caliotter3
    I was taught in school to use client. We were told that the word patient can be construed as derogatory b/c it implies that the sick person is supposed to lie in bed and be "patient" about their care, passive. It was stressed that the use of the word "client" demonstrated the view that patients are "clients" of the health care system or consumers of health care, our facility, and that they have the right to take their health care money elsewhere if we do not meet their expectations (taking into account that ER visitors don't always get to choose which ER they end up at). While I was in school we were told that we were to meet the client's needs but nobody insinuated that we were to wait on anyone hand and foot.

    An employer that I've been with for several years mandated that we use the word client in our charting. I've developed the habit from working for this employer. Only occasionally do I use the word patient.
  8. by   vnsam
    When I become a patient, I don't want to be viewed as a client
  9. by   woody62
    When I worked in the hospitasl, they were my patients. When I did case management, they were my clients. While some of my responsibilities included those of a nurse, they also included being a vocational counselor.

    Woody
  10. by   caliotter3
    Another way of looking at it, from the personal side. When I was unavoidably getting health care without health insurance, and paying for it, thousands of dollars that I did not really have to be wasting, I was very conscious of the kind of care I was receiving. So, yes, one should at least consider giving value back for value received. When you're paying thousands of dollars out of your own pocket, you deserve your money's worth. That makes you a client.
  11. by   Conrad283
    The word client has become more and more prevelant because hospital admin's have turned it into a business and thus they are putting the dollar in their pockets.

    I call them patients. Because that's what they are.
  12. by   ElvishDNP
    I say patient.
  13. by   KJB_65
    They are patients. They will always be patients. You will never here the word client come out of my mouth when referring to someone I am caring for. It's ridiculous and I don't want to be referred to as a client by anyone who cares for me. Its impersonal and oohhh......I have to stop now. This new trend ticks me off.
  14. by   EmmaG
    Until I get to bill them separately for the care I provide, they're patients.

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