Patient Satisfaction - page 2

I work in a small rural hospital. Although we get generally good ratings from patients and families regarding their care, we feel that we can do even better. I would like to know what some of you... Read More

  1. by   Mijourney
    Hi Willie. So, your hospital takes polls, huh? I've been told these polls or customer surveys are supposed to help the hospital or facility address quality. I'm still trying to figure out how one can combine profits, quality, and no staff.

    What is the board of directors and administration trying to do? See how long and hard they can work staff to "the quick" for excess profits and keep patients and physicians satisfied?

    Even though I'm in favor of being and working with happy nurses, I'm not convinced that happy nurses will necessarily improve the lot of patients. As previous posters have pointed out, and as a sign of our times, people come to the hospital with patronizing attitudes toward nursing staff, sometimes unintentional. It's as though we are indentured servants or slaves to their illness. Somewhere along the line, we need to be able to demand respect from the public with the necessary resources to back us.

    I've used the term client before. Mainly to denote that we nurses act as advocates for our patients. Is partners a better term? I think that nurses should expect more out of our patients then passive participation in their care. As a former bedside nurse in the hospital and now in home health, it can be overwhelming sometimes to receive a patient in the home that has no clue as to why they should be adherent to the prescribed treatment.

    [This message has been edited by Mijourney (edited April 28, 2001).]
  2. by   goldilocksrn
    This is all so true. At my hospital (CHW), there is a group of people called the circle of friends. They are people that have donated a substantial amount of $$ to the hospital, and are VIP's when admitted. They get a private room, and get their meals served with linen napkins. They know that they are VIP's too, because they want their call light answered before they push the button, and if the nurse is not there immediately, they send someone to the nurse's station to find out what is taking so long. I had the pleasure of taking care of one of them one day. I only lasted 2 hours, when I was replaced at the request of the patient's family. I was TOO MEAN. I merely told my boss that ALL my patients are special, and they couldn't understand that I had 5 other patients (on Dopamine,Cardizem, etc) and I had to take care of them too. The funny thing is, after about 3 days on my unit, they wanted me for the patient's nurse again, which I refused. My unit has lost 40% of the regular staff in 2 months due to poor treatment, and we were already short staffed. We now have OB nurses and travelers coming to our unit to work, and it is scary (This unit have post PTCA's, CABG's, drips) How do hospital's expect us to increase pt satisfaction? They don't; but they can blame the nurses for not doing enough to try and make us feel guilty. They can blame the nurse for knowing better when her patient dies because she is overworked or untrained to work where she does. This patient satisfaction thing is a game they play. They can blame the "nursing shortage" for low satisfaction,even though they caused it. So what do I do when my patients complain to me? I tell them to call the DON or the CEO (I give them their number), and make sure my patients tell them that the nurses aren't the problem. I think it is time to lay blame where it belongs.
  3. by   mustangsheba
    It's so easy - adequate staffing, respected nurses.
  4. by   cmggriff
    I am currently trying to develop my own CEO satisfaction quetionaire. Here is a sample. Please feel free to add to it as you see fit.
    1. Did I do or say something to make you think I care?
    2. During and after our little talk did you get the feeling you could kiss me somewhere below the belt and in back?
    3. When you instituted the RN go home if not too busy to eat and pee program, were you aware of my utter contempt and personal hatred for you?
    4. Do the annual bonus you get and hospital leased car you drive prevent you from feeling remorse about the loss of nursing staff due to poor working conditions and low pay?
    I feel this is a good start. Gary
  5. by   cmggriff
    I forgot my favorite.
    5. So?
  6. by   willie2001
    When I posted the inquiry about patient satisfaction, I was hoping to get some unique, innovative ideas that we could possibly put in to action in our facility. Instead I get alot of negative feedback, sarcasm and venting. Our hospital has all the same staffing problems, etc. that are so rampant in health care today. Some of us do try, as busy as we can, to provide that little extra TLC. It on days that I can provide that, that I feel the greatest amount of job satisfaction. I am very disappointed with the replies thus far. far.
  7. by   HotSpam
    Willie,

    Sorry for the negative feedback. In most hospitals employee satisfaction scraps the floor and patient satisfaction is adversly effected by it.

    Making the nurses happy to make the patients happy is a gimme. I really didn't think you could possibly be serious when you asked for ideas to help make patients more satisfied.

    Avoiding then, the main key to patient and employee satisfaction(staffing ratios), I will give you some more useful ideas. I warn you though, they read like a dimestore book of anecdotes.

    1. Make the patients and families feel involved in their care.

    2. Properly prepare them for discharge before discharge.

    3. Be prepared to actually discharge them when the order is received without making the family members stalk the nurse for an hour or more.

    4. Have a greeter come around at least every two days to see how satisfied the patient is with their stay (give this person a decent title so the patient believes them to be important).

    5. Allow coolers for those who frequently request more juice.

    6. Park a general runner with no training, but a pleasant demeanor, to do all the pillow fluffing, juice and cracker fetching, etc.

    7. Make sure the wheels on the IV poles work good so the patients can easily ambulate without feeling like they are at risk for an accident.

    8. Don't ever let on to the patient that you are understaffed. There is really no excuse for understaffing other than the hospital is being cheap. The illusion that nurses are not too busy ever needs to be maintained or the patient will feel unsafe, rightly.

    Hope this is more to your liking.

    HotSpam
    Lemme know if you want more - I got dozens.
  8. by   fergus51
    We can be a little cranky can't we? It's probably because we can all imagine being seen as glorified waitresses by the more difficult patients when we are already so busy anyways. Our hospital has all the same problems and the one thing that really helps is our volunteers. They do a wide range of things for nurses, patients and families from making baby blankets to palliative counselling. A good volunteer is a godsend.

    I would like to have the time to get patients snacks. But I also find that just listening to patients and giving a little extra time to them when possible helps a lot. A backrub here and there when things are slow goes a loooonnnnnggggg way.


    Originally posted by willie2001:
    <STRONG>When I posted the inquiry about patient satisfaction, I was hoping to get some unique, innovative ideas that we could possibly put in to action in our facility. Instead I get alot of negative feedback, sarcasm and venting. Our hospital has all the same staffing problems, etc. that are so rampant in health care today. Some of us do try, as busy as we can, to provide that little extra TLC. It on days that I can provide that, that I feel the greatest amount of job satisfaction. I am very disappointed with the replies thus far. far. </STRONG>
  9. by   leesonlpn
    Sounds like the big difference between hospitals in the USA and Canada is in the states, it is a business, in Canada it is a medical service. Doing all those extras like getting juice and pillows, telephones, car seats, brings to mind a medical stewardess. Nothing but non-nursing duties, which is why nurses are on strike in BC. Way too much work for not enough pay. The list of non-nursing duties outweighs the patient care. Our rooms are co-ed, patients are lucky to have a bed after waiting 4 hours, or even overnight on a hard stretcher in emerg, patients can pay for a private room, but if we need it for a queary MRSA positve patient, a dying patients, or a patients that is climbing out of bed etc, and disrupting other patients it is made clear to that paying private, they can be moved to a 4 bed as the need comes up.If patients get all those extras, and end up expecting them, they'll be raising their hands calling "waitress!" instead of nurse. Patient care is priority, pt and family teaching are important, everything else is well,... not on today's menu.
  10. by   goldilocksrn
    If you ask a "customer" in the hospital why they are not happy with their care, they will tell you that they feel that the staff doesn't care about their needs. The patients try and discuss their needs,feelings, fears, and the nurse has to run off to do his/her thousand other tasks. I guess we are angry because we don't understand why administration acts like it is so hard to grasp.
  11. by   Jason-ACNP
    "We can be a little cranky can't we? It's probably because we can all imagine being seen as glorified waitresses by the more difficult patients"

    Hey Fergus,

    It's NOT your imagination

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