Patients or Clients? | allnurses

Patients or Clients?

  1. 1 I got an interview today at a teaching hospital in a step down unit. They asked me if its better to call them clients instead of patients? Odd question. What do you guys think?
  2. Visit  mosaicism105 profile page

    About mosaicism105, BSN, RN

    mosaicism105 has '4' year(s) of experience. From 'Somewhere in SoCal'; Joined Aug '10; Posts: 198; Likes: 62.

    37 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Mom To 4 profile page
    5
    Personally, I despise calling them clients. However, when I am teaching clinicals I am supposed to teach students to say clients.
    VivaLasViejas, RNFiona, Esme12, and 2 others like this.
  4. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    8
    I call all my patients "patients". Especially in the hospital.
    VivaLasViejas, arl50, MauraRN, and 5 others like this.
  5. Visit  Spidey's mom profile page
    9
    I call them patients. I'm a rebel.
    VivaLasViejas, MauraRN, BrandonLPN, and 6 others like this.
  6. Visit  MunoRN profile page
    21
    They are patients. In a few settings, such as outpatient mental health, patient do prefer to be called clients, but for the most part patients find the term offensive if they have a view either way.

    This came from an ANA recommendation from one of their committees, they admit it wasn't very well thought out and they reversed their position then next time this committee was convened, but by then the damage was done, every Nursing school in the country had already latched onto it as the next big thing.

    There have been survey's on the topic, and not surprisingly, patients don't like the term because it implies that they are a participant in a financial or business relationship, rather than a participant in a therapeutic relationship which is what the term "patient" implies.

    As it turns out, patients like to feel like they are seen as someone needing care, rather than a billable source of cash.
    Jcat117, Marisette, workingharder, and 18 others like this.
  7. Visit  applewhitern profile page
    1
    When I was in nursing school in the 1980's, we had to call them "clients." I thought that everybody had changed it back to "patients?" I haven't heard anyone being called clients in a long time; we refer to them as patients at my current hospital.
    MauraRN likes this.
  8. Visit  That Guy profile page
    8
    Patients and victims (if trauma). Death to PC!
    joeb1, VivaLasViejas, PMFB-RN, and 5 others like this.
  9. Visit  elkpark profile page
    2
    I've been using "client" since I started in nursing in the early '80s. I'm in psych, which, in large part, has moved on from "client" to "consumer" (I flatly refuse to use "consumer" -- sounds like we're at Wal-Mart). I work in C&L, in the general hospital setting, and most everyone else uses "patient," but I still use "client."
    sharpeimom and MauraRN like this.
  10. Visit  RNperdiem profile page
    6
    I was taught "client" in school, but since then, I have picked up that:
    Hospitalized people=patients
    elective outpatient type stuff = clients
    people in long-term care = residents
  11. Visit  Been there,done that profile page
    2
    You're right, strange question.

    In the interview setting, the answer would be, how do refer to them here at XXX facility?

    Good luck , keep us posted.
    MauraRN and fetch like this.
  12. Visit  psu_213 profile page
    1
    That is an odd question....they may have asked it just to see your reaction to an odd ball question and to see how you handled a question you were not expecting. If that was the case, I'm pretty sure there is not a right or wrong answer, just a right or wrong rationale.

    Whatever the reason for asking the question, there is little doubt in my mind that, in the hospital setting, patients should be called patients.
    MauraRN likes this.
  13. Visit  LadyFree28 profile page
    2
    Quote from RNperdiem
    I was taught "client" in school, but since then, I have picked up that:
    Hospitalized people=patients
    elective outpatient type stuff = clients
    people in long-term care = residents
    This...

    In school, we were informed of the title of WHO we care for.

    When I called at one of my residents' (LTC) doctor appointment to see if they were on their way back, I said residents, the person thought I was talking about a doctor...I had to change it I patient.
    Fedila and MauraRN like this.
  14. Visit  Amnesty profile page
    3
    Quote from applewhitern
    When I was in nursing school in the 1980's, we had to call them "clients." I thought that everybody had changed it back to "patients?" I haven't heard anyone being called clients in a long time; we refer to them as patients at my current hospital.
    In nursing school now, I'm being taught that we should call them clients because client implies that the person has a stake in his/her own healthcare decisions while patient implies dependence and passive behavior (not my logic =P that's from a textbook). But at my hospital, we call them patients, and when I asked the professor about it in class, she said that there's definitely a shift back to calling them patients and that it's really up to each facility to decide. What is acceptable in one area of the country or one area of nursing may not be in others. Down where I live, people in the hospital would probably find "client" offputting, as it's more business-like and cold, whereas "patient" has that caring implication to it.
    OCNRN63, MauraRN, and applewhitern like this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and find your dream job.

Visit Our Sponsors
Top
close
close