Why is the term client used instead of patient? - page 8

This may be a silly question, but I am in my first semester of nursing school. All my professors refer to patients as clients. Is there a reason why the term client is used instead of patient? ... Read More

  1. Visit  NurseJacqui profile page
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    It was explained to me that it is because we are providing " customer service" . I was always of the opinion that I was providing " care" not "service" If I wanted to work in the service industry, I would work in a hotel. Especially since where I work, most of our " clients" don't pay anyway. Nothing burns me up more when a " client" complains about " poor " service".
  2. Visit  fergus51 profile page
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    I think we would all agree that it's more the attitude and not the word that matters. I think those of us "in the trenches" just don't care too much if someone is a patient or client as long as they receive good nursing care. And I would bet the clients don't either... If you are disrespectful and use the word "client", you aren't being a good nurse. Same thing if you are disrespectful and use the term "patient". I'll happily work with any good nurse.

    My clients are not even old enough to speak, so I don't know if they care or not If I care for my babies well, my parents (the baby's parents) could probably care less if I am calling them clients or patients, or wearing white or prints (and I get a lot of compliments on the prints, makes the place more homey). I work with some of these parents for months, and I have never had a problem working WITH them. I think it's particularly important in the NICU because the babies are not mine, they are the parents' and I am not going home with them, so it's important that they are involved with all aspects of care.
  3. Visit  SmilingBluEyes profile page
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    Originally posted by fergus51
    I think we would all agree that it's more the attitude and not the word that matters. I think those of us "in the trenches" just don't care too much if someone is a patient or client as long as they receive good nursing care. And I would bet the clients don't either... If you are disrespectful and use the word "client", you aren't being a good nurse. Same thing if you are disrespectful and use the term "patient". I'll happily work with any good nurse.

    My clients are not even old enough to speak, so I don't know if they care or not If I care for my babies well, my parents (the baby's parents) could probably care less if I am calling them clients or patients, or wearing white or prints (and I get a lot of compliments on the prints, makes the place more homey). I work with some of these parents for months, and I have never had a problem working WITH them. I think it's particularly important in the NICU because the babies are not mine, they are the parents' and I am not going home with them, so it's important that they are involved with all aspects of care.
    good, solid common-sense thinking from outside the Ivory Towers. I like this post best.
  4. Visit  CarolineRn profile page
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    When i hear the word "client", i think of the Hair Club for Men commercials.
    LOL!!!! I am so glad I am not the only one who thinks this way!

    I don't like the term client. I've resisted it so much that when I was in Nursing school, when my texts used the word "client," I automatically inserted patient in my head. Did it so often, I think the letters actually spell patient!

    It was my very first nursing clinical instructor who turned me off to the phrase. She told us that it was admin's way to make nurses behave in a more "business-like" fashion.

    In essence, to me it's an attempt to de-personalize the nurse/patient relationship.
  5. Visit  Re-inventing me profile page
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    I'm inclinined to use the politically incorrect 'patients' just because I've done that so long--
    Don't like customer or client connotations.
    A local CSB uses "consumers", I could live with that!
  6. Visit  Medic946RN profile page
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    Ooooooh! That "client" or "customer" thing drives me crazy. A patient is someone in need of medical assistance for which I provide care. It is a special relationship. A client is someone who seeks service for fee. And it implies that they have the ability to shop around. Let me tell you something. If you're wheeled into my ED you get the nurse who is assigned to you. You don't get a menu from which to pick this ain't the Bunny Ranch. And a customer is someone looking for bargains at WalMart. After coming from a Paramedic background where anyone calling for you assistance was a "patient" and of course anyone who sees an MD is a patient, why on earth do we in nursing have to have "clients"? Almost gets me as much as some of the Nursing DX. Altered Gas Transport, No it's dyspnea! Whether you practice as a medic, nurse NP PA or Doctor it's all medicine! It would help if we were all on the same page. (RANT OVER, Medic946RN out.)
  7. Visit  CCU NRS profile page
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    When I started LVN school I asked my instructor why this term was used. He (BTW was an a-hole) explained that for years Doctors were like Gods and basically just swooped in and told Pts that this is this and that is the way it is and this is what we are going to do period. He said that the reasoning behind the word client was to make people feel and become more involved in their own care and to begin an era of teaching and bringing the level of medical education up so that clients will not feel that Doctors are just swooping in and telling them what is going to happen but that they participate in decsions and therefore become clients interactive vs patients subject to whatever they are told.

    Just the way it was explained to me.


    I have enever called a Pt a client except in the endless careplans I wrote. I usually call my Pts by their first name if that is ok or if they are an elder I use the obliigatory Mr or Mrs or Ms ad name etc.
  8. Visit  TennNurse profile page
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    Originally posted by CarolineRN:

    I don't like the term client. I've resisted it so much that when I was in Nursing school, when my texts used the word "client," I automatically inserted patient in my head. Did it so often, I think the letters actually spell patient!

    :roll :roll :roll

    Me, too!

    Aside from the fact that we've called them patients for years and I've never once had a patient ask to be called anything else, I was totally turned off of this word by one of my first instructors. She was rude, obnoxious, and blew spittle when she got really wound up over something. Whenever she said the word "client" in her condescending, horribly nasal whine, I'd immediately picture her in charge of one of those clinics you can go to for colon cleansing. ("Sir, will that be a Bare Necessity Flush?" "Yes, Ma'am, your usual, the Squeaky-Clean Undercarriage Deluxe, coming right up! Cash or charge?")

    Client, schmient. We are nurses. We take care of sick/injured/pregnant/dying patients, and I daresay most of them couldn't care less what label we attach to them as long as they recieve care that is competent, respectful, and professional. By demoting caring to a service rendered, we undermine what we do, and dismiss the human element that makes up the best part of nursing.

    Other than that, it's a fine word.
  9. Visit  tinnekke profile page
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    "I still believe we would appear more professional and would make progress towards the public becoming more aware of how few R.N.s are on duty AND that there is a distinction between the professional licensure of the staff. "

    There are so many ways I wanted to reply to this, all of them potentially inflammatory. I am an LPN, and I respect the hell out of my fellow nurses regardless of their licensure. Why? Because it takes a great deal of heart to work in this profession with some of the insanity we face on a daily basis. But I have had it UP TO HERE with RNs who think that they are the only nurses who matter. There are those who are fantastic and treat all nurses as colleagues, and they have my appreciation, but there are far too many who treat me like a glorified CNA because I am not an RN.

    In regards to the use of the word client, to me it seems more appropriate in the Home Care/Private Duty setting than in a hospital setting simply because of the more choice-based setup. However, regardless of what they are called, they are all people who look to us to provide them with the highest standard of care possible. Now this may be mitigated by those who refuse prescribed treatments or other things that would benefit them, and goodness knows I've encountered my share of that, but nevertheless, it is still our responsibility to make the options available to them even if they will be turned down flat. It's our dedication to these standards that marks us as professionals, not what degree we may have.
  10. Visit  judymai profile page
    0
    you say tomayto - I say tomahto

    The best question might be......does it matter what we "call" those we provide care for.

    As a nurse educator, the issue of client vs patient is frequently revisited in our faculty. Our decisions affect a large number of students (140 in both "years" of the program). I'm a great advocate for maintaining the terminology of "patient" since the majority of our clinical proctice is in the hospital setting.

    Our current decision is to use "patient" in written and most spoken communication with students while allowing faculty in the Community and Psych areas to use "client" in their teaching and clinical experiences.

    It is less important to me what we call individuals than how we assist them in reaching their optimal health.

  11. Visit  jingy profile page
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    Wait a minute! I'm still trying to conceptualize the unitary biopsychosocial aspects of sciencing when I operationalize thematic abstractions of interpersonal phenomena! Nursinglish is great!
  12. Visit  jingy profile page
    0
    Wait a minute! I'm still trying to conceptualize the unitary biopsychosocial aspects of sciencing when I operationalize thematic abstractions of interpersonal phenomena! Nursinglish is great!

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