"Customer service" and nursing - page 4

I've seen a lot of people talk about 'customer service' in a disparaging manner, as if that is not what nursing is about and it's making their lives harder to provide it. Could someone explain... Read More

  1. by   LilPeanut
    No, she was reprimanded for never going back to talk to the original pt. That's where the issue was. No one asked for it to be done in the middle of the crisis, but afterwards, a small explanation can smooth a lot of things.

    And yes, there was no room for another table - two tables by the bedside, then my medical equipment, there was a small space on one side by which she could access me without needing to move things. You try living on your left side for a month, it's not that easy.

    I don't think that family disagreements never happen, but the attitude of many nurses can be setting everyone up for disagreement and therefore disappointment and frustration.
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Snickett
    I am very apalled at the responses I have read! It seems that most of the nurses here could care less about their patients or their families, but are more concerned with their own status and the "Cardiac in Bed 6." .
    If this is is what it seems to you, then you're not reading all of the posts in their entirety.

    My sincerest sympathy to you for your father. :icon_hug:
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from LilPeanut
    Also, customer service does not equal giving them everything they want.

    You wouldn't know that where i work....
  4. by   reesern63
    Quote from LilPeanut
    To use your example - your manager told you that after the other pt. was stabilized, you should have gone back to the first pt. and explained what happened. Why is that an unreasonable expectation?

    I have worked in retail and as a waitress, perhaps that's why I have a different perspective? Or maybe it's because I've been a long-term pt. in a hospital and know what it is like to be that pt. who is totally dependent?

    I'm sure the L&D nurses who floated to my unit hated me. I looked perfectly healthy, I was just on bedrest. But if I wanted a ho-ho or cupcake out of my "goody box", I needed someone to get it for me. I wasn't supposed to be doing any sort of exertion. And I needed the goodies and sweets - I was chronically underweight for an unknown reason, and I was actually following the nutritionist's recommendations, but most float nurses wouldn't have that in-depth of an understanding into my case.

    I think too many people forget what it is like to be on the other side of the bed.
    But what you wanted at that moment may not have been a priority for the nurse who was taking care of you. That's the problem; nurses can never win. If you're attending to one pt's needs, someone else is left waiting.
  5. by   time4meRN
    I'm am all for coustomer service, pt teaching , kind words, theraputic touch , all of those things. But, when hospitals look at markers as the end all of answers , there is a problem. The markers would be OK if pt. care were an exact science, but, it's not. There is a problem when you work hard give everything you have, and when you read the results of pres-gainy (?sp, because I really don't care anyway), they read such things as , the nurses are too fat, the ER was too hot, The ER was too cold, The ER was too busy, The nurses arn't busy enough, it took the "stupid "nurse 2 trys to get my IV., They I had to wait 1 hour for a dr to see me (the illness listed was a tooth ache), I only got 2 mg of" dilauda",I don't like the color of the paint. We hear so much about all of this but I have yet, to hear about pt. outcomes. For once I would like to hear about how an acs pt did or and abd pain that went to OR did, etc... To me that is more important than if the paint color is nice. It seems the companies that make these decisions have no idea what the work is actually like.
  6. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from LilPeanut
    No, she was reprimanded for never going back to talk to the original pt. That's where the issue was. No one asked for it to be done in the middle of the crisis, but afterwards, a small explanation can smooth a lot of things.
    If he forgot about the soup because of a patient crisis, patient workload, and lack of assistance, do you not see the problem? You can't expect your nurses to provide for ALL needs and than tie their hands by creating a work enviroment that does not facilitate the nurse. Nurses are as human as their patients and their families. I would rather a nurse forget to warm my soup than to forget something of a higher priority.
    And yes, there was no room for another table - two tables by the bedside, then my medical equipment, there was a small space on one side by which she could access me without needing to move things. You try living on your left side for a month, it's not that easy.
    Your the one that assumed the L&D nurses were annoyed with you. I stated I would have moved your "goody box" to a more convenient place, I did not make any remarks negating your situation. Had you communicated in the first place that it was not a possibility, I would have given a different response.
    I don't think that family disagreements never happen, but the attitude of many nurses can be setting everyone up for disagreement and therefore disappointment and frustration.
    Do you not think the enviroment the nurse works in impacts how they communicate? What people are trying to communicate is how "customer service" is not always conducive to the enviroment they work in. People are not in disagreement about the importance of communication.
  7. by   nrsang97
    I do not think that "Customer Service" has a place in nursing. I believe everyone in entitled to good nursing care. I am sorry if I offend the original poster but sometimes I am so sick of bending over backward to make some patients family happy.

    Sometimes I think we go WAY beyond common sense and have to bend over backward to please someone we will NEVER make happy.

    We had a experience recently on our ICU. We had a pt who was admitted Jan 26,07. Still inpatient. All problems started one night when the nurse asked the family to please go to the waiting room because the pt needed to be stabalized. The family was pissed that they were asked to leave at this time. So they put in a complaint to the manager and demanded that she not take the pt again. This was agreed upon by mgt. Another nurse had this pt and in the succeeding time let family stay and as did I except for bathing and changing. No issue with me at this time, but with the other nurse they had issues (I am not sure what). Again put in complaint to mgt. (not about me) and this nurse not allowed to have this pt. As time went on more and more staff were put onto this list for "frivilous" complaints. Like "Too many people to turn him making me feel like he was fat." The pt was a large man about 6'5" and 350 pounds. On nights took 2-3 staff to turn due to male staff able to help. On days many of the women are pettite so it would take more to turn him. We also had her complain that while cleaning him a RN lifted his leg and he winced. He was getting stiff so he was probably sore but we had to lift his leg so we could make sure we got all the stool off of him. Staff explained that and a complaint was written that she "Threw his leg up in the air and hurt him". We had it so one nurse couldn't work one whole side of the unit. The pt wife would say "nurse jane is looking at me and laughing at me" This would occur even when she wasn't on duty. Eventually mgt was getting pages from this woman at home. She was so "Out of control" due to our inability to set limits with her due to "Customer service". Her son threatened a nurse that answered a call light saying "You have abused my father by having his trach too tight and he can't defend himself but I can defend him. I have taken on guys bigger than you." Due to all the problems with the family we had to transfer the pt to another ICU. I didn't have a problem taking care of this pt, but I was never sure what would put me on the "List". At one point half the floor was on the list. I understand that the family was having control and coping issues. I am empatheic and sympathetic to that. But we definately needed to set limits. It was to the point that no one wanted to have this pt but becasue of the family.

    The OP works in a different department than most. Most of us on this thread work with adults. Adults as patients and family aren't always reasonable when it comes to explaining that someone else needs me more at the moment. I have also had to explain to famlies that I couldn't get to them right away, there was a emergency with another pt. Sometimes they understand and sometimes they don't. Usually they do, but there are going to be the unreasonable ones that we run into. I had a pt that I was late with her pain meds and was there to give them. I came in and said "I am here with your pain meds. I am sorry I had tried to get in here a few minutes ago and I had to go see a pt having a emergency." I was told by the pt "I am having a emergency I HAVE ABD PAIN". She was pissed that I was taking care of someone with chest pain and not her belly pain from a skin abscess.

    I am so fed up with customer service and the customer is always right crap. Not true in the hospital. You are there to GET BETTER not have a blast. People need to remember that the hospital is just what it is, a hospital not a hotel.

    I am all about making the paitnet comfortable and quality care. I should not have to worry about the fact someones soup isn't warm enough when I am caring for a critical pt.

    I have been on the other side of the bed and no it wasn't a good experience. I had to wait 1 1/2 hours to see a RN when I was having chest pain since the RN who was assigned to me was in a STAFF MEETING. I am sorry but I should have been the priority. Was I pissed? Yes I was. I didn't make some huge fromal complaint though I could have.

    Yeah this customer service bull cakka gets to me. A patient is a patinet not a customer/consumer.
  8. by   CRNI-ICU20
    Customer Service......
    Work smarter not harder.....
    Setting higher benchmarks....
    Raising the bar....


    Sounds alot more like Madison Ave. advertizing to me, and alot LESS about taking care of the patient.
    Here's what I think management, CEO's, Hospital Associations, etc need to get through their little pea brains:
    1) Hospitals are for the sick and injured, not for the 16 family members who come to camp out in the waiting room demanding the nurses and other staff meet THEIR needs, including babysitting their children, providing blankets and pillows, food from the patients' refrigerator, vouchers for a ride home, and free medical advice.

    Here is what I would like to say to the family members:
    "EVERYTIME YOU CALL ME ON THE PHONE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT GRANDMA, THAT IS TEN MINS. I AM AWAY FROM HER BEDSIDE.....IF ALL TEN OF YOU CALL, THAT IS 100 MINS. I AM NOT AT YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S BEDSIDE.....
    WE ARE NOT A HOTEL. WE DO NOT PROVIDE FREE SERVICES FOR YOU AND YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY. WE DON'T MIND IF YOU VISIT. BUT KEEP THE VISITS SHORT. GRANDMA NEEDS HER REST, NOT A GAME OF SCRABBLE AND FIVE GRANDCHILDREN COUGHING AND SNORKING ALL OVER HER AND HER BED.
    THE FLOOR IN THE ICU IS NOT CLEAN....PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CHILDREN, OR YOURSELVES TO SIT, PLAY, ROLL AROUND, OR OTHERWISE COME IN CONTACT WITH IT....AN HOUR AGO, YOUR GRANDMOTHER LAUNCHED HER LUNCH RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE SITTING, AND GOD ONLY KNOWS WHERE THAT FLOOR HAS BEEN!
    WHEN WE TELL YOU TO TURN OFF YOUR CELLPHONES, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE MEAN.....PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS REQUEST....THE NEXT CELLPHONE THAT RINGS WHILE AT THE BEDSIDE OF A SICK OR INJURED PATIENT IN THE ICU WILL BE CONFISCATED, AND WILL NOT BE RETURNED UNTIL THE PATIENT IS EITHER DISCHARGED OR DIES, WHICH EVER COMES FIRST!
    THE HOSPITAL IS NOT YOUR SECOND HOME. IT IS NOT A VACATION DESTINATION. IT IS NOT YOUR NEW HANG-OUT OR PLACE TO FIND A DATE!
    THE HOSPITAL IS A PLACE FOR INJURED AND SICK PEOPLE TO HOPEFULLY REJUVENATE AND HEAL.
    IF IT IS PAST VISITING HOURS, GO HOME.

    Now...if this sounds "UN-CUSTOMER" LIKE...it probably is....but PATIENT FAMILY MEMBERS ARE NOT THE CUSTOMER....HELLOOOO!
    I have no problem getting a warm blanket for my patient...THE CUSTOMER....I have no problem being courteous and friendly and helpful to the patient....but I AM NOT A STEWARDESS, A WAITRESS, OR A HOSTESS....I am a nurse...
    What part of that customer service definition are you getting confused on????
    None of us here would balk at doing what ever we could do to help our patients...
    Many of us will walk lots of extra miles just for them....it's their crazy as a bat families that drive us up the wall....
    Sometimes, a few patients have the mistaken belief that they have just checked in to the Hilton, and are confused when they ring their bell....
    They believe that we are bellhops....concierge service providers....
    I am insulted when a hospital management system promotes this idea in their words, in their advertizing, in their 'special services'.....we are not a day spa! To blur the boundaries of this makes it not only harder for nurses to do their intended job, but it also confuses patients and families about who we REALLY are....
    Strong boundary setting seems to work really well for me when I admit a patient to the ICU with 15 family members all fighting for position to be the alpha-spokesperson.
    I tell them up front that I will take one phone call from the spokesperson every four hours for 10 min.... If they call more often than that, I will not accommodate them, as I will be busy at the bedside of their loved one and the other patient/s in my care. I tell them we are closed for one hour each end of our shift, and that they are not allowed in the unit at that time, for bedside report. I also tell them that no loud arguing or infighting will be tolerated, either with nurses, doctors, or each other, and that they can expect to escorted off the property either by hosp. security, or the police.
    Once they understand The Rules, in most instances, they are appreciative and glad that a take charge person is at the bedside of their loved one.
    My patients don't complain about my care....
    Some of the family members come in with a chip on their shoulders, and are looking for a scuffle with someone....when they realize that it is no longer about them, they either leave, or comply....
    I think this is the best customer service I can give my patient....REST!
    If any CEO disagrees, I invite them to come and spend a week in the ICU where they are wakened at every hour and have every possible test with every possible tube in every possible orifice in them.....then maybe the idea of REST will finally sink in.
  9. by   LilPeanut
    I would argue that since a pt. has a family, and as nurses we look at the whole pt., including their psychosocial needs, that the patient is the family as well. That's how we're trained at my children's hospital. You cannot separate the person from their family and it's easier and better to work with them and not against them.
  10. by   VAC
    CRNI-ICU 20 You said it all!!!

    I would love to be able to have mgmt back up the limits you wrote about.

    LilPeanut, A lot of unrealistic theorys can be taught that would be lovely if we were STAFFED to devote that much time to the families. REALITY CHECK we are staffed according to our PATIENTS not according to their families, therefore we have to prioritize care, and the family CANNOT always be the priority.,
  11. by   TazziRN
    Peanut, none of us are arguing that the family is part of the pt, but when they get in the way of pt care, they become separate from the pt.
  12. by   NurseguyFL
    Quote from LilPeanut
    To use your example - your manager told you that after the other pt. was stabilized, you should have gone back to the first pt. and explained what happened. Why is that an unreasonable expectation?

    I have worked in retail and as a waitress, perhaps that's why I have a different perspective? Or maybe it's because I've been a long-term pt. in a hospital and know what it is like to be that pt. who is totally dependent?

    I'm sure the L&D nurses who floated to my unit hated me. I looked perfectly healthy, I was just on bedrest. But if I wanted a ho-ho or cupcake out of my "goody box", I needed someone to get it for me. I wasn't supposed to be doing any sort of exertion. And I needed the goodies and sweets - I was chronically underweight for an unknown reason, and I was actually following the nutritionist's recommendations, but most float nurses wouldn't have that in-depth of an understanding into my case.

    I think too many people forget what it is like to be on the other side of the bed.
    I don't think you get the picture. It doesn't matter who is on what side of the bed. Priorities are priorities. Going back to warm up a bowl of soup for a stable patient is not a nursing priority when you have an emergency bleed going on and you're on the phone with the surgeon and trying to keep the families updated, and rushing around to prep and take your patient back to the OR, plus documenting the incident.

    I don't neglect any of my patients on purpose, but I am not going to run around like a crazy trying to be super nurse and end up making serious mistakes and burning myself out. I try to work in an organized way, and I always prioritize care from the most important thing to least. I don't mind warming up food for my patients, but, again, warming up food is not a nursing priority when you've got other more important issues going on. I wouldn't even have mentioned the soup incident, except for the fact that the patient's wife could also just as easily have walked to the microwave down the hall and warmed up the soup herself. It wasn't like she couldn't see us rushing into the other room to try to stabilize the bleeding patient, and it wasn't that I DIDN'T go back to explain why I did not come back earlier to warm up the soup. It was her attitude that got me, as if I was supposed to stop everything else and warm up her husband's soup. Well, well, well... maybe I'm a terrible nurse but I will not EVER prioritize one patient's satisfaction over another patient's safety.
  13. by   NurseguyFL
    Hey, Tweety,

    Did John Meyer really say that?

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