SO... Things are more different every day than when I started nursing over ten years ago. The advances and technology I can flow with. Some other things not so well. I have worked ICU, LTAC, Med/Surg, Peds, Oncology, Float, and PACU. No matter what the area, this customer service push follows you every where!
I have always understood that the patient is your customer, and you just cant be flat out rude or nasty, however, when did it become routine every day acceptable for the patient, their wife, and their aunts third cousin to be rude, and right out nasty to the nurse?! People more and more feel like they can do or say whatever they want in the hospital. Like basic rules of courtesy do not apply if you are their healthcare professional.
My hospital had a big customer service push with classes a few years ago, which basically was all about how to lie and be fake. This is above and beyond keeping your personal troubles at home, and giving your best to your patients. I currently have two jobs, PACU (because i love it), and LTAC for the money. If there is a problem or any type of complaint no matter where you are, you are done for.
Recently in our PACU a comment card from a patient angry that he was aroused and told to breath was taken seriously and a discussion was had with the management. At what point does this junk stop? At what point does customer satisfaction overpower safety? At what point will someone understand that the impression this junk is giving nurses is that we dont matter, and if someone spits on me I should thank them for it?? HCAPS = Burnout!
I was kicked by an a & o pt last week. I had it, and politely told him i wouldnt go to where he works and kick him, and expected the same level of respect in my work environment. Did not go over well.
HCAPS and the government and the Joint stressing the satisfaction issues simply makes this worse. People making decisions about this stuff arent the ones getting screamed at, insulted, and belittled. Politely educating your patient family member who read how to flush a line on the internet and doesnt know what they are talking about will get you fried. Telling an alert pacu patient they cant scream and curse when there is a 3 yr old in the next bay will get you fried. Telling a family member in the waiting room they cant come to recovery while you are extubating their wife will get you in trouble. Following pplicy will get you in trouble as soon as someone decides to complain they dont like the policy.
Anyways, can you tell I am frustrated? I like patient education, rights, and good customer service, but how ridiculous will this continue to get? I just need to hurry up and hit the Mega Millions. . . .
Apr 16, '11
This has been my issue with nursing since I became a nurse. Drives me bonkers! I'm done....I've set my self up enought that if they feel like firing me for doing what needs to be done then so be it.
I think patient surveys are good, I like feed back on my care and really I didn't mind the customer service classes either. I think they helped me dissolve some issues before they started BUT I draw the line at ignorant disrespect and giving good patient care.
I've made people do the things that were good for them and had my manager tell me I could have been nicer to them to get them to do it.....uh, hello, if that were the case the patient would have done what I asked the 1st time I explained why we had to do it now.
One day I'd had it and I went off on a woman who had been cursing me out all day....I don't know why, I've had people say the same things to me before, but for some reason that day I'd had it and I went off on the patient. I didn't curse or be petty back, but I did tell her that she was impatient, a waste of my time, and that I had sicker patients that actually needed my help. I shoved the chart into my Charge RN's hands and told her I wasn't stepping into that room again for any reason. Later I hear my Charge RN trying to do 'patient satisfaction recovery' with this patient and she told the patient that I went off on her because I'm "kinda crazy". Oh yeah that was great, don't let the patient know that she was at least some of the issue AND then indicate to the patient that our hospital hires incompetent, crazy nurses. That sure recovered the patients satisfaction, huh? Eh, I'm done. I've been actively looking for work out of nursing for 2 years and I've only been a nurse for 3! I'm going to massage school and have a part time job serving coffee at a book store. I love caring for people and I think some customer service is really called for in the hospital setting (more along the lines of the education we give and the time it takes for us to answer a call light), but I refuse to be 'nice nurse' when a patient really needs to do something for their health but doesn't because it's 'uncomfortable'. I won't let them do that. I get in trouble for doing the good thing for the patient and the wrong thing for the patient so I might as well make the patient do whats best for them and get b*t*ch*d at about it later.
Last edit by KalipsoRed on Apr 16, '11
Apr 16, '11
Hate to say it, but when the government dictates how to raise your kids, (or your healthcare for that matter, but that's another rant), whether you're allowed to swat them on the butt when they're being disrespectful towards you or another adult, is at the root of a lot of it.
People are too scared to do a proper job of raising their children and once these kids get through the years of excuses and being let off the hook, or receiving counseling, they suddenly turn 17 or 18 and are thrown in jail, absolutely amazed they're being taken to such a place (which of course, all good tax paying citizens get to pay for, as well). There's an RN in Tucson that was raped in the middle of 2 boys robbing her (aged 16 and 17as she left work). They get to go to the minor's unit at the corrections facility and they will see very little jail time and be allowed to have it removed from their records, once they make it to adulthood. Can you imagine the fear, horror, and just plain embarrassment of being robbed and then raped by 2 violent kids???
And society's dependence upon social programs?? All the welfare moms out there, purposely breeding more, to suck off the teat of the governmental handouts, makes me sick....sick, angry, and sad. I understand some need help, but when the number of average working citizens is far outnumbered by greedy, selfish people that refuse to work?? (Yes, I understand that in today's current economic situations, the government and the economy has made it to where really is no choice for many.....But when the people of a government rely on that government for a majority of their goods, services, etc---when they are not allowed or expected, to be responsible for their own lives and are also required to fall in line like good little sheep, there's no future in it, unless something drastic happens).
Instant gratification and self entitlement is a twisted, greedy, and evil thing. Anyway, I'm getting revved up for a long speech on the soapbox, so I'll step down now. This is all just my opinion, of course.
Quote from Chin up
First off, I hear you and I feel you. I absolutely, honestly do. Really. But, the problem is not "customer service." There are a few larger underlying issues, which are causing us to blame, "customer service". Two main ones that come to mind, and I know others could bring up more. Lack of civility, lack of manners and lack of respect. This is an issue in our country. People don't have manners anymore. People are not teaching manners, respect and civility any more. Grown folks who know better, choose not to act decently to others in all spheres of life. Growing up in the sixties, respect to authority, elders, and public servants as well as to your neighbor were stressed. They were not only stressed, but there were consequences when we were rude or disrespectful. Today, this is not considered important. Our "rights" are supreme and "who gives a damn, about yours?" have become a "motto" to many. Sadly, this trend has been growing in the last two decades, with increasing normality. The elderly, the police, woman and even how adults treat young children, are increasingly becoming more hostile. The state of affairs in our country regarding "others first" are dismal and in some areas, nil and void. The second thing that comes to mind is lack of common sense and professionalism. Good managers are hard to find. And when you take into account the first issue," lack of manners and respect", you see this exacerbates lack of common sense. These folks who make policy and the ones implementing policy, are a part of our culture that does not see manners and respect as necessary for democracy to work. They too, just like the rest of the population, do not see, manners and decency as a requirement for making these policy's work. So to get back to what you were saying, yes, people are rude, angry and really can give a rats behind, to how hard you are working. Instead, all they care about is self. They don't care you are a hard working loving mother, trying to feed your family. They only see that they hurt, and you better fix it. This is an example of lack of civility and lack of love for neighbor. People are blinded by, love of self and self entitlement. But then you add in, the manager, who lacks the common sense to see, customer service does not mean being a doormat, or begging to be pushed, kicked and abused. Because these same managers, too lack respect and manners, they see nothing wrong, with said behavior. So they tell you to do it better, missing the whole point. Until we as a nation, get back to civility, respect and manners, these instances will continue in every sphere of our lives. How can a patient, who is lost in self, with no proclivity to decency, be decent to you? And how can management, who too are lost in self, understand and or try to fix a problem they have no idea even exist?
Last edit by greenfiremajick on Apr 16, '11