Patient Care And Customer Service Are Not The Same! - page 2

by TheCommuter Senior Moderator | 15,348 Views | 34 Comments

Patient care and customer service might seem interchangeable to healthcare administrators and members of the public, but they are most certainly not the same. If nurses ignore the differences between the two practices, the... Read More


  1. 3
    The patients who receive (in my opinion) the worst care are the ones who are unable to make their needs known. They are the patients that are eventually gotten to. These are the patients who need a family member at the bedside who will advocate for them and also when there is family there the nurse will get into that room for care or to check up on the patient more frequently. Often the patient who needs the least amount of care gets the most. It is what it is and sometimes it plain stinks.
  2. 12
    Quote from Cold Stethoscope
    However, it is not up to the nursing staff to provide all that great, non-medical customer care. It is up to the hospital. It does not take an RN to bring someone a magazine or to ensure that the meals are nutritious and edible. That is something the MBAs who seem to be most concerned with cutting every possible corner should figure out.
    Actually, the increased focus on non-medical customer service in healthcare facilities would not be problematic if the powers that be were willing to hire hospitality staff or attendants to wait on patients from head to toe by serving meals, transporting people outside to smoke, collecting menus, fetching sodas and snacks, fluffing pillows, dealing with cable TV issues, warming towels, providing prompt room service, and so forth.

    However, we all know this will not happen. The main responsibility for providing this non-medical customer service falls squarely upon the shoulders of nursing staff. Why pay two employees if you can get one person to do multiple jobs?
    Carefreeliving, Jessy_RN, mc3, and 9 others like this.
  3. 2
    Quote from needshaldol
    As for the person who said the competition is the issue, I disagree. Anyone who has medicare or medical insurance is going to pay less $ to have a knee relplaced in their own country than flying out. Insurance will not pay for air, etc. If it is an elected procedure than yes, may be better to go to Thailand like for cosmetic surgery. I personally would rather pay more and have it here but that is just my opinion.
    There are people who have insurance, but given the deductibles and co-pays, still find it cheaper to have certain large elective surgeries (e.g., joint replacements) in Asia at a top hospital. For people without insurance, it's no contest. For many of them, it's a matter of going overseas (including to such places as Cuba) or going without.

    I had a group insurance plan in the late 90's that would send you to "centers of excellence" if you needed major non-emergency surgery, such as an organ transplant. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that an insurance company would be willing to pay for your trip to Thailand to be cared for at a good hospital, and pick up the tab for transportation and accommodations, if the total cost would be less than that of treatment in the U.S. if outcomes were as good as or better than having the procedure done here.
    Not_A_Hat_Person and CrufflerJJ like this.
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    My hospital is 'sooo' into this customer service BS, they have given us scripts to follow when doing 'bedside report' we are supposed to have things ready for pts when they come up to our floor from wherever (ER, OBs, etc) like fresh ice water, the towels folded like a fan on the bed, their name on the white board, hot coffee already made, etc. We have cell phones that we give our #'s to the pts and they can call us directly instead of hitting the call light when they want something. We are even in the process of having the pts pick out a colored stone w/ inspirational phrases on it upon their admission so that can be their 'guiding spirit/inspiration' throughout their hospital stay. It has gotten to the point that many of us are more worried about 'pleasing pts' than actually providing medical care. I cannot physically be the pts personal butler while carrying out all their healthcare needs plus babysitting doctors and monitoring techs who do vitals and whatnot. I am only one person and I went to nursing school and sat for boards for a reason, to do nursing tasks to help the patient get healthy, not ensure that their pitcher is full of fresh ice water before change of shift or that the meals come out just the way they want them from food service. I don't need a script to follow to introduce myself to pts, I have common sense and people skills, I do these things anyways, but should I get dinged for forgetting to ask the pt. if they wanted their door open or closed when I leave their room...??? How far will this go?
    Jessy_RN, mc3, JZ_RN, and 9 others like this.
  5. 4
    My hospital is 'sooo' into this customer service BS, they have given us scripts to follow when doing 'bedside report' we are supposed to have things ready for pts when they come up to our floor from wherever (ER, OBs, etc) like fresh ice water, the towels folded like a fan on the bed, their name on the white board, hot coffee already made, etc. We have cell phones that we give our #'s to the pts and they can call us directly instead of hitting the call light when they want something. We are even in the process of having the pts pick out a colored stone w/ inspirational phrases on it upon their admission so that can be their 'guiding spirit/inspiration' throughout their hospital stay. It has gotten to the point that many of us are more worried about 'pleasing pts' than actually providing medical care. I cannot physically be the pts personal butler while carrying out all their healthcare needs plus babysitting doctors and monitoring techs who do vitals and whatnot. I am only one person and I went to nursing school and sat for boards for a reason, to do nursing tasks to help the patient get healthy, not ensure that their pitcher is full of fresh ice water before change of shift or that the meals come out just the way they want them from food service. I don't need a script to follow to introduce myself to pts, I have common sense and people skills, I do these things anyways, but should I get dinged for forgetting to ask the pt. if they wanted their door open or closed when I leave their room...??? How far will this go?
    I couldn't agree more with the above comment. Somedays when I am being told what to say and how to act, I feel like a 2 yr old. I have been a Nurse long enough to know how to care for a sick person. I am not your Mother or your maid or your butler. I will be glad to care for you and give you the very best care that I can! I am your NURSE.
    MiniBabyRN, JZ_RN, Szasz_is_Right, and 1 other like this.
  6. 2
    Well at least my extensive sales and customer service background will be advantageous to me when I finish my program.

    The ACA is filled with all kinds of wonderful things and I highly reccomend everyone does some research.
    anotherone and SlinkyheadRN like this.
  7. 0
    I'm a nurse, not a servant. I provide care, not "service." I wish people could get it through their heads!
  8. 1
    Excellent article, superb points. Thank you so much for putting forth such a wonderful article
    TheCommuter likes this.
  9. 3
    I feel that as nursing students we are taught this everytime at clinical! That literally we are going to b bad future nurses because we did not pack up a patient's bag before they discharge or changed thier tv channels for them when they got bored...it makes me feel like we are being treated more like butlers than nurses
    JZ_RN, Szasz_is_Right, and anotherone like this.
  10. 3
    I hate the customer service mentality. Hate it. I think it really diminishes what we do to frame it in terms of "customer satisfaction" rather than "excellent patient care." There are many situations where doing the right thing by your patients means making some of them unhappy. You see this in emergency nursing a ton in terms of wait times, and it really becomes a challenge: folks who can wait the longest are the healthiest and in the best position to complain about how miserable that wait was!

    Why not have hospitality techs who can pass out magazines, fetch STAT blankets and ice chips for all 9 visitors in the room, and figure out why the TV isn't working.
    VanLpn, MiniBabyRN, and anotherone like this.


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