Would you apologize, if you'd done nothing wrong

  1. 0
    A pt complained about a nurse not helping enough. It was a very vague complaint amid a whole string of complaints. Food, the room too cold, too long to wait...
    In the interest of patient satisfaction the nurse was "encouraged" to approach the patient AND family, and apologize for their unhelpful behavior. ( I can't be more specific about the complaint)
    There were no threats of being fired, but management was not going to be happy if the nurse refused. I've offered a fair amount of apologies over the years, but not because someone told me to.
    Would you apologize?
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  3. 27 Comments so far...

  4. 5
    Nope.I did however ,at one time apologize when someone misunderstood a comment I made.I didn't really own up to saying naything wrong but I said I was sorry if I upset them and I clarified what I meant.

    Maybe you need to clarify that you are not the patient's maid.
    macfar28, bebbercorn, Altra, and 2 others like this.
  5. 4
    Nursing is customer service as much as anything.

    If a manager told me I had to apologize to another employee or something then I might consider being pigheaded.

    But unfortunately the patient is always right.

    Of course you gotta word it right, I mean if I wasnt wrong I wouldnt say that I was wrong.

    Id maybe say something like im sorry that youre upset, and hope you have a better experience going forward or something vague.

    Of course thats if theyre my patient again. If theyre not my patient, im not just walking in there to apologize
    caliotter3, NRSKarenRN, LadyFree28, and 1 other like this.
  6. 8
    What about something like, "I'm sorry you weren't happy about (satisfied with) ___________________, because it has always been my intent to do things properly."

    It sounds as though you feel like I did once when I was 13. I did NOT want to go to a family function. Finally in total frustration, my dad said, "You're going to go! You're going to have a good time and you're going to LOOK as though you're having a good time!" Could you take that attitude when you apologize and realize that you aren't really apologizing for a **** thing?
    caliotter3, NRSKarenRN, ProthinRN, and 5 others like this.
  7. 4
    I could. It just feels too much like enabling a bully.
    mc3, SoldierNurse22, Emergent, and 1 other like this.
  8. 3
    I would say that I was sorry they are upset and I honestly am sorry because their satisfaction affects my job and my well being.
    bebbercorn, brownbook, and imintrouble like this.
  9. 8
    Just give the old "non apology" apology. "I'm sorry you feel that <insert however they say they feel here>. We will try to meet your needs better in the future."
  10. 10
    I'm sorry we did not meet your expectations....
    sharpeimom, bebbercorn, NRSKarenRN, and 7 others like this.
  11. 1
    Quote from MrChicagoRN
    I'm sorry we did not meet your expectations....
    Yes, that. ^^^
    imintrouble likes this.
  12. 6
    Apologize on behalf of the hospital, or make a personal apology?

    The fact that the complaint was so vague, in my opinion, points to the fact that the patient's dissatisfaction was NOT the nurse's fault. If a person makes you mad…generally, you know why.

    Depending on my day, I might just apologize and get on with my shift. I don't always have the time or energy to deal with a patient (AND family) who's all butt-hurt.

    Otherwise I might approach them with something like, "I know you're unhappy with some of our services, could you be more specific with where you think we fell short? I'd like to keep this from happening again in the future." If a patient had a valid complaint that just didn't come out right the first time, and could be fixed, I really would like to know, and try to fix it. And if they're being childish, I like for them to have to actually hear themselves SAY the words, "I got grape jelly on my toast when I asked for strawberry, and channel 55 is too fuzzy."

    I probably wouldn't not address a complaint at all. We can have a patient for weeks, and I've found they tend to get even more irritating if they (or their family) feel like they aren't being heard.
    vianne, KatieP86, ArmaniX, and 3 others like this.


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