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Clients? Are they no longer patients?

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by bassadict69 bassadict69 (New Member) New Member

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sharpeimom has 20 years experience and specializes in ortho, hospice volunteer, psych,.

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heck there is a local hospital that wants the patients referred to as 'neighbors' from now on...

i'm sorry, but that struck me funny, because when i was in the hospital, i was a neighbor. we live right around the corner from the hospital, my internist lives on our block, and the nurse manager lived in the next block!:D

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Anoetos has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency Nursing.

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Elkpark is absolutely right of course.

Just because we assume commercialization when we see the word "client" doesn't mean it's so.

The ancient history of the word is interesting. Wealthy Roman aristocrats had clients. These were usually "freedmen" or petty nobility in need of patronship in order to advance. They were called "clients". In time of war these clients had responsibilities to the aristocrat for men and arms, and the aristocrat for his part would help the client with references, positions for his children and sometimes even low-interest loans. Of course there is more to it than that but it's enough to give you the idea.

But the point is that it was an unequal partnership with the client requiring the help of the patron in return for which certain conditions were to be incurred.

Elkpark's own experience of the implementation of the word is very instructive as it relates specifically to nursing practice.

I am a new nstudent, but it doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I tend to prefer it.

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Kaychell specializes in None.

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Our prof. told us that it was patients, then went to clients, and now it's patients again. I think I read in our text that it went from patient to client because patient sounded like people were being included as an active participant in decisions regarding their health or something like that.

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and specializes in peds//ambulatory care/HH-private duty.

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Elkpark is absolutely right of course.

Just because we assume commercialization when we see the word "client" doesn't mean it's so.

The ancient history of the word is interesting. Wealthy Roman aristocrats had clients. These were usually "freedmen" or petty nobility in need of patronship in order to advance. They were called "clients". In time of war these clients had responsibilities to the aristocrat for men and arms, and the aristocrat for his part would help the client with references, positions for his children and sometimes even low-interest loans. Of course there is more to it than that but it's enough to give you the idea.

But the point is that it was an unequal partnership with the client requiring the help of the patron in return for which certain conditions were to be incurred.

Elkpark's own experience of the implementation of the word is very instructive as it relates specifically to nursing practice.

I am a new nstudent, but it doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I tend to prefer it.

I thought the point was to banish the thought of unequal partnership. If the above definition were applicable to today, it would say, "it is an unequal partnership with the patient requiring the help of the nurse in return for which certain conditions are to be incurred". It's an agreement between two parties. No matter what you call a person in a hospital bed, there is no requirement that a person do a darn thing in return for accepting the help of a nurse. Nor is the nurse viewed as an independent party separate from the hospital as a whole and able to enter into an agreement at all. We're expected to help the "client" whether they are a sweet little old lady or a 6 foot tall intoxicated man who is screaming "b*tch!!!" and attempting to deliver a swift kick to her chest. No "partnership" applies.

I'm not a scholar of languages but my conception of a word is that it is a representationn of an idea that those using the word agree on, and that it's a dynamic process. This assures that people will try to manipulate the words in hopes of changing the ideas they represent. Sometimes it works, too. I think Elkpark was trying to straighten out the origin of the term as it applies to nursing rather than to say it changed how the receivers of healthcare services view their own participation (or not) in the process.

How the link from "client" to "almighty dollar" is made really isn't clear, but I think it arises from the common perception in popular culture that a client is one who pays for the services of a lawyer, accountant, advertising agency, or travel agent. The client expects the person they have hired to hop-to or they will haughtily stomp out and hire someone else, taking their account and their $$$ with them. Thus the expectation we are all like a bunch of Darren Stevens characters who's role is invariably to sufficiently kiss the A of the clientele so that doesn't happen.

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185 Posts; 3,441 Profile Views

Okay so my book explains the term CLIENT refers to....

"an individual, family, or community"

still don't get it. hmph.

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Pneumothorax is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Flight.

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i dont care what the man wants to call them...they are all pts to me , if we should call them family if anything as close and intimate we get with them... i mean does your banker clean you up and feed you when ur sick? ...nah.

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HamsterRN is a ADN, RN and specializes in Psych/CD/Medical/Emp Hlth/Staff ED.

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"Client" is no longer the preferred term for the general patient population. In 2000, the ANA decided to try the using the term "client" as a way of empowering patients. This turned out to be more offensive than empowering, and in 2004 the ANA Practice Council reversed it's decision and went back to suggesting that the term "patient" be used in most situations, leaving some areas such as mental health and community health to use their judgment.

Unfortunately, Nursing School curriculum is many years behind on returning to the term "patient".

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183 Posts; 4,380 Profile Views

Yeah I just took a med calc test where the questions referred to patients as clients.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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when i went to nursing school (in the 70s) the text books were referring to patients as "clients." but when i got out of school and started my first job, i quickly learned that the nurses i worked with didn't use the term "clients" to describe the persons under our care; they were patients. i don't think using "clients" is a new idea -- it seems to be more related to ivory tower nursing than the real world.

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and specializes in peds//ambulatory care/HH-private duty.

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My main med-surg textbook still called them patients, but it was actually copyrighted in1973 2 years prior to my nursing school experience. The cover is a groovy lime green and turquoise op-art swirl, though. Not sure what they were trying to convey with that.

Speaking of the ivory tower-- why does the ANA have the power to edict the terms textbooks must use as alluded to in a previous post? That's probably for another day and another thread.

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We talked about this in class today, and here are the definitions that we got.

Client: An autonomous, active participant in care with the freedom of choice.

Patient: A passive recipient of care.

And while we did get these two definitions, our instructor said that the terms are pretty much synonymous and that she personally prefers patient because she's old school.

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HamsterRN is a ADN, RN and specializes in Psych/CD/Medical/Emp Hlth/Staff ED.

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We talked about this in class today, and here are the definitions that we got.

Client: An autonomous, active participant in care with the freedom of choice.

Patient: A passive recipient of care.

And while we did get these two definitions, our instructor said that the terms are pretty much synonymous and that she personally prefers patient because she's old school.

Another way of looking at these terms:

A "Client" is a participant is a financial or business relationship.

A "Patient" is a participant in a therapeutic relationship.

The terms we use to describe people say a lot about how we view them.

If you were in the hospital would you prefer that nurses focus on the financial aspect of your relationship or the therapeutic aspect?

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