Customer service and nursing - page 3

I really hate customer service pitches and how almost everyone in the hospital is a customer except the nursing staff. In plain English what I feel we are being told is that nurses have to bow down... Read More

  1. by   grouchy
    Where are all these patients who can "do it themselves"? Not in my hospital! My average patient is a debilitated, semi- or fully confused elderly person who is incapable of filling his own water pitcher or straightening her own bedsheets. And, sadly, their families are usually nowhere in sight when I come on at 7 pm.
  2. by   VAC
    Glad to see I'm not the only one feeling like customer service is becoming the priority over patient care. I'm am so much more stressed out over having to keep everyone happy than I am in dealing with a critical situation. I get tired of tripping over visitors to try to take care of my patients.
    Customer service has gone into overkill in my hospital. The latest campaign is to keep the Doctors happy. We were told at the last propaganda meeting that they are the most important people for us to "talk up" because if a patient has a positive perception of his or her physician, they are more likely to have a positive perception of their hospital stay. (My translation: they are more likely to fill out the patient satisfaction surveys in the hospitals favor) We were instructed to never say anything negative about a doc in front of patient's and family, and to say things like, "I'm calling Doc so and so about you pain, he is really concerned about you" If a doc isn't calling us back, we can't admit that, we have to say things like, "We're still trying to reach him" etc. I don't know whether to laugh or scream.

    We are NOT in the hotel business. We deal with people at the worst, most stressed out time in their lives. Patients will die,and get sicker despite everything we do. WE CAN'T ALWAYS TELL PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR, so of course people are going to be angry and complain. We can only do our best. Nurses can't be expected to fix everything.

    Thanks for letting me vent.
  3. by   VAC
    OK, I didn't vote because I couldn't answer the question with one of the choices offered. Customer service is a nursing function in that we are dealing with the public, and we are providing the most personal kind of service there is. Providing customer service to visitors should not be a priority over providing quality care to the patient, but my hospital insists that it be a priority. As far as the choice about just doing what you're told, don't make me puke.

    Hope this answers the question
  4. by   wildtime88

    I understand.

    Go ahead and puke if you want, but we all know that there are nurses out there, and there are many, who do what ever they are told to do. i.e. mop the floor, dust, empty the trash, pass out food and drink to visitors and physicians, appologize and take the blame for things beyond their control, etc..
  5. by   VAC
    You have a point, and I admit that I have had issues with assertiveness during my life, but I have my limits, and I have stood up in these propaganda meetings and questioned the nonsense, and I will again. I do my best, I try to treat everyone decently, but refuse to kiss but. My hospital is otherwise a decent place to work, we are decently staffed, and we got a 3% raise last year and will get 5% In Feb, in addition to our regular annual raises. Life, like nursing, is a series of compromises and choices. I am not blindly following orders from managment, but rather making choices that meet mine and my family's needs.
  6. by   shanzah
    I voted "other" and just have to reply... well it said explain but didn't provide a space........ Yes, we are customers, just as everyone else is... however, we are the customers customer.... you know, the one everyone else walks on, over, under or thru. I know it's my job to keep my "customers" happy, but it is also my job to keep them alive, and provide the best medical care possible. My "customers" complain because we won't provide a chair for each and everyone of their visitors...... excuse me, but this is not the holiday inn... it's just down the street, thank you very much....... you don't like the furnishings or the room service, please move on..... I am here to provide your medical care and if that means I will not provide you and yours with ice cream, well, you are diabetic after all and your folks can go down the road to get ice cream at the corner grocery or the holiday inn. I will do the best I can to keep my customers happy, but they have to comply with their medical treatment..... yes, I know it hurts to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom, but it is against the rules to lay around in bed and get sick!!! nuff said.... ty
  7. by   LilgirlRN
    I got in the elevator at work last night, they have a bulletin board with staff messages on it (staff only elevator). I am to "answer all call lights with 20 seconds and to respond to their request within 5 minutes". All I can say is they better hire some more staff if they want to reach this goal. Another thing they do where I work is try to script what you way on the telephone. The phone rings and I am supposed to say Emeregency Department, this is Wendy ***** RN, how may I help you? uhmmm Don't think so. When I discharge a patient from the ER I am supposed to say, thank you for choosing our ER, God bless you (catholic institution). I am a nurse, not a PR company. I come to work to do the work I was trained to do, take care of patients. I am part of a healthcare team, I don't see the administration asking the doctors to police their area for trash. I am generous to a fault with my patients, I make sure they are not in pain, that they are warm enough (if your department doesn't have a blanket warmer, get one, its the best money we ever spent), if they are hungry, they get a meal etc. No one can complain about MY patient care. I give care as it is warranted, if someone is trying to die on me then of course they get more time than the rich lady with the cut on her finger who wants us to hurry up and take care of her cause she has to go home and pack for her trip to Africa the next day.I am sure everyone knows what I am talking about here.
  8. by   nurs4kids
    Originally posted by LilgirlRN
    I got in the elevator at work last night, they have a bulletin board with staff messages on it (staff only elevator). I am to "answer all call lights with 20 seconds and to respond to their request within 5 minutes". All I can say is they better hire some more staff if they want to reach this goal.
    I hope like hell they posted this for the OB unit as well!!! Will you make SURE they get it??? Tell them it's compliments of the chick they let deliver natural because it took the nurse 30 mins to respond to call light and another 45 to get a MDA up (no, I'm not bitter ) Shouldn't they be more concerned about avoiding a lawsuit from Mrs. Scissorhands, the parking deck attendant (looooooooooooooooooong silver nails...couldn't pick up a quarter if life depended on it! hehe). Okay, it's 5am, I'll stop now
  9. by   LilgirlRN
    Wow Tracy the same thing happened to me at that other hospital on top of the hill on highway 31 that will remain nameless. I am sorry you didn't have a good experience at "my" hospital, you can bet your ass (well something close to it) that had I worked on the OB floor, you woulda had whatever you needed Wendy
  10. by   nurs4kids
    Hey wendy,
    wonderful hospital. terrible nurse! Actually think the nurse lost her job over that one (7/7 went missing in middle of week)<scratches head>. I still take my kids to the ped over there and my gyn's there. I love your hospital, but I did consider changing to the "other one on the hill" for my second child, but stuck with yours d/t OB. Better experience w/ #2.

  11. by   leesonlpn
    I think in Canada it is different. Our health care isn't a business,.....yet. I think very soon it will be. They are already thinking of privatizing services like laundry and dietary etc. Sometimes when we have american patients, we can really tell that things are different down there. I fear the day when we call patients clients, because that will be the day I'll have to leave a mint on their pillow after I've made their bed. If it truly is customer service, maybe I'll get a tip after cleaning up diarrhea from the floor.Hey!!! Pin money!!!!!Yahooo
  12. by   canoehead
    If you leave a mint on the pillow after making a bed what do you leave after changing a colostomy bag?
  13. by   deespoohbear
    I am getting ready to go and view our "Customer Service Video" that is MANDATORY for all employees. Of course the decision for us to have to watch this video (2 hours) was made by management people who have no idea about bedside care. These people were able to take the 2 hours out of their workday to view this video. Us working stiffs on the floor have no such option. I will have to take time out of my day off, drive 18 miles one way to watch a video on something that is basically common sense and drive 18 miles home!! Just what I want to do with my precious time off! I bet the doctors are not being forced to watch this video and some of them could use a lot more than the nursing staff!! We have been told that if we don't view this video, we can't get our raises this year (whatever that 2% will be worth). Too many people with WAY too much time of their hands!!