"Customer service" and nursing - page 5

I've seen a lot of people talk about 'customer service' in a disparaging manner, as if that is not what nursing is about and it's making their lives harder to provide it. Could someone explain... Read More

  1. by   lovingtheunloved
    Quote from Snickett
    I am very apalled at the responses I have read! It seems that most of the nurses here could care less about their patients or their families, but are more concerned with their own status and the "Cardiac in Bed 6."
    Are we reading the same thread?
  2. by   NurseCherlove
    Quote from Batman24
    Why don't the families of patients heat their own soup?! As they aren't the ones in need of 24 hour medical care they should address their own needs and let the medical staff attend to those truly in need...the patients. There needs to be some balance in place.

    Batman, you read my mind exactly!!! I have noticed that the family members with brains/ability to recognize busy people/not too self-centered will go to the nursing station with their bowl of soup/request for water, etc. and make their request from the person who appears least busy.

    I really love making people feel as comfortable as possible and will go out of my way to serve them IF I HAVE TIME!! Are some people just so out of touch that they do not realize how busy hospital staff are - nurses especially!!! Can they not look around and see that we are not just sitting around shootin the bull, playing video games, or whatever??

    That woman who complained about the FL nurse should be....scorned (ok I won't say what I really want to). Screwing around with another person's livlihood over something so petty!!! Hello?!!! It's a *******' hospital....where there are sick patients who might be having an acute problem you selfish, pig B*&@#! Sorry, I just need to go to bed.

    The witch could have at least given the nurse the chance to say, "I am so sorry...I had a patient bleeding down the hall and we do not have assistants to help us today".
  3. by   Halinja
    I interviewed for a job last week and one question was...how do you define customer service. I told them that patient safety and the patient's medical needs came first. If, after those were dealt with, there was something I could do to make their stay more comfortable, I would do it. Grin. I don't think I'm going to get the job....
  4. by   NurseCherlove
    I think we do our patients and their families a big disservice by communicating to them the impression that they are the only patient a nurse have. I would rather have a patient or family member KNOW they had to wait to have their soup warmed because I have a full patient load and have to prioritize first, than to basically have them believe they had to wait because I'm lazy and uncaring thanks to TPTB and their nonsense.

    WOW! Absolutely could not have said it better myself!! I so wish we could convey the reality of hospital nursing to patients and families. Actually, I do when I can. I speak very frankly with my patients. I had a man who got his d/c orders the other day and he was ready to hit the door ASAP. I told him that I would get his papers ready as fast as I can (actually said that exactly), but that I had one more d/c in front of him that I had to get to. And he was ok with that.

    I guess if he had taken 3 seconds to talk to the family member they could have also c/o how rude and abrupt he was.[/quote]

    Right again!! Why? Because some people just don't get it - they are too selfish or stupid one. Sorry again...still mad thinking about that nurse being written up for that.
  5. by   HealthyRN
    Quote from Snickett
    I am a nursing student and a recent family member (my father died after a 3 week ICU hospitalization). I am very apalled at the responses I have read! It seems that most of the nurses here could care less about their patients or their families, but are more concerned with their own status and the "Cardiac in Bed 6." As a Nurse or Student Nurse, we have no way of knowing what the family is experiencing or how that radiates/transcends to the client/patient/customer. In NS 101 we were all taught to care for the "Whole Patient"- which includes the family/support mechanism in place.

    As an expert in Customer Service (22 yrs and an MBA), EVERY Business, including hospitals must recognize and cater to their customers- or lose them to competition- and most areas have competition even in Health Care.

    When we as Nurses, Doctors, Lawyers, Politicans, or even Students forget who signs our paycheck- The Customer/Client, then we are doomed as an Economy, Hospital, or Profession.
    Snickett, I am very sorry for the loss of your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

    However, I have to disagree with you. I don't think that any of the nurses that replied to this thread are saying that they don't care about the patients or their families. I can only speak for myself, but I believe that I am a compassionate person. I can't always truly understand what it is like to be in the patient's/family member's situation, because I haven't had to face the difficult, terrifying, and horrible things that many of my patients go through, but I always try my best. Most importantly, I always try to deliver the best nursing care possible. Sometimes providing the safest nursing care leaves no room for "customer service". Also, I don't believe that good customer service = caring. Do you really think that the drive-thru person handing out your Big Mac and fries with the quick service and a big smile really cares about you?

    What it comes down to is the realistic world of nursing versus the idealistic world of nursing. I would love to have enough time to make sure all of my patients and families in the ER are comfortable and enjoying their stay. But somewhere in-between dealing with the patient with a massive GI bleed and a hgb of 4 who needs a stat transfusion and NG tube, the 28-week pregnant female with difficulty breathing and the CT scan just came back positive for a PE, the patient having an acute MI and needs nitro and heparin before going to the cath lab, the elderly woman just brought in by ambulance from the dialysis clinic who has a blood sugar of 20, is in a-fib, and BP of 70/20 and still needs triaged, plus two other patients who are upset that nobody has been in to give meds/treatments, "customer service" kinda falls to the back burner. By the way, this was the report that I received when I arrived for my shift yesterday in the ER. It was not a fun night to say the least.

    It is nights like this that cause me to find the phrase "customer service" in health care amusing, at least as long as management is not willing to adequately staff the facility. As a nurse, I am not there to cater to the patients'/families' every desire, I'm just trying my best to keep the patient alive, not make a mistake, and deliver safe nursing care! So yes, I am more concerned about that 'cardiac in bed 6' than providing customer service. Hospitals are not like every other business, because we deal with patients' lives. Perhaps the distinction will be clearer after you work for awhile at the bedside.
    Last edit by HealthyRN on Apr 9, '07
  6. by   NurseCherlove
    Quote from NurseguyFL
    Imaybe I'm a terrible nurse but I will not EVER prioritize one patient's satisfaction over another patient's safety.
    Well said!! Here here! You sound like a great nurse by the way!
  7. by   PeachPie
    If the hospital wants to provide customer service via other staff, fine. It's unfair to the nurses, who have to worry about comfort and keeping people alive, to be burdened with all sorts of extra jobs. I'm happy to give a back massage or wipe a butt, but not work in a hotel.
  8. by   burn out
    Quote from Tweety
    How many of us who have been in the hospital or had loved ones in the hospital have complained about the care. There have been several threads about this type of thing. By golly if I'm paying high insurance premiums, taxes to medicare, and high deductables, you but your bippy I'm a customer and you'd best treat me and my family profesionally and deliver quality care or you're going to hear from me.
    There is the beginning of the lie. You may be paying high insurance premiums and high deductables but your insurance company is only paying the hospital "reasonable and customary", the rest of your money is going to the insurance company's pockets. The law only requires minimum standard of care and that which is "reasonable and customary" yet we have hospitals telling us that even though they will only staff for delivery of minimum care they still expect us to deliver the maximum of care just as they know we have been taught to do in nursing school.. This pits the patient and family paying high dollars against the nurses who are understaffed and unable to provide all that is considered "customer service". All that you get is frustrated nurses and patients.
  9. by   flashpoint
    I think we need to do everything we can to make our patients happy and comfortable, but we should not do it at the expense of their health or that of our other patients. If I have time to get extra blankets or snacks or whatever, great, but I'm not going to stop chest compressions on one patient to get another patient a cheese sandwich. I've had patients complain over things like not getting enough stickers in the ER, nurses not having change so the family members can buy a soda, and patients not liking the color of the bedspreads. More often than not, I think the nonsense complaints stem from something else...anger, guilt, fear, etc. I have no problem with my manger making me aware of the complaint, but I don't think things like not having change so my patient's boyfriend can buy a soda should not have any bearing on my annual eval.

    Understaffing is also a huge issue. When you are the only CNA on the floor for 22 residents and your charge nurse has so many meds and treatments that she cannot help you, something is going to be left undone. If you have 5 stable patients and 1 patient that is crumping, the stable patients may have to wait for their showers and I may not have time to run to the cafeteria to get them a milkshake. Sometimes adding 1 more person to the team could make a huge difference.
  10. by   NurseCherlove
    And I will go so far as to say....yeah, gonna say it...if getting your coke with ice is going to prevent me from getting to the cafeteria on time before they close, causing me to miss my lunch....NOT GONNA HAPPEN. I cannot think straight on an empty stomach - I just cannot. I shouldn't have to. I shouldn't be expected to run like a maniac for 12+ hours without some kind of nourishment in between. That would not be fair to my other patients...or to me.

    Believe it or not, I get a lot of recognition cards from my patients for the great care they feel they've received from me. And I'm pretty sure not one was given because I got their coffee in a timely manner.
  11. by   TazziRN
    I have had family members in ICU.....one survived, one did not. In both cases I wanted the nursing staff to concentrate on the PATIENT, not me. I can look after myself. Just keep me in the loop and treat me politely, but take care of my mom/dad. If I am in the way, tell me and I will get out of it. I will not ask for a glass of water, but I may ask where I can get it from.
  12. by   flashpoint
    Most of the people who complain about nurses not fetching them a soda or not giving them 1/2 of our lunch are not the type that will give any good comments anyway. I've found that most of my positive comments to management come from patients who are really sick and I've done nothing for them other than providing good, competent, and compassionate care. The ones who have nice things to say are usually not the ones who want soda for their boyfriend's 18 month old daughter or fried chicken for an NPO patient.
  13. by   pepperann35
    I work in LTC/Rehab. Last week we had to deal with the very demanding daughter of a new rehab patient. She actually said she did not care about any of the needs of the other 19 patients we were caring for, she only cared about her moms needs and we would meet all of them right then no matter how long it took or how trivial they were. They were sooo rude and nasty. My co-worker says it best, "This isn't Burger King and you don't always get it all your way!" She would never say that to a patient, it just helps to say it after you get screamed at because you cant meet 158 demands right then.