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Perception by healthcare recipients, 90% of battle?

Posted

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele. Has 15 years experience.

Our CNO was making rounds the other day. I brought up the issue of the fact that many of our beds were bought a few at a time, and all the controls are different, such as where the brakes are located, how the siderails work, whether they have bedscales or not. Also, they get moved with the patient back and forth from Med/Surg to the Unit, adding to the mix. I told him that, when we are fumbling around trying to figure out the bed, since they are all designed differently, it made us look incompetant in the eyes of the patient and/or his family. I said "Perception is a lot".

He agreed, and said that he thought perception was 90% of our concern. Let me interject that he is very enthsiastic in pushing this new trend of treating the patients as customers. He's implemented many of these sometimes annoying campaigns since he's been at our hospital.

What do you think? What percentage do you give to the importance of perception? I agree it's important, but I would give it maybe 50%. I don't think you can try to gloss over poor medicine and care with the smoke and mirrors of customer satisfaction sound bites.

But, perhaps adequete staffing are important factors, both in outcomes and perception. Ultimately, our goal is to not only give good care, but to make the patient perceive that they are valued as human beings and that we are concerned about them. We want them to trust us as healthcare providers. Little things, such as when the nurse looks like an idiot trying to work the bed, can make the patient feel vulnerable and fearful. But when we can project an image of professionalism and competance, the patient's fears are allayed.

So, is perception really 90% of our battle? Maybe it is. What do you think?

I will vouch for the fact that witnessing staff fumbling with equipment freaks patients and family out. It freaks me out when I am a patient. Take for instance Continous Passive Motion machines, there are several brands at my old hospital, purchased at different times so that even same brands have different modes of operation. It is really a struggle trying not to appear like an idiot trying to figure out how the particular one in front of you works. PS Kudos to your CNO for giving a crap, most don't.

Well, the late, great Marshall McLuhan stated, "Perception is reality." Unfortunately I think it's true for a good percentage of people. Entire industries (automotive, fashion, makeup, home sales, lawn care, and on and on) are built on the premise.

I hang onto the hope that in a setting where the car you drive isn't going to matter one bit to the patient or family, one's demeanor and attitude will. Hopefully. ;-)

Katie82, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM. Has 39 years experience.

Perception is 100%. The difference being that some perception is based on reality, some is not. Today patients often base their perceptions on what they see on TV, or the internet, or experiences their friends and aquaintences relate to them. Part of our job is tactfully bringing them back to earth if they wonder off. SOmetimes that is an uphill battle. Simple kindness is your strongest tool. Patients remember this like nothing else.

FireStarterRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele. Has 15 years experience.

Yes, sometimes perception is based of reality, such as if someone's callight gets answered within a certain timeframe or was their pain relieved. And sometimes they misperceive situations because of lack of knowledge or understanding, such as thinking a nurse is incompetant when she fumbles with the bed.

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