Published Aug 28, 2002
I was "venting" to my daughter this morning about the service mentality that has taken over my hospital. A family actually started placing food orders with me !
My daughter said when she was in the hospital she would gladly have paid for "room service". That is, she'd have liked nachos or some pizza brought to her at 8 pm. She wondered why the hospital can't have that, with people understanding that they'd have to pay extra and even tip the service people.
I thought it was a great idea. Since the hospital wants the public to think of them as the Marriot, it ought to have the personnel for that sort of service.
It would certainly take a load off me, and off my nursing assistants! Does anyone have this kind of extra service at their facility?
Uh, actually my hospital does it. 24 hour room service. It is great for the patients. They can order what they want when they want it (so long as it is appropriate to the diet order). If a Mom delivers in the middle of the night or is just awake at 0200 and wants something to eat, she can just call and order. We don't have nachos, but we do have personal size pizza and milkshakes among many other things. The pt controls when she eats and isn't stuck on our schedule. Also, since no food or drink (except ice water) is delivered to the pt room w/o the pt calling for it, if a fresh post-op pt is nauseated, she won't be having her clear liquid tray arriving and making the whole room smell like beef broth. Visitors can order guest trays, for a fee, too. Pt trays are part of the basic room charge and she is not limited to just 3 meals a day, but dietary does watch out for pts trying to order for everyone in the room and trying to avoid a guest tray charge.
I think the hospital room service concept originated in a peds hospital as a way to get the kids to eat more and it also cuts back on wasted food.
Oh, I forgot to mention it works out well for the staff, too in that once you explain how it works to the pt & family, the nurse is hardly ever bothered with it again. No more getting a clear liquid tray for a pt who was just bumped up to regular and the pt does not have to wait for the next "meal time" before he or she can get regular food. Also, they get to order what they want and are not stuck with "pot-luck" because they did not fill out a diet order card the day before.
Indy, what kind of hospital is this? Maybe a better question is just how many are turned away from this place. Sorry don't mind me, I am Canadian, and as you know the health care here is free (well we pay taxes up the wazoo, but you don't have to pay directly if you are sick). This is very good, but also lends itself to a slew of problems that you probably couldn't even fathom. You think you know red tape, try working in the canadian health system! By the way, all our meals are prepared and frozen like TV dinners 5000 miles away and shiped, thawed out and "re-thermalized" before being served. If you've got a problem with hearing "I pay my taxes and I think I should get..........." more than a dozen times a day, you probably shouldn't work here.
Indy that sounds wonderful for everyone involved!
Our hospital has a room service of sorts. Certainly not as nice as the one in indynurses hospital, though!! Ours runs from 8am-4pm and is run by volunteers. Patients can call and get a newspaper, cup of coffee, small things. They can also ask for a TV and VCR (our hospital rooms have very poor excuses for a TV, so that service is very nice!!) with a rather long list of movies they can borrow. All this is free of charge, and let me tell you, those volunteers keep an eagle eye on those movies they lend out!! LOL
ceecel.dee, MSN, RN
Wow! Is that how the "other half" lives?
If a mom delivers at 0200 and is starving afterward, we must rummage through the diet kitchen fridge and hope the jello isn't too old, that there is some "good" cold cereal left, or make due with toast and peanut butter. Sometimes it's so bad that I go the the vending machine for a snack she'll actually like (out of my pocket, because it's so embarassing to have nothing a young person would like).
I would love the "room service" option!
shannonRN, BSN, RN
sounds like a wonderful idea. one hospital in my area has a "dial a menu" don't know the specifics but has to be better than getting something that you didn't order. some of the choices are awful! my question would be how would you limit the choices? because we all know that we can't please everyone.
it will be interesting to see how hospitals have implemented this and how effective it was.
My hospital serves a 7 day rotating menu. Friday is tuna and mushroom caserole night. Nobody eats it and it stinks up the unit. New mothers are always starving. We heat up alot of TV dinners on Fridays.
NO room service where I work...just us running to the kitchen for soup or a frozen meal...and no food for the staff at night...cafeteria, i guess, thinks you only need to eat between the hours of 7:30 and 5:30. a BIG peeve w/me.
BluEyes, it irritates me too, that I can't get a meal at night for a patient or myself! Another reason night shift feels like second class, in my opinion.
Genista, BSN, RN
I think it's a great idea, too (room service) as long as nurses are not expected to be the wait staff! As it is, we have to run down to the kitchen to pick up "early trays" for our dialysis patients, and anytime we get a new admit, we have to run down to the kitchen (a 10 minute trip on the far side of the 200 bed hospital) to pick up food, unless we have some food in our tiny little kitchen on the floor (usually not). It really annoys me that nurses have to run all these little errands, when I already have 2,000 things to do. 10 minutes of my time to pick up a tray because someone feels like having nachos is a bit much.I feel like anytime there's some new idea to improve customer service, it is relegated to the nurse, regardless of how overextended the nurse is. I would love to have some more STAFF to help us out with the hotel like atmosphere that patients come to expect.
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