My nephews used to ask me to smell their feet. They were only 3 and 4 at the time and we would play a game where I would smell their feet, which were funky of course, and then tell them it was time for a bath. We even called one of my nephews lovingly Phat Man "my feet" because of my nephew's focus on his feet.
IMO making staff nurses be responsible for, be graded for, and be accountable for "excellent customer service" is like one adult asking another adult to smell their feet. It turns your stomach right? You feel indignant right? You get a little angry and wonder did this person have "any" home training or was this person reared by barbarians.
I understand healthcare and providing nursing care is a business as well as an occupation.
I understand patient and resident rights in the context of healthcare and providing nursing care as a business as well as an occupation.
I understand healthcare facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) want to distinguish their organization from the other organizations providing the same services in a geographical area.
I understand marketing, advertising, and I also understand customer service.
But what I don't understand is the emphasis on customer service and customer service training for bedside and staff nurses.
But I don't get the "customer-service" frenzy of healthcare management which forces staff nurses to "wait on" patients and their families in addition to providing nursing care: administering medication, following up with physicians, collaborating with other healthcare professionals, performing skilled nursing tasks, etc.
Nurses now feel pressure to be "liked and scored well" by patients and family members who expect to treated like royalty and have water brought to them, food warmed, pillows fluffed, and feet smelled and massaged all in the context of providing excellent customer service. You have got to be kidding me! There isn't enough time in a shift to perform all of the nursing interventions required for a patient care assignment but now you add to that this customer service aspect. Really?
It is accreditation agencies, doctors, the C-Suite, and facility administrators setting these unreasonable standards because they are not the ones providing the services. If a facility wants excellent customer service, hire "customer service" technicians to assist the nursing staff but don't require nurses to graded like preschoolers on such arbitrary nonsense. What does how fast I brought you a glass of water with lemon have to do with providing safe nursing care in the context of nursing law, rules, and standards?
Customer service isn't patient safety and certainly isn't required by the State Nurse Practice Act and Board of Nursing regulations or the professional standards of nursing practice. Customer service is required for waitresses/waiters (I have to be PC) at the Waffle House.
Are you working the first, second, or third shift at Waffle House this week? Has the provision of nursing care with your employer with the emphasis on customer services denigrated the environment, atmosphere, and morale of the nursing staff to the point that you feel you are working in fast food?
If I walked into your facility at 3am; would I feel like I am at the Waffle House? I would like to order a sweet tea, scrambled eggs with cheese, raisin toast, grits with cheese, and a large order of hashbrowns with cheese and mushrooms?
Nothing wrong with working fast food. I worked at Dunkin Donuts on the night shift during high school. Yes, hot mama sold donuts and coffee! Nursing care isn't fast food and if you bring the customer service aspects of fast food to nursing care, do you also bring along the ethics
I don't know what if anything will cause "the sleeper to awaken" (this is from the movie and book Dune) and for nursing as whole to revolt and "fight the power" but maybe just maybe it might be the emphasis on "customer service." The "customer service" movement in healthcare may actually do the impossible and steer the nurse today and tomorrow to organized labor and unions.