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A good nurse can make up for a lot!

Posted by Kristin Baird on May 6th, 2013 • 1 Comment »

“A good nurse can sure make up for a lot!” That’s a direct quote from my mom as we navigated through one of our many recent medical encounters. She had been referred to a specialist who may have a slew of great credentials, but his bedside manner was deplorable. So much so, in fact, that it had prompted mom to call the clinic and request a new physician for her next visit. She dreaded the appointment for fear that her insistence on another doctor would result in a negative reception.

When we arrived for her next appointment, the nurse caring for her was engaged, cheerful, personable, and highly competent. After setting up mom’s treatment, the nurse left the room, and my mom turned to me and said, “A good nurse can sure make up for a lot!” No kidding! In fact, many of them spend the bulk of their days in service recovery.

Just as one person can quickly erode a patient’s trust, a compassionate one can help turn things around, but you can’t always count on it. When savvy consumers like my mother have a bad experience, they are more likely to leave than they are to tell you about it and give you another chance. If they do tell you of rude, unprofessional behavior, listen up. If you know that you have people on your staff that are negative, rude, and short-tempered, my advice is to help free up their future as soon as possible. Even though you may be impressed by their credentials, your patients are much more likely to remember the experience before the outcome.

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Baird Consulting

One Response to “A good nurse can make up for a lot!”

  1. Elizabeth Rankin says:

    Your remarks about your mother’s experience with a doctor reminded me of my own with doctors both as a patient and professionally. While most are not miserable to deal with, some are and those are the experiences we remember and they set us up for future uneasiness. To weed these types out of the profession is difficult. Patients and or their advocate need to have a plan that can deal with “attitudes.” Being creative themselves could help. One I recommend is knowing what you need to talk about and making a list and even sending it ahead for the doctor to read. This has worked well for me. The other is composing a check list of things you want addressed and then reviewing it and comparing after the visit to see “how well the doctor scored!” It would be good for all institutions to require this for all their services including cleaning staff. It would be more difficult to think that those in private practice would engage in this evaluation process. Those that would probably are already providing a better patient experience.


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