There is no doubt that nurses carry the bulk of patient care in hospitals. And in today’s world, patients are sicker and stay for shorter periods, meaning that more must be accomplished in a shorter period of time. In addition to medical treatments, there is the education and discharge instructions to ensure positive outcomes.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the hardest-working, smartest nurses on the planet over the course of my career and never once have I heard nurses complain that they didn’t have enough to do. Quite the opposite. Nurses are often overloaded with tasks including extensive documentation to meet regulations and assure patient safety. They are crucial to the patient experience. If you look over the HCAHPS domains, all of them relate to nursing. So in addition to managing all the technical elements of patient care, nurses must be the face of a good patient experience.
No Pass Zone
I often hear healthcare leaders say that everyone is responsible for the patient experience. True, but are they really expecting everyone to take action? Those with a No Pass Zone policy are. By expecting that each and every person respond to call lights, leaders are holding everyone accountable for being part of the patient experience. But by all means; provide training so that everyone understands what is within their scope and how to respond to requests.
If you really want everyone to own the patient experience, set the stage for accountability by implementing a no pass zone. Set the expectation that everyone is there to serve patients. Train everyone how to answer call lights and then reinforce collaboration. Your patients and your nurses will thank you.