“Patients are just too demanding!”

Posted by Kristin Baird on June 20th, 2013 • 1 Comment »

If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard this statement, “Patients are just too demanding!,” I’d be writing this blog from my yacht! It never ceases to amaze me that people working in healthcare say things like this. I was recently interviewing a hospital executive who, when asked what one thing he’d want to improve the culture, said, “Change the patients’ expectations of us. They’re too demanding and unrealistic.” The upside of fielding comments like this is that it makes it so much easier to diagnose the underlying culture issues. The downside is that, when these attitudes are engrained among leaders, it makes it incredibly tough to improve the culture. Clearly, this type of comment is classic victim-thinking. It translates as: Poor us. Our patients don’t appreciate us; that’s why they score us so poorly on the satisfaction surveys. If only they truly understood us and our needs, they’d be kinder and more generous toward us.

Time to End Victim-Think

I think it’s high time to stop the victim thinking. If we all commit to challenge this type of comment, rather than letting it pass, we might just move the needle on the patient experience. Count me in. How about you?

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Baird Consulting

One Response to ““Patients are just too demanding!””

  1. Debbie Thiem says:

    Hello Kristen, I understand what you are talking about. I take care of patients on a one to one basis every day. As care givers we have to stop and think we are in a environment to give of ourselves to a sick person. It is not about us at all. We need to observe the patient get to know their background and understand the reason they act the way they do. First and formost no one wants to be in the hospital and not have control over your life. It changes your attitude and it is our job to understand them as individual humans and use our God given gifts to comfort, understand, and not judge their personality. They are probably a lot different at home in comfortable environment. Let them open up and talk to you about their stresses, listen and care about what they say and comfort them. Be patient, hold their hand, tell them you understand and put a smile on their face. It is very rewarding.


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