The Customer is NEVER Right - A Nurse Practitioner's Perspective
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Things your nurse wants you to know (But can never tell you)!

On 8 Jun 2014, I promoted this article, “5 things your nurse wants you to know (But can never tell you)!” on the book’s Facebook page stating I concurred with the article. The one exception was a minor detail in which I would change the article’s fifth subtitle from “We Love You [the patient]” to “No one has your [the patient’s] best interest in mind more than us!” With promoting the article I then asked those who read the post to share it with others, knowing it was the choir I was speaking to.

The mentioned article came to me via LinkeIn, a business-oriented social networking service. Following the article to its origin, I learned it was published on 3 Jun 2014 at, a community site that focuses on nursing and claims to have 250,000 visits per month.

My intent with promoting the article was to see if the public agreed, that if healthcare workers did, in fact, share the point that no one has a patient’s best interest in mind more than the healthcare worker giving the care than patients/families would NOT be inappropriate to healthcare workers.

Now, I realize the post was mostly to the choir and not so much to the public but even then it fell on death [sic] ears. By the second day of promotion, when the promotion had expired, once again, I know, I know, it’s repetitive, however, it cannot go without mentioning, so once again, the WOWs of healthcare were insignificant. Making it worse, this time not only with the public but also even with the choir. And despite that in those two days the post had reached 3,048 people only 117 of them clicked on the article’s link. Whether they read the article or not that I cannot tell. However, of the 3,048 reached only eight liked the posting and the book’s page itself gained an additional three “Likes”. Surprisingly, although I asked the article be shared, it was not shared by any of the 3,048 the post reached.

Now, the intent of promoting this article and asking the public to participate was in no manner an attempt to gain popularity for the book’s page. Instead, the intent was to see if others agreed that by revealing this arcane fact of healthcare, “5 things your nurse wants you to know (But can never tell you)”, that it alone is the answer to the customer’s experience in healthcare. Meaning, that instead of bending over, spending millions of dollars on unsubstantiated statistics or indiscriminately passing out balloons that we in healthcare, instead, simply told patients, “No one has your best interest in mind more than us,” not only would healthcare have a better customer experience rating but everything administrators long for would fall into place as well, to include profits.

Why? Because the article does just that, telling patients, our so-called customers, that we are there for them and no one has their best interest in mind more than we do. I realize those are words. However, in this case, unfortunately, these words are more powerful than our deeds that many patients and families take for granted as they see it our job. And it is, however, most healthcare workers, myself included, do what we do because we want to help others.

However, I should have known better, knowing that to the rest of the world healthcare is irrelevant unless surrounded by drama. Case in point, last week the VA was the nation’s headline. Today, 10 Jun 2014, “The Wall Street Journal”, our nation’s largest newsprint, although it had an article about the VA it was about the void left at the top after the Secretary’s resignation, DRAMA, and not about healthcare per se. “The New York Times”, our nation’s second largest newspaper, did NOT have a single remark about the VA on its front page. USA TODAY? The nation’s third largest circulation, NOPE! However, USA TODAY did find significance to include on its “Nation-Now” section, an article titled, “Doctor accused of sexting during surgery”. Really? Oh yea. That makes sense. DRAMA! Why? Because DRAMA sells, DUH! Then, there was the “Los Angeles Times”, the nation’s forth largest circulation, on its national page there was an article about the VA but, again, not about healthcare but instead more DRAMA, this one about how “this hyper-partisan Congress” came together to solve the problem. Really? I was not aware they had solved the problem. At least not at the VA or any other healthcare problem our nation faces. Then, last, and for good reason, as both are nothing but DRAMA promoting tabloids, the “Daily News of New York” and the “New York Post”, the nation’s fifth and sixth largest newspaper circulations, respectively, neither had anything about the VA either, imagine that. Nonetheless, those are the Top 6 Newspaper in our nation, some 8 million editions (includes digital) and nothing about healthcare at the VA today despite it was BREAKING NEWS just a week ago.

To that I would add, in case the public does read this, it's not that healthcare workers could never tell you. Instead, it's that healthcare administrators and pundits do not want us to tell you!

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