The Customer is NEVER Right - A Nurse Practitioner's Perspective
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Letter to Dr. Kelli Ward
Healthcare's "few indeed bad apples". WHAT!?!
They called it, “Violence in nursing”: I call it, “Healthcare Directed Violence”

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Healthcare's "few indeed bad apples". WHAT!?!




















Just happen to come across another healthcare administrator bashing healthcare workers for the administrator's personal gain. NOT judging anyone but a diagnosis.

My first thought and reply to the article's author...Are you FREAKING kidding me? Well maybe the second thought and reply as the first one was a bit more inflammatory and why that's not it here.

Instead, this much more subdued version is it...

Really? Interesting that a healthcare administrator would write about the "few indeed" in healthcare rather write about the MORE common and our great nation's silent national crisis--healthcare directed violence!





All of those in the news ONLY because of their HIGH IMPACT drama otherwise they would NOT be newsworthy enough, as some believe bowing to healthcare directed violence is part of our every day job.

Mr. Powell, "CEO", "Healthcare Executive", and "Industry Influencer" extraordinaire, were you aware of any of those tragic events? That's not a rhetorical question. Thus, "NO shame" if you were NOT aware. Because unfortunately, although NOT surprising, YOU are NOT alone for NOT knowing as most healthcare administrators, "Healthcare CEOs", "Healthcare Executives" and "Industry Influencers" included, are NOT aware of those tragic incidents either, as they have BIGGER issues to attend to, like writing about "the bad apples" in healthcare.

NEWS FLASH! Mr. Powell, it is healthcare administrators and pundits who are responsible for the collateral damage of healthcare and where healthcare finds itself today. HOW and/or WHY? Because of their obsession with customer satisfaction scores and their by any means necessary IDIOT-ology [sic], regardless the cost, consequences or LOSS! That IDIOT-ology [sic] despite the thirty-plus years of rating healthcare has done NOTHING for healthcare but leave behind an overwhelming amount of collateral damage, which healthcare directed violence is but one of so many tragedies.

You want to write about the "arrogant, entitled and extremely aggressive" healthcare workers who just also happens to be "good looking, [and] athletic with a 'dynamic' personality"? How about you write about the trillions of incidents of abuse healthcare workers must dodge, ALONE, EVERY shift, day and night, across our GREAT nation just to stay safe and/or keep our jobs. Why do healthcare workers submit to such daily abuse? Because of the ALL to common healthcare administrator IDIOT-ology [sic] that conflicts between healthcare workers and patients/families jeopardizes the administration's goal of customer retention (for profits).

How about you write about patients calling us ANYTHING but our names? Telling us to get them this or that. Rolling their eyes when they disagree with the diagnosis and/or treatment plan. Pushing our hands away during their care or our assessment. Talking to someone else, on the phone or present, when we are speaking with them. Winking, catcalling or blowing kisses at us. Raising their hand at us or grabbing an object and either pointing at us with the object or threatening to throw it at us. Ignoring us when we speak to them. Touching, feeling or groping us. Throwing things at or near us or elsewhere else. Raising their voice at us. Doing other than what we asked in their best interest. Telling us how to do our jobs. Asking us to perform physical tasks that are solely for their sick pleasure. Reminding us how expendable we are. Snatching things from our hands. Telling us to get out of their rooms or to get someone else other than us.

How about that for a list of ideas you can write about? A list that could easily go on and on as those mentioned are but some of the most common and the most ignored. But there are MANY more we have to bow to EVERY single shift. It is like a minefield we must navigate, ALONE, just to stay safe and/or keep our jobs. Yet, a list you and your "CEO", "Healthcare Executive", and "Industry Influencer" colleagues likely have NEVER heard of but from which you could easily write a weekly, if not daily, LinkedIn column to show how much you value healthcare workers. Yes! Healthcare workers. NOT punching bags! NOT room furniture. NOT the expendable ones. But healthcare workers.

In case you have no idea who healthcare workers are we are the ones responsible for helping others, around the planet. Healthcare workers are the ones who maintain the public's confidence, year after year, as the public recognizes us as the MOST honest profession and with the GREATEST ethical standard of any profession. An honor that excludes healthcare administrators, CEOs, executives, and industry influencers, and, as you demonstrated by bashing healthcare workers in your LinkedIn column, righteously so.

That said, healthcare workers are the reason why you, and your colleague CEOs, executives, and industry influencers, even have the job you do. An opportunity that is NOT because of your skills or qualifications but because of the work of others. As it is us, healthcare workers, who patients seek for their care.

Of course, as so many healthcare administrators, you TOO will see ALL of the latter listed as petty! And I agree with you. They are petty. That is if you are okay with those petty things happening at your home from loved ones. And why, I guess, you would find them to be petty at work too. But I doubt you accept such inappropriate behavior at home. And if you DON'T accept it at home from loved ones WHY would you want us to accept that VENOMOUS behavior from those we are helping?

Think about this, Mr. Powell, CEO, Healthcare Executive, Industry Influencer, “The culture of ANY organization is the worse behavior tolerated" [Gruenter and Whitaker]. Not only from your extensively vetted "hot-headed...sexy boy [girl]" employees you bashed in your Industry Influencer LinkedIn column but MORE so from your customers TOO!

Of course, NONE of those mentioned so-called petty infractions are comparable to the SAVAGE crimes listed at the beginning. Heck, some might even say the petty and the more SAVAGE events are more like apples and oranges and incomparable. To which I reply, “All food! More important, food for thought.”

Why should those mentioned so-called petty infractions against healthcare workers and the cited SAVAGE crime be different at all? Inappropriate behavior is NOT a continuum between inappropriate behavior that is acceptable and inappropriate behavior that is NOT acceptable. INAPPROPRIATE IS INAPPROPRIATE, EXCLAMATION POINT! More important NEITHER is acceptable! Healthcare workers are NOT anyone's punching bag! NOT to patients. NOT to families. And NOT to administrators either!

Hopefully you, and other healthcare administrators and pundits, will be MORE attentive to those who help and care for others. STOP HURTING US!

No apologies. I AM A NURSE!

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