Monday, August 6, 2007

Where's the service

Before we begin I just want to let eveyone know how much I love the show "Rock of Love". Usually I hate anything reality based, but it's easily my favorite t.v. show in recent memory. Brett Michaels has to be the most straight forward rock star in history.

That being said I'd like to make a little proposal. I think that every healthcare professional should have to spend a year waiting tables. It's just weird to me to work with so many people that have an inflated sense of self worth, even people with little or no education seem to believe they are irreplaceable. It's almost comical to see how important everyone thinks their job is, no matter how menial the task.

I guess I'm not sure if I learned this in the Army or waiting tables, but somewhere down the line I've learned that "You're just not that important." and you can be replaced pretty easily. If I hear one more person say "It's not my job" when they are asked to do something well within the scope of their abilities, I may just blow my brains out. When did it become so difficult to just do you're damned job?

This rant comes from an incident that happened a few weeks ago. There is a section of our hospital that deals with outpatient labs and it closes at 8 p.m. Evidently everyone ceases to be able to help anyone at this point. I received a phone call at about 830 one night from one of the urgent care facilities in the area saying they had a 3 year old that had been bitten by a tick and they were wanting to do a Panel of tests normally associated with tick bites but were unable to draw his blood. They wanted to know if they could send her up to us and see if we could stick her. Normally we'd send this patient down to our outpatient area, but being that it was past 800 we couldn't. I told them to go to the E.R. and have them register her as an outpatient and send her up to the lab with explicit instructions not to let them register her as an E.R. patient, otherwise she'd be sitting there for hours, and she'd be charged for an E.R. visit. At about 10:00 I get a call from the same urgent care, saying, "the patient was still waiting in the E.R". It's asinine to wait an hour and a half just to get some blood drawn from an obviously sick child. I call the E.R. and ask for registration trying to figure out what happened. I get some nameless retarded they've hired and ask her what's going on. Her response was this; "Oh that's not my job I'm just here to register E.R. patients." So I ask are you able to do it? She says "yes". So I question her as to why she didn't just do it. her response once again was "It's not my job. I decide to end the phone call by telling her to just send the patient up to the lab and we'll take care of it. I ask "is it your job to talk to patients, are you going to be able to do that alright. I know it'll be hard to get out of your chair, but please, just this once?"

At 11 (when I'm supposed to go home I start wondering if she ever made it up to the lab to be taken care of. I call the E.R once again and ask if she's down there. Evidently someone in the lab (I later found out it was the piddler.) told her she had to go back to the E.R. Eventually I convince someone to hand the phone to the patient's mother and I tell them to come back to the lab and I'll personally take care of it. She makes it up to the lab and I grab one of our registration girls, right as she's leaving, and explain the situation. She doesn't really know how to register her, but the one bright moment of the day for me was when she said "I'm not sure how, but I know I can at least figure it out." It takes her all of about five minutes after calling someone else to find out how. We take her to have her blood drawn and she's out in ten minutes.

Everyone has seemingly lost what the idea of customer service means. Hospital's have adopted this attitude that as long as they're not bleeding right now they'll be fine to wait until we decide to get around to you. Unfortunately most people don't have alot of other options and they can get away with this kind of crap. This poor lady with a three year old who is visibly sick has to wait for two hours just to get blood drawn so she can wait another three days for results? It just doesn't make sense to me. She waited purely because of other people's laziness.

I don't deal with a lot of patient care but in the few instances I do want to treat people the same way I would hope they'd treat my grandma. It's almost sad When I rush and make sure a patient gets in and out of the phlebotomy room as soon as I can, and they seem amazed that they could go anywhere in the hospital and be in and out in fifteen minutes. All it takes is someone just going a little out of their way. I'm a firm believer in Karma and that it doesn't only effect you. Every time you pass some old lady broken down on the side of the road, every time you pass a beggar, every time a friend asks for help and you're "Too busy", Is one more time you're grandma will get passed by, or you're friends and family who are having a hard time won't get help. I try to live by the mantra that If I do my best to help someone, that favor will be returned, either directly to me or to my family that can't help themselves. What if my girlfriend and My little boy broke down on the side of the road and no one would go out of their way to help?

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