The customer is always right when…
Posted by Amy on October 4, 2007
A few weeks ago at work I was taking care of an elderly lady from a nursing home. I deemed that she was stable, started the workup and went about my business. An hour later, I got hammered with three critical patients, including a CHF’er on the brink of intubation and a couple of unresponsive overdoses. During all of this, a nurse paged me and said that the daughter of the elderly lady was there and wanted to talk to me when I had a chance. I, unfortunately, had no such chance for about 45 minutes. When finally I tore myself away from my downhill-spiraling patients, I found that the daughter had just left, “stormed out”, according to the nurses.
I called her at home a few times and finally got through a few hours later. I apologized for missing her, but explained that I had been taking care of a few really sick patients. She was not amused or impressed and the next day filed a complaint about me to the hospital. I don’t think anything will come of it (her mother was fine, by the way) because I didn’t do anything wrong (and wouldn’t change a thing even if I could – my three critical patients all pulled through nicely). But, the whole thing was a bit upsetting because I really do try to offer good “customer service”.
Later, I remembered a Chinese restaurant menu page that I had seen in Greece that offered some words of wisdom regarding “the customer is always right” philosophy.
I’m thinking of posting it outside the ER.