Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Should Patients Get to Choose Their Nurse?
Keeping the patients happy and satisfied means more now than it ever has. It's about the financial bottom line now. Happy patients = more money for the organization.
We all know that we sometimes click with patients and we sometimes don't. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses and everybody has that patient and/or family that we just don't get along with. If it works out with staffing and if it's not a hardship for other patients and families, why not try to comply with the patient's wishes for a particular nurse? Chances are, nobody else wants that patient anyway.
The challenge comes when the nurse the patient or family requests isn't really appropriate for that patient's level of care. How do you tell the patient and family this? "You are too sick for Susie." Or when that nurse is really needed to care for a more complex patient. "You are not sick enough for Susie."
How about when it's a personal preference based upon the patient or family's prejudice? Should that be considered a cultural preference or religious preference?
Having been in the position to make nurse-patient assignments, I've had times when I've had to find a way to explain to patients that I couldn't comply with their requests AND I've had to tell nurses that the patient/family has requested to have a different nurse and change assignments.
It's not an easy issue. Thoughts?