The business of health care

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Over the past decade, there has been quite the paradigm shift. Health care has transitioned into a customer service-based industry in which the customer is always right.

Our customers are unfortunately not buying a particular product, but are in fact investing. They are investing in their own health. This complex and endless investment has transformed our service industry into a dog-eat-dog environment.

Somehow, we’ve gone from complimenting and praising nurses’ well-intended actions to ostracizing those who are not going above and beyond the call of duty all the time, every time.

Dare I say it, but we’ve all become brown-nosing #@$ kissers; no matter what the customer says, feels or does—he or she is always right.

We’ve become such the kissers that we now bite our tongues when the most non-compliant, disrespectful, system-draining derelict of a patient yells, spits and threatens to sue us because we didn’t cater to their every need. We didn’t behave like the waitstaff they were expecting.

We have to walk on eggshells around some of the most horrible members of society because we don’t dare offend them if our plan of care doesn’t agree with their current lifestyle.

The character Dr. House on the TV show House is a wonderful example of what most health care professionals are thinking but dare not say. We are too scared of inciting a legal infraction.

The truth of the matter is, many of the problems our patients face today are not due to passive victimization or innocent ignorance, but blatant disregard. A disregard of one’s own health.

Being unhealthy costs everyone money. And the ripple-like effect of this monetary charge for unhealthy behaviors is exponential. The more you have, the more expensive it gets. The more expensive it gets, the more you have.

I think the sooner we as a nation face the truth of our actions, the sooner our health and our health care system can improve. Until then we will all continue to be the kissers—if you know what I mean.

As a nurse, I grow tired of us having to stick our tails between our legs instead of giving some of our patients the “Dutch uncle” they so very much need and deserve. I have a funny feeling many patients would miraculously recover.

Any other nurses out there feel the same way?

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