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We Need Rubber Glove Balloons! STAT!

, , , | Healthy | January 8, 2022

After graduating college, I thought I was lucky enough to get a management position with a company on the Forbes 500 list. In all honesty, I am just a glorified dispatcher handling one of the departments in one of the hospitals in the inner city of a very old, old historic city.

In most hospitals, there is something called a priority list: who goes first in any situation. Number one priority are intensive care patients, codes, STATs, and traumas. Next is operating room patients, special procedures, people going to XRAY, Cat Scan, etc. On the very bottom is equipment — things like the pumps used to give people an IV.

Our primary customer is the hospital. We live and breathe to serve the hospital.

Here is a REAL conversation I had with one of the hospital personnel. I have MANY conversations like this daily.

Nurse: “Hello, I am calling from [Unit]. We called for some equipment an hour ago.”

Me: “Yes, I am sorry for the wait, but we currently do not have anyone available to bring that equipment up. As soon as we do, I will make sure it gets to you.”

Nurse: “Well, why is no one available?”

Me: “They are handling other patients in the hospital.”

Nurse: “My equipment is more important.”

Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but the hospital has strict priority standards that we have to stick to.”

Nurse: “Yes, but this equipment is for a patient.”

Me: “Yes, I understand that, but unfortunately, we have had several ICU patients that have had to go down to testing units. In fact, we just received a call for a STAT (very important) ICU to go down for an emergency test for complications.”

Nurse: “Well, equipment should come before anything, as it is for a patient. This is a problem; it needs to change. I want to complain!”

Me: “If I am understanding you correctly, ma’am, you would like things such as a wheelchair, a stretcher, or a pump to come before a patient that is profusely bleeding?”

Nurse: “Yes! The equipment is for the patient. It’s just as important!”

Me: *In disbelief* “Well, I would like to apologize again for the wait, but we will get the equipment up to you as soon as we are able to. Goodbye.” *Click*

Isn’t it nice to know that the next person taking care of you could be this nurse who values an inanimate object over getting you down to a testing procedure that could save your life?

Sometimes I wonder what was worse: retail or hospital customer service.