WELCOME BACK TO SOUPFLY!
This week is National Nurses Week. My wife, Michelle, is a nurse with nearly 20 years of experience-from interventional radiology, to ER, to ICU. So, with that in mind, I thought it only fitting to take a departure from our norm of sharing about a dining experience that we had and instead focus on Service & Hospitality from a different perspective.
This week, Soupfly celebrates the unsung heroes of the medical industry-Nurses.
As I was finishing my book, Getting to WOW!, Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service, Michelle would often share with me how nurses and servers in a restaurant are very similar in so many ways. Nurses, like servers are the ones who are most intimately related with the customer/patient. When I would talk with her about principles of Service & Hospitality that I was writing about in the book, she would explain to me that the same holds true in the medical field. In fact, as I was writing the book with the Food & Beverage/Restaurant Industry in mind, it eventually became clear to me-(Michelle knew it immediately-I guess I’m a little slow) that the principles I share in Getting to WOW! are applicable across the board-no matter what industry one works in. If you are dealing with, selling to, or serving customers, guests, patrons, clients, patients or employees (your internal customers), then the content in Getting to WOW! applies to you.
The more we discussed it, the more it made sense to me to dedicate a portion of a chapter to that very topic: Servers Are Like Nurses-so, with permission of the author-me, I would like to share with you a part of the chapter entitled, Getting a Servant’s Heart:
Servers are like Nurses
My wife, Michelle, is a registered nurse and works in the ICU of a major hospital in Las Vegas. She has more than 20 years of experience as a nurse. Although she has never taken an order or carried a tray, or ever done anything in the service industry-that is, she’s never worked in a restaurant-we both agree that our two industries are so very similar. When I think of a person with a Servant Heart, I would say that Michelle definitely fits the description. In fact, she epitomizes it. Yes, I’m biased but I know I’m right on this one.
Nurses are to the medical field what servers are to the Service and Hospitality industry. Nurses do all the dirty work, so to speak, and oftentimes, literally and the doctors get all the praise and glory. Servers, similarly, are on the front lines in the front of the house, but the Chefs get all the accolades. In both industries there are tasks that are vital to the operation/success of the business yet not desirable by those who must perform them.
Although, there is a lot of technical and medical knowledge that nurses must call upon from their training, on a daily basis to care for their patients-as in checking and recording vitals, communicating medical information to them and their families, administering medicine and a myriad of other things, they also do many other non-glamorous things for their patients like-feeding and bathing them, propping them up in their beds, moving them, helping them use the bathroom, emptying bedpans, etc.
These other tasks are equally as vital to the patient’s care, comfort, and well-being as the former ones are. And Michelle, truly has a calling to care for and serve people. We all know that nurses do command a very good income and rightfully so. But although, I know Michelle is very happy and grateful for her compensation, her primary motivation is not the money. She cares for the people. That is what God has called her to do. And gifted her to do.
In the same way, I am saying that if you want to be, believe you are to be, in this business of Service and Hospitality, in whatever capacity, somehow, someway, you must develop a Servant Heart. If you don’t enjoy serving others but you just love the money and the flexibility of schedule-you will not be truly successful. In fact, deep down you will be miserable.
Truly, Nurses are the backbone of the medical profession, at least in my opinion.
Michelle has a plastic bracelet that she wears to work which has a very simple yet profound message on it:
I AM THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE
To me, that really sums it up. Remember, a patient in a hospital is, most of the time, an unwilling customer, as in they didn’t really choose to be there, unlike a restaurant guest, who, usually is in your establishment by choice. For a patient, whatever their experience during their hospital stay, by and large is going to be equated with how well they felt the nurse(s) took care of them. I AM THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE.. When that patient says that hospital did a great job of taking care of me-they’re usually referring to the nurses. When a patient says they ignored me and let me be in pain, that patient is referring to the nurse(s). You, the Nurse, one person per shift, (at least in ICU) are the representative of the hospital in the mind of the customer, the patient. If the hospital gets a positive review-usually it’s thanks to the Nurse(s). I’m not trying to minimize or diminish the part that the doctors play but the reality is that the nurses are there 24/7 available to the customer-the patient.
I’ve learned from Michelle that there are certain protocol, certain steps and procedures that are to be followed by the nursing staff, and yet it is possible for a nurse to follow such protocol to the “T” and still not really provide great Service to the customer, the patient. Why? For one thing, I believe that just as in the Service & Hospitality Industry there are some who are in it only for the money, so too, sometimes is the case in nursing. This is just my opinion, but technical skills and ability without the heart of a Servant leaves something lacking.
This philosophy needs to be understood, embraced and applied in every industry-I AM THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.
If a guest leaves a restaurant feeling great and looking forward to return-it’s usually, largely, due to the efforts of the server or the service team. When the customer/guest says that they really like a restaurant-most of the time, you can bet that they are not referring to the management staff. Yes, the quality of the food is important-but good food with sub-par service will not entice the guest to return.
YOU THE SERVER, THE BARTENDER, THE FOH STAFF, ARE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.
In a hospital environment, it is not the wonderful comfort of the hospital bed, nor is it the ambience of the room, nor the medicine administered, nor the food-that causes a patient to remark favorably about their stay-Rather, it is largely due to kindness, the care, the positive upbeat attitude and the overall Service & Hospitality of the nurse or the nursing team that was by his side during this most difficult time.
I could write the equivalent of 10 posts about how important nurses are and how the ones who do it well are like angels to their patients. I know of numerous times when Michelle’s patients told her exactly that-that she was their angel. I know that it wasn’t just because of her technical skills and her ability to properly and efficiently execute protocols. I know that she doesn’t just walk into a patient’s room and start poking and prodding and taking vitals etc., even if the patient is asleep-which I know is a very common occurrence. She actually talks to, engages her customer/patient and explains what she is about to do to them. A nurse with a Servant Heart will do this. One who doesn’t have a
Servant heart will be efficient yet very cold in their manner. I AM THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE
What feeling do your patients, customers, or guests take with them when they leave your establishment?
Do they feel well cared for, that you genuinely were interested in their well-being, their experience? Or do they feel like they’re just a number, just another body, just another customer?
I’m sure all of us have had our lives touched, encouraged, blessed, healed by a nurse’s care. If not you personally, then I’m sure someone close to you. I am blessed to be married to, not only an Amazing woman but an awesome nurse, Michelle Renee Weihman
God bless our nurses. We love and honor you for your care and service.
Thank you for reading! As always, I encourage and invite you to Share on Social Media and send us your comments.
God Bless you and Cheers!
Christoff J. Weihman
Las Vegas, NV
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