You’re a V.I.P.? How Can I Help You?

Stories - Sign NursingWe hear this phrase from time to time in the many different settings of our nursing fields. We all have a different reaction to it and in most cases it has nothing to do with the actual person bearing the title but rather the implications of the title itself.

For the most part it makes me feel like this implicates that this person deserves a nursing care service that the rest of the patients either do not receive or do not deserve for lack of VIP status.

As nurses we bring to the bedside many facets of care. We serve as patient’s care givers, advocates, educators and many times their emotional support. We do this with all of our patients and we do it because we care.

Why would management think it will be any different just because they added the VIP in front of a patient’s name?

In many cases it brings out the opposite effect of the desired one. Staff might feel intimidated to provide care for the VIP patient or reluctant to go into this particular room. Regardless of the person we all know what this means.

This person’s needs must be anticipated and the wait for any task should be a bare minimum.

The physicians will definitely round on this patient daily and spend extra time listening to the patient and answering questions.

Extra tests will be ordered and performed. Medications will be readily available and housekeeping will camp outside of this room to make sure that if a paper is dropped it doesn’t reach the floor.

“How would the rest of the patients feel if they knew about this practice?”

Many times the VIP is a very nice person and easy to care for, but unfortunately when we hear VIP what comes to mind is the very few times we have cared for one of the obnoxious VIP’s that make us feel like servants running and jumping to their command.

The ones that no matter what we do is never good enough for them. The ones that feel we should consider ourselves lucky to be in their presence.

How would the rest of the patients feel if they knew about this practice? How would they react to the fact that if we give this title and what comes with it to some patients, then most of them must receive less that outstanding care because they are not VIP’s.

I know that because of the type of society and economy we live in this title will never go away.

In fact this title might even be necessary especially with the actual nursing shortage and predicted nursing shortage for the next few years; every nurse that goes to a hospital should be treated like a “VIP” to encourage them to work at that facility.

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