I recently spent quite a bit of time visiting a family member in the hospital and had quite a wake up call. After years of nursing and nursing management, I was amazed to see the nursing care (or lack of) delivered to my family member. This experience involved two separate hospital stays within 10 days and the family member was on two different floors or units. Although neither got an “A” grade, one group of professionals was better than the other.
My biggest question is, “What happened to basic nursing care?” Is it now okay to leave a patient on the same sheets for two days? Is it okay for a patient to go without the offer of assistance for a bath? Simple things like a toothbrush, a comb and other articles of hygiene seem to be missing from the thoughts of the caregivers. Nursing care used to include getting someone settled for the night, straightening the bed, etc. Those kinds of services did not take place until the patient was able to ask, request and then do them on her own.
Certainly the vital signs were taken and documented in a timely manner and the IVs were on schedule, although all on a pump. Pain control, again managed by the patient, was timely and IV antibiotic piggybacks were also delivered on time. The physician’s orders were carried out but what was missing was the human side of nursing care. Although there were some CNAs that were more helpful than others, some didn’t even do the basics.
I took this experience and then compared it to the human resource sector. We have come so far in the last few years as we have embraced new technologies, metrics, ATS support, social networking sites, ROI, etc. but are we still doing the basics? Much like the nursing care I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, human resource professionals must make sure that they continue to offer the best possible candidate care. Competition is tough in the health care sector and the race will go to the swift and the competent. So, we must never forget to offer the best care—that means answering the phone, returning phone calls and making sure that the website and application process is quick and easy to navigate. Once a candidate comes for an interview it is about being timely, honest and knowledgeable. All of these things make a huge difference in the decision that the applicant will make, much like the decision a patient makes on whether to return to a hospital for nursing care.