I’ve Never Done this Myself but Go Ahead…

I just can’t believe the shoddy tech training that must be going on at certain institutions across this country. My particular rant today focuses on imaging technicians. Now I have worked with, and have been worked on, by various medical technicians before. You know, physical therapists, phlebotomists, x-ray, etc. In most cases, they seem to show some knowledge or compassion for the patient under their care. This was not the case at my last visit to get some scanning done.

Some background: The particular scanning done involves receiving an injection of an indicator, and then lying down in an apparatus, similar (so they claimed) to an MRI chamber for some images to be taken, slowly, by a camera of sorts. Then you leave, only to return after a few hours to repeat the process sans another injection.

The technician was quite thorough in her explanation of the machine and the procedures, she didn’t seem very familiar with, nor sympathetic to the “patient experience”. The machine was uncomfortable, claustrophobic, and plain old intimidating. Following the 2nd round, I asked if, at any time during her training, had she ever been in one of these devices. Her answer floored me. She had NEVER been in one, even to just feel what it was like to lay in a tube for an indeterminent amount of time. So, she has never had a clue as to what her patients are going through.

I have several friends in the physical therapy or health care profession. The phlebotomists tell tales of themselves and their lab partners practicing IVs and drawing blood on each other, the physical therapists work out with their classmates, heck even the security folks have to take a mace or taser hit to complete their training. I’m pretty sure that flight attendants have to dive down the exit slide and use their seat-back as a flotation device once ro twice.

So I wondered, as I lay there listening to the A/C fan and the overhead light buzzing, why can’t these imaging techs or CAT Scan operators spend an hour or two in one of these machines? I think then, they’d have a little more understanding and patience for their patients (customers). When you were growing up, did you ever see a Ford salesman drive a Chevy? How about a Sears salesperson at JC Penny’s? Where did the IHOP servers eat lunch? Yep IHOP. Aviation crew-chiefs get their names painted on their aircraft because they go up in them post repair. Now it seems that everyone is just there for the paycheck.

The old adage “Customer’s Point of View” doesn’t seem to be in the lesson plans of the “Do no harm” oathed medical community. Why? Is it a money thing? I doubt that Obama Care or health system reform will change this. It’s not just the medical community though.

Too many have lost the notion that good customer service makes return customers. When you produce a physical thing like Apple, Honda, even McDonald’s it’s not too difficult, but when you’re pure service, the felling of content or comfort that your customer experiences in your presence IS the product. Words like compassion and empathy (look them up) come to mind. Sometimes the good old days were better.

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