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Archive December 2019 XX, No. 12

Business Advisor: Treat Your Patients Like First-class Passengers

5 simple tips from a flight attendant's crash course on patient care.

Kathy Beydler

Kathy Beydler, RN, MBA, CASC, CNOR


SMILING EYES Instruct your staff to look patients in the eye with a genuine smile that shows they care.

You never know where you'll learn lessons about caring for patients, so I'm always on the lookout for excellence in service that I can translate to patient care. On a recent flight, I encountered an exceptional flight attendant who was so good at taking care of those in her care on the flight that it was easy to make the connection between how we can better care for our patients by treating them like passengers.

We all have ideas about the role of flight attendants. Some view them as waitresses in the sky who serve us sodas and snacks from the beverage cart. They are there to provide for our comfort and enforce the rules. Those public perceptions of flight attendants are similar to those of nursing. Can you help me to the bathroom? Would you get me something to drink? Put aside your misconceptions and check out what one flight attendant, Krisztina, can teach us about caring for patients.

1 She quickly put the passengers at ease. As I got on the plane, Krisztina complimented me on my necklace and welcomed me aboard. I watched her do something similar as each passenger boarded the plane. Most veteran fliers are used to the routine of flying and even though they sleep through the safety announcements, we all know something could go wrong. I'm not afraid of flying and never have been. But I'm not a fan of being on the other side of the operating room table as a patient.

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