Cruel to be Kind?

Kindness costs nothing.

Being based in a small rural hospital, we were part of the community. That meant patients expected a certain standard of care. We did our best to oblige but it wasn’t always easy. Some tried to take advantage, the majority appreciated it

An example : in the city, if an elderly person fails out of bed the crew take them to hospital, at best they return them to bed, check them over and drive away. In the country, we’d check them over and return them to their bed if they were uninjured. We’d make the patient a cup of tea and call a friend to see if they could come around to sit with the patient for a while.

The powers that be didn’t like this because jobs took longer and the figures on their computer looked bad, but we still did it.

When I first began with the ambulance service I was an Ambulance Care Assistant, a non-emergency transport driver. Even then we had memos saying we were taking too long when dropping patients back home after hospital stays. That’s because we took the time to settle them and make sure they were comfortable. We put the “care” in Care Assistant into practice. Kindness is free, if ambulance crews can’t show that, who can??

I recently called my broadband service provider to upgrade my service. The person who took the call was friendly, caring and kind. They listened and made me feel like I mattered, something that doesn’t happen often with large companies. If that kind of care can happen elsewhere, why were we being told we were wrong to make patients feel valued?

Many years ago I worked for a large mobile phone retailer. The company was based on a number of principles (I may have mentioned this before), the most meaningful one, the one that has stayed with me, being: Treat Everyone the Way You Expect to be Treated Yourself.

There’s nothing cruel about kindness. Now, more than ever, show some everyday and who knows what might come back to you.

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