Column – Adhering to the Biblical Golden Rule in the service industry

Published 5:33 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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Chris Quilpa

Like any baby boomer, retired veteran servicemen and women especially, I have sought help, support and assistance when I go visit a clinic or hospital for my healthcare and other medical needs. As an outpatient, I frequently go to the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth and Hampton VA Medical Center, or Patient First Clinic once in a while. 

I don’t know about you, but every time I visit any of these medical facilities, I’m anxious, critical, observant, and opinionated. 

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Having worked in — and retired honorably from — naval hospitals and clinics for 20 years, providing the highest excellent quality care and customer service to all patients entrusted under my care, I have this kind of high standard/expectation that I uphold and look forward to whether I’m the employee or the patient. 

Indoctrinated in the idea of T-E-A-M-WORK (Treat Everyone As Me), and, as a Christian Catholic, I believe and trust in Jesus, our Lord, and Savior, whom I learned about the biblical Golden Rule to live by day by day. I’d like to share with you my thoughts, observations and experiences. 

To whom it may concern, thank you for your service and kind consideration.

You are the frontliners, meaning essential workers, especially in policing, emergency services, public transit, grocery, warehouse, and delivery work, whose job depends on in-person interactions and may involve some risks. In clinics or hospitals, you may be a front desk clerk or personnel, a nurse or nurse/physician assistant, a lab tech or pharmacist, a doctor, or an administrator. 

You are your employer’s or company’s immediate representatives or contact point. What you do at the front desk/window, either assisting a customer or patient in person or answering a phone call, can determine or reflect the kind of company or facility you work for. Patients in clinics or, hospitals, or medical centers come in with various needs or concerns, issues, or problems about their health (medical, physical, mental, psychological). And they have expectations. They’re keen and attentive to your “welcoming” approaches or dealings with them.

As employees, you are there to help, assist, and support whoever is assigned or designated to you. If they perceive or sense that your dealings or interactions with them are (un)pleasant, (un)favorable, or not to their standard excellent quality customer service they expect, your customers or patients notice that and, thus, have in mind formed an impression that either you’re (in)competent or (un)reliable to help them, or your company or facility is (not) the right or best clinic/hospital or company they’d love or like to come or visit anytime. 

If the adage, “First impression is a lasting one,” holds true, then you, as the front desk personnel, ought to rethink what role you play in your company or facility that hired you. Of course, you cannot please nor ignore everybody that comes in. But, as a paid employee, you should always be ready to help. And most importantly,  you should always strive for excellence

If you believe in God or adhere to the biblical Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12), God knows what you do or have done and your intentions to help alleviate the conditions/status of people or patients who see you. They are, in fact, the sole beneficiaries of your service or employment.

There are reasons why clients or customers, or patients keep coming back to your clinic/hospital facility for healthcare services. They’re satisfied with the services they receive. They believe that they’re being taken care of, that their needs were met beyond expectation, and that they feel safe and secure about their health and well-being. They feel they’re getting better and healthier with their various issues and concerns.

To whom it may concern, there’s always room for improvement. Whether you’re a private or public employee, there’s always this thing called expectation from people or patients you serve. 

Give your best with your knowledge, skills, and training, and keep updated with the latest trends in your specialty and quality customer service. Make your employer or company proud of you, and patient/customer satisfaction should always be in your mind. Thank you for your service. 

May God bless all of us, all patients and customers and fellow co-workers, our families and friends always. Happy Easter!