Friday, March 13, 2015

Health Care Slogans vs. Traditional Values

Recently, I observed one of my colleagues wearing a tee shirt emblazoned with a clever expression: "Inside every old fool is a young fool asking; What the heck happened?"   Todays health care systems slogans confound me and frequently bring this question to mind.

Hospitals did not advertise with taglines, their institutional values were clearly defined on our nursing pins. What follows is an actual hospital slogan contrasted with the values etched on a nursing pin. I will try to exercise restraint and not pontificate. They really do speak for themselves.

Convenient - Connected   vs.  Charity -  Hygiene

Believe in WE  vs.  A Deo Salus  (Health comes from God)

Hello Life! vs. Vota Vit Mea (my life is devoted)

Depend on Us for Life  vs . deo Juvante  (with God's help)

Engineering the Future of Healthcare vs.  Embracing the past while we sculpt the future

Professional..Reputable..Connected   vs.  Service-Research-Education

The healthcare system of opportunity vs. Non Sibi Sed Aliis  (Not for themselves, but for others)

Wisdom for Your Life vs. Dedicated to the Service of Mankind

Well Beyond Healthcare vs. Take care of him and I will repay you

Life Changing Medicine vs. Salus Generis Human (For the health of man)

Some of the slogans defied finding pins that expressed contrasting values. Nevertheless, I found them noteworthy.

 "Cheat Death" is an actual hospital slogan  that really perplexes me. Oldfoolrn's don't cheat. If we did our expulsion from nursing school was a sure bet. Furthermore we never could use the "D"word.
When patients expired, we transported them to the morgue in double tiered gurneys (the body was on the lower tier and the top looked like an ordinary cart.)  Nobody was the wiser as we passed trough the hall. Denial was the key word when dealing with death. Patients did not really die-they were "transferred to the morgue."

"5 star care"  This slogan brings to mind the question "Who says so?" This type of rating should only apply to movies.

"Pushing Beyond" Where is beyond and what are they pushing

These slogans were created for marketing purposes only, an attempt to exploit a patient's illness for business purposes. The values on nursing pins were the essence of what the hospital cared about. They were not advertised, but everyone had a sense of what they were.  Times sure have changed. What the heck happened?


  1. Enjoying your blog, some great observations that really bring back some memories. Remember well the double tiered death cart, called at various facilities "the double decker bus", the "canopy bed" and "the paddy wagon". Good times...

    1. I remember the "canopy bed" terminology and the other two are really clever. I once did a "drive-by" pronouncement with one of these carts. It was late at night and the surgical resident on call said he was too tired to come up to the floor to pronounce the patient dead. I said no problem and wheeled the cart right down to the on call room for the official word and then back on my way to the morgue. He was very appreciative and collapsed back into his bed for some much needed rest. Thanks for your comment!

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