My teenager works at a local eatery – I thoroughly believe the saying, “A good teenager is a tired teenager”. Besides, there is a lot to be learned from being in the work force.

Such a lesson came last week. The daylight crew preps all of the food for the entire day because of the reduced staff in the evening. One particular day the food prep wasn’t done, for whatever reason. As a result, the evening crew had to do some prep, which held up the customers. Folks can usually walk into this establishment and walk out with the goods in about 5 minutes. Not this day….they had to wait as food was being prepped. They were not happy.
So, here’s where the lesson comes in – and it’s a lesson for all of us. The staff (my teen) had to explain to the customer why their food wasn’t ready. He had to look into the faces of the expectant hungry patrons and tell them that they had to wait. He wasn’t prepared. WOW – he didn’t like letting the customer down. It made him embarrassed and ashamed, apologizing for the long wait. He was suddenly the face of the restaurant.
What if we had to represent our products or services in a similar way? What if you had to talk to a patient about a device that you made or had a part in making? The device that was going into their body. What if we had to look into their eyes and the eyes of their loved ones and say – “yep, I’m pretty sure that this is going to work”. Pretty sure? Can’t we be more confident than that? Many times, we are so far removed from the real customer that we lose sight of them. We’re caught up in cost, timing, staffing, regulations and all of the things required to bring a product to market that we forget the patient. We may even consider the user or operator before the patient. After all, these are the real supporters of our device, aren’t they?
Regulations provide standards and controls for medical device companies. These standards ensue that companies can look objectively at the systems that design and manufacture products for medical use. The standards also ensure that we can look into the face of the patient and say with confidence, “I’ve done everything that I can to ensure that this product works.”
Never, never forget what that face looks like; kids, cancer patients, moms, husbands, geriatric patients – your family.

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