Motivation part 2 – Negative Motivation

negative motivationNegative Motivation (Positive/Negative Reward)

The following is a form of negative motivation.  The negative is differentiated between who it is impacting.  One story the negative result is on the person who needs the “reward”  and the second story is negative on the person supplying the “reward.”  In both cases they are behavior modification principles.

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Ok, so I talked about the funny and lighthearted ways to motivate.  But dang it some things just aren’t very funny. In this world it seems like there are some people out there who take a great deal of pride and even earn a living getting people to do things that can cause them or others harm simply by motivating them to make very bad choices.

I can tell you without a doubt getting hooked on drugs [nicotine, alcohol, caffeine] is one of the greatest negative motivators many people deal with. Drug sellers get paid to encourage people to make bad choices.

And then … there are those people who encourage others to spend their hard earned money on scams; evil people who prey on the needs of those who just want help and think they have found it.

But in all honesty, when it comes to the definition of external motivation getting someone addicted to drugs or tricking them to spend their life’s savings isn’t that much different from the little girl crying for a toy? just an absolutely sinister form. They are both trying to get someone to do something they want regardless of the repercussions.

Are you ready for this motivation circus?  I speak of it from years of experience as a physician working in hospitals.

patientsHospitals are motivated to get patients, decrease costs and achieve the highest level of reimbursement. Soooo, we now find hospitals changing from providing healthcare and treating patients to . . .  serving customers.  Where the priority becomes to make the “customer” customer happy versus to treat the “patient’s” health care needs. If the hospital doesn’t play the game they will go bankrupt. Pretty high motivation to comply if you ask me.

Hospitals are decreasing ER wait times, employing gourmet chefs and have essentially opened the pharmacy to anyone who wants narcotics. A customer, whoops patient, just has to say “I hurt” and they can get some of the most powerful narcotics manufactured.

Now comes the patient’s side of this craziness. The government requires each hospital to send out patient satisfaction surveys. Hospitals must get nothing less than 85%; nearly a perfect score in five categories.  Patients who know the system, now you, know this score is important. If a hospital doesn’t hit the mandated goal of 85% perfect smiley faces they will not get paid what they have earned.  Boo hoo!

And guess what?  Drug abusers, threaten hospitals with bad surveys and just like the toddler threatening to break the sunglasses they get what they want; big, bad and very strong drugs. And , because of the surveys hospitals can’t afford to say no.  They are even ordering physicians to prescribe them and the abusers love it.

Now before you get upset and think I am saying don’t give people with terminal illness or bone fractures pain meds calm down.  This is about motivation.  These people are using the system to get what they want – drugs.

You won’t believe this next little tidbit, our seniors are some of the best offenders in misusing hospital surveys.  I know of seniors who complain of food or linens in order to get flowers, bathrobes and gifts certificates. Is this crazy or what?

old lady robeDon’t believe me, here is my perfect example of survey abuse. This little old lady modeled her bathrobe to me; the price tag still on.  She told me she had complained – they(the hospital staff) took her blood pressure before 10 in the morning.  In response one of the nurses brought the lady the robe, because she complained.

Her next comment really floored me: “I am going to tell all my friends how easy it is to get such a nice gift.”  

Just to let you know hospitals so badly want good surveys, if they aren’t good they don’t get money, they will literally try to buy them.  So when hospitals get complaints, they now give gifts.  Guess what? These seniors, not being dummies, have learned to use this system and are actually complaining just for gifts. They actually receive a reward for complaining. I am still not sure who is really using who in this case.

Our next section will discuss Negative Motivation with a Positive reward. Trust me we have all experienced this.  Odds are you are currently experience it if you have a job or are in school . . .


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