Security Issue----Name Tags? What do you do?

  1. I work in a 65,000 visit per year ED in the south. Recently a couple of incidents where patients and/or visitors made phone calls to staff members homes has commenced a proposal for ED staff to have 1st name only on name tags. My mission is to find out from as many other ED's across the country how does your name tags read. Please reply with how you may have changed to more secure system & any specific events that lead to this change
    thank you
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    How scary for your staff. I work in a level I 70K visits/year ER and we only have our first names, RN, BSN, CEN on our nametags. I've been here four years and have worked in Indianaplis, Las Vegas, and overseas too and in the States, first names only are usually what staff prefer. In our urban hospital, I would feel uncomfortable with people knowing my last name, even though we have an unlisted number and live in a rural area. (My husband is an inner=city high school teacher, so that is why we are not listed.) I have only had one incident where I had some creep make threatening remarks to me, telling me how he was going to hurt my sons. I filed a police report which took care of that quickly. We don't live in a real safe world anymore. Good luck
  4. by   CHUBBY
    I know of many places where 1st and last names are used on name tags, interestingly enough, even though wearing names tags is required (jcaho), I know many people who do not. I myself dont wear my tag that often, more for security reasons than anything else. Even worse, I recently worked one ER that uses a greaseboard for assignments and has the staff's first and last names next to their rooms that they're covering....
  5. by   dianee
    We have a new law in Nevada that requires that RNs wear a name tag with their first and last names on it. I'd prefer not to have my last name, but that's the way it goes.
  6. by   Mary H.
    Interestingly enough, the Nevada law says the first and last name must be "clearly visible from at least 3 feet away." I don't know where our Nurses Association was when this was passed, but obviously they think we're immune to stalking and gangs here. The last place I worked (in New Mexico) had first and last name on the badge, but the first name was big and black, the last name small and light gray, so it was essentially not readable. We did this for staff security - even in the rural areas there are gangs and stalkers.

    [This message has been edited by Mary H. (edited August 28, 2000).]
  7. by   Ann4
    We use only first names in our ED and it has made me feel much more comfortable, since I was stalked a few years ago. When the incident occured, I was working oncology and our badges had first and last names. I had to get an unlisted phone number because of it. It scared the crap out of me.

    I want to know if anybody has heard of the following: my nurse manager thought posting our PHOTOGRAPHS, with our first names and titles under them, on the wall in the ED lobby was a good idea. About half of the staff refused, myself included. We weren't forced to comply, but the board is still out there and I think it's a security risk. What do you think?
  8. by   fergus51
    I don't know if I really see what kind of safety withholding your last name provides. If you have an unlisted number it will be difficult to make prank or threatenning calls, but if someone really wants to hurt you it won't be hard. They know where you work. I'm not trying to sound pessimistic, but all a nut would have to do is wait for you outside the hospital follow you home. No one needs a last name to do that.
  9. by   Doey
    My hospital does provide us with ID badges with our photos, first and last name, and the unit you work on. But they are just as satisfied if you where your own name tag with just your first name and RN,LPN,CNA on it which is what most nurses in the ED do. And Ann4, about that picture in the lobby stuff, no way! That's ridiculous. With all the crazy people out there I don't think anyone needs to know who works in the hospital just by entering the building. We've had nurses getting out of abusive situations who have changed jobs and we don't need to make it easier for them to be found.
  10. by   traumaRUs
    From my earlier post, I gave the impression that our nametags were optional. They are not. You can and do receive disciplinary action for not adhering to it. Our hospital also has name boards in each unit with photos, first names and RN, LPN, etc on them. The ED where I work is coming to it also. I don't think it will be an optional thing, either! I personally always ask what someone's name is and are they an RN before I let them touch my family.
  11. by   TKOLRN
    Originally posted by ERguru:
    I work in a 65,000 visit per year ED in the south. Recently a couple of incidents where patients and/or visitors made phone calls to staff members homes has commenced a proposal for ED staff to have 1st name only on name tags. My mission is to find out from as many other ED's across the country how does your name tags read. Please reply with how you may have changed to more secure system & any specific events that lead to this change
    thank you
    Hey Guru,
    I work for a corporation that owns two hospitals in this state...The larger of the two has first names only on the badges, ours has first and last. When I obscured my last name in the interest of safety, I was told that was a violation of the policy. I work in an ER that frequently deals with psych. patients and angry patients. They do not use last names in psych. facilities, so I cannot understand our managers rationale. If they need follow-up, I suggested giving patients our employee ID numbers...
    Ted
  12. by   gdigiusto
    We are a 146 bed hospital experiencing the same issues of security that others have described. Our managment would love to move to first name and title only on our nurses name badges, but our barrier is our state board of nursing that mandates first and last names on name badges. We plan to appeal this to the board of nursing again in January and would appreciate any information from others who may have successfully challenged this type of mandate from a nursing board. We have the current OSHA recommendations that suggest no last names, but are seeking other research etc. to help make our case.
  13. by   TweetiePieRN
    Quote from fergus51
    I don't know if I really see what kind of safety withholding your last name provides. If you have an unlisted number it will be difficult to make prank or threatenning calls, but if someone really wants to hurt you it won't be hard. They know where you work. I'm not trying to sound pessimistic, but all a nut would have to do is wait for you outside the hospital follow you home. No one needs a last name to do that.
    There are many websites that list UNLISTED phone numbers! I know firsthand since I have a membership to one. But, you need a last name to look it up. You cannot do anything with just a first name.

    When you request your number to be unlisted thru the phone company, it will not be published in the phone book or when you call directory assistance (I used to work for the phone co). But, if you fill out any forms and put down your phone number, it can somehow end up on the internet thanks to companies who sell your info.

    I am not worried about someone waiting outside the hospital to hurt me because we have big burly security to walk us to our cars. However, I don't have a huge security guard in my home waiting to protect me from a nut waiting outside my home.

    If you have ever had someone stalk you...you would totally understand the fear it throws into your life! It's the worst thing ever!
  14. by   LeahJet
    It's so funny that this issue came up!.... Just today, I was in HR at a hosp. where I am orienting. When I was getting my name badge made, I told the HR lady that I will be working in the ER and asked if last names were mandatory. Ms. Personality just said "yes" in a flat tone and snapped my pic. Fortunately, the camera didn't catch my eye roll.
    The last couple of places I worked (travel nsg), last names weren't required. I really don't see why last names are needed. Pts. and visitors can ID us by first names, dept., and shift worked.
    Personally, I'm not crazy about everyone knowing my last name. That should be on a need-to-know basis.

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