How do you protect your identity? - page 3

Just curious what methods you all use in order to protect yourself while at work? I'll start: I try to keep my last name secret to my patients and block out my last name on my badge as well.... Read More

  1. by   elizabells
    Our hospital just reissued all our IDs- they're two-sided now! Yay! No more turning them around!

    I assume at some point they'll be banning all those little extra cards we hang from them with phone numbers, IV rate formulas, union rep info, etc. Far more important for pts to know our full name than for us to have safety-related information close at hand, right?
  2. by   CVICURN2003
    Quote from mikethern
    Our hospital actually told us not to cover our last name. The solution is to wear the badge backwards so patients don't see the front of the badge. Then you can act like it is backward by mistake.

    That's what I do!!! I have been known to flip it backwards on purpose because I felt threatened by a family member or patient. Sometimes they think you "should be able to fix Mama" no matter what and get REALLY mad when you can't, despite your best efforts. Never felt that way about anyone I work with though.
  3. by   caliotter3
    I have been the victim of stalking and assault and battery by both a coworker and family member of a patient, so I'm well aware of the bad things that can happen to a person. I found that in the normal course of things, there was really nothing I could do to protect myself. Everything that I tried was futile. When these people wanted to harass me or bother me they very easily found me or found out my new phone numbers or got others to assist them with their activities. Law enforcement was no help whatsoever. You can only take normal precautions, hope for the best, and deal with the situation when and if it arises, the best you can. The best defense you have is a family member or spouse or boyfriend who can help protect you. That is it. If you live by yourself, you truly are on your own. I would never expose my surname on an id badge at work. Not that it makes that much of a difference. When someone gets it in for you, they can find out anything they want to know.
  4. by   EmmaG
    Quote from traumaRUs
    2. Don't have personalized license plates: 'traumrus, ER nurse, ER RN", etc..
    I also refuse to attach any hospital parking stickers to my car. I'll place it on the dash while I'm there, and store it out of sight after work.
  5. by   pagandeva2000
    My job requires that first and last name is printed on the ID badge. I think it is the one of the rights of the patients to know who is caring for them, and yes, it is true that one can check on line to see if the nurse's license is active or if there were any charges against her. I would want to know that.

    However, the computer age can allow for identity theft. We had a situation where one of the nurses broke the HIPPA law by accessing information about another nurse and spead the business throughout the hospital. What I did to protect myself after this horrible incident was to go into the system and change the last 4 digits of my social security number, changed the address, left my cell number rather than my home (with the same area code) and changed my mother's maiden name. These are some of the main ways that a person can steal your identity...and in most cases, it is usually done by a shady co-worker rather than a patient.
  6. by   Riseupandnurse
    I know a nurse (very dedicated) who was stalked by a family member of a patient. One of those family who sat by the bed and watched everything and had lots of comments, then continued the complaints on a personal level after discharge. The nurse was single and had an uncommon last name, so easy to find out her home address. The whole thing made her physically ill. No, I don't think patients/families have the right to our last names. If they have complaints knowing our first name and the date and floor we worked would be enough. I wish I didn't have to have my full name on my badge; some departments' personnel don't.
  7. by   fronkey bean
    Quote from RNperdiem
    I'd be flattered if any patient was even taking notice of my name. I don't think they are interested in the least.
    I'm thinking back to the last few times I went to hospital, and I can't remember the names of the nurses who gave care, badges present and all.
    Why just nurses, then? Would the doctors need pseudonyms?
    The sane ones probably won't (unless they want to complain about you). It's the crazy folks that will look you up!

    Thanks to those who have posted. I live in a small community and have not seen much of this but we are growing and I expect problems will happen.
  8. by   locolorenzo22
    It's important to have ways of just saying "no"....patients ask me sometimes..."What's your last name?, are you married?, and Do you live nearby?"
    I simply reply..."x, like the letter", I don't discuss my personal life at work, and about 10-25 mins from here...." leaves plenty of wiggle room and I don't change the responses...
  9. by   SweetOldWorld
    Quote from mikethern
    First name is fine. Last name is too much info. There are bad people in the world.
    I don't disagree with you, but what about your title? When you turn your nametag around, how do your patients know whether you are an RN, LPN, CNA, phlebotomist, or whatever? In my experience, that's what most people are looking for when they look at a nametag.
  10. by   anonymurse
    Quote from mikethern
    Do you know the names of all your airline pilots, bus drivers, and rollercoaster operators?
    Yes to all three (the first is announced, the second is displayed, and in the last case, it's Busch Gardens; the college kids who check your seat belts aren't operators). And every cop and all my kids' teachers and on and on. Your point?
  11. by   mikethern
    Quote from SweetOldWorld
    I don't disagree with you, but what about your title? When you turn your nametag around, how do your patients know whether you are an RN, LPN, CNA, phlebotomist, or whatever? In my experience, that's what most people are looking for when they look at a nametag.
    Because I tell them that I am a registered nurse the moment I meet them.
  12. by   mikethern
    Quote from anonymurse
    Yes to all three (the first is announced, the second is displayed, and in the last case, it's Busch Gardens; the college kids who check your seat belts aren't operators). And every cop and all my kids' teachers and on and on. Your point?
    You know my point. My point is that your point from post #22 is invalid. There are plenty of people who have your life their hands who will not tell you their name. Auto mechanics, auto factory workers, aircraft mechanics, airline co-pilots, air traffic controllers, hospital lab techs, blood bank workers, pathologists, radiologists, construction workers, architects, building inspectors, elevator builders, etc.

    Let me ask you 3 questions.

    1. Are you willing to tell this message board your entire name and your hospital?
    2. Why is your screen name "anony"murse?
    3. If a patient sees your last name and stalks you, will you want to keep your last name private after that?

    By the way, women are much more likely to be stalked than men. As you know, most nurses are women. As a male nurse, I am totally comfortable displaying my last name because I am not afraid of being stalked. However, I totally respect a female nurse's desire to be anonymous.

    Patient safety is important, but so is nurse safety. Wouldn't you agree?
    Last edit by mikethern on Dec 24, '07
  13. by   RNperdiem
    If a person is a target of a potential stalker, would a visible nametag or a hidden one really make a difference for a determined stalker?

    I'm not really sure what is meant by "protecting your identity".
    Would someone come to work to impersonate me, a nurse?
    Would simply knowing my name make me more of a target for a stalker?
    My badge does not list my SS#, my bank, by birthdate or any information that is not public record. My name is very commonplace too.

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