How do you protect your identity? - page 4

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   mikethern
    Quote from 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?
    Are you willing to tell us your full name and where you work?

    Locking my front door won't stop a determined burglar. Does that mean we should leave our doors unlocked?

    Personal information should be disclosed only on a need-to-know basis. Patients and their visitors don't need to know your last name unless a lawsuit is pending, in which case the lawyers will learn your name from the patient chart.

    Hospitals that require staff to display their last name are begging for a lawsuit from staff.
    Last edit by mikethern on Dec 24, '07
  2. by   caliotter3
    At the time that I was being harassed by a stalker, I was hospitalized in an emergency situation and had to undergo surgery. I was very concerned for my safety and made it very well known to the hospital staff that I was to receive no visitors and wanted my whereabouts kept confidential from everyone but my daughter. I told my daughter when to call to check on me and told the staff to be expecting a call from my daughter and to please put the call through or to inform my daughter about my condition. My daughter told me afterward that when she called, no one would help her or even take a message. Several hours after my surgery, in the middle of the night, while I was in pain, and still out of it due to my condition, someone came into my room who did not identify themselves nor give a valid reason for being there. They started giving me the third degree. When I brought this matter up to the hospital staff they could not identify the person as a hospital employee on hospital business, nor could they explain why someone came into my room who was unauthorized to be there. I was hooked up to an IV and too weak to defend my person. That stranger could have killed me or done something to my IV and nobody would have been the wiser. And remember, I gave ample warning to hospital personnel about this.

    Two years later I happen to go into the hospital where the two little babies of a celebrity were accidentally overdosed and I encounter guards at the NICU. Such a wide difference in treatment.

    Nobody took me, my safety, or my concerns seriously. I had no one to come to the hospital to watch over me. The person who came into my room did so without so much as being noticed by the nursing staff. They were too busy discussing their personal lives at the nursing station. So, you see, if someone wants to get to you, they can. As easy as that person did that night. I will never forget it.
  3. by   mikethern
    Quote from RNperdiem
    Would simply knowing my name make me more of a target for a stalker?.
    Absolutely.
  4. by   mikethern
    Quote from caliotter3
    So, you see, if someone wants to get to you, they can. As easy as that person did that night. I will never forget it.
    That doesn't mean you should drop your guard and stop taking precautions such as hiding your last name.
  5. by   Plagueis
    Quote from mikethern
    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?
    I understand what you're saying about nurse safety, especially concerning women. However, should nursing be the only occupation that allows women to not reveal their full names? What about female doctors, who may have the same stalking issues as female nurses? Or female teachers (you never know about that angry parent!) and lawyers (you never know about that angry client!)? I totally understand safety issues, but if female nurses (and men can be stalked, too) don't have to reveal their full names, than shouldn't all occupations allow women to do the same?
  6. by   caliotter3
    Another thought concerning my experience. How did that person even know I was in the hospital, much less what room I was in? Wasn't it a HIPAA violation as well as a general violation of my privacy to give out that information to someone who had no need to know, after I expressly forbid my whereabouts to be made public?
  7. by   mikethern
    Quote from Tommybabe
    I understand what you're saying about nurse safety, especially concerning women. However, should nursing be the only occupation that allows women to not reveal their full names? What about female doctors, who may have the same stalking issues as female nurses? Or female teachers (you never know about that angry parent!) and lawyers (you never know about that angry client!)? I totally understand safety issues, but if female nurses (and men can be stalked, too) don't have to reveal their full names, than shouldn't all occupations allow women to do the same?
    Yes, ALL employees should have the option of hiding their last name, including physicians. Of course, if someone WANTS to display their last name, that's up to them. I would think that most physicians want to display their last name.

    Patients usually get to choose their physician, so knowing their last name fulfills the need-to-know condition. Patients do not choose their nursing staff, so they do not need to know nurses' last names.
  8. by   mikethern
    Quote from caliotter3
    Another thought concerning my experience. How did that person even know I was in the hospital, much less what room I was in? Wasn't it a HIPAA violation as well as a general violation of my privacy to give out that information to someone who had no need to know, after I expressly forbid my whereabouts to be made public?
    It sure was. He probably called as many people as possible until he found someone dumb enough to give out your information. Or maybe he followed you to the hospital. Or saw your car in the parking lot. Or maybe he was a hospital employee.
    Last edit by mikethern on Dec 24, '07
  9. by   mikethern
    Quote from caliotter3
    I was hooked up to an IV and too weak to defend my person. That stranger could have killed me or done something to my IV and nobody would have been the wiser. And remember, I gave ample warning to hospital personnel about this.
    If this ever happens again, don't trust the hospital to protect you. I would buy one of those panic buttons that made an ear-shattering noise when you press it. See example....

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MK60YS?...0&linkCode=asn

    If you were to use it, not only would it scare the stalker, it would also scare the hospital into protecting you.
    Last edit by mikethern on Dec 24, '07
  10. by   caliotter3
    Thanks for the tip Miketherun. Next time, I will make sure I have the wherewithal to hire a bodyguard. I feel if a celebrity can cause a hospital to post a guard service, then a stupid little nobody like me ought to be able to pay for my own guard. My nurses on that unit certainly didn't care about me. Heaven forbid, the stranger didn't come out of my room and fix their wagons too. Entirely possible. They had a stalker in their midst, and they didn't even care. But I did get one visit more that night than I got from my assigned nurse! Maybe I should have asked that person for some pain medication! Imagine that. More attention from a mean spirited stranger than from the person who was being paid to monitor me.
  11. by   lpnstudentin2010
    Quote from fronkey bean
    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.
    I guess I am crazy then. I have asked for the full name so that I could tell the hospital what a great job my nurses do.
  12. by   pagandeva2000
    When our hospital applied for Magnet, they actually placed banners that were like large flags in front of the hospital that can be seen on the parkway of nurses, which included their names and where they worked without the permission of the nurses! Mine was not displayed, thank goodness, however, I was outraged and the ones that discovered their pictures out on such a lavish display were even more upset. They are supposed to obtain written permission from them before doing this. Since then, I NEVER allow them to take my picture for any reason.

    I still stand by changing certain pertinant information on my computer file for identity theft. You NEVER know what people are up to.
  13. by   mikethern
    Quote from pagandeva2000
    I still stand by changing certain pertinant information on my computer file for identity theft. You NEVER know what people are up to.
    Also, to prevent financial identity theft, the most valuable information is your social security number. Whenever you are asked to supply it, ask them why they need it. Don't give it out unless you absolutely have to. When I fill out medical forms at a doctor's office, I write "prefer not to answer" on the form where it asks from my SSN.

    Never use the same password for different websites. All all my credit card and bank accounts online have different passwords.

    Pick a four-letter word that is not in the dictionary, such as tofg or dwtx. Memorize this word and never write it down anwhere. Use this as the first half of ALL of your passwords. Then write the second half of all your passwords on a piece of paper. For example:

    chase credit card: 3$20
    citibank credit card: 2#de
    online banking: 3%34

    (The full passwords will be:
    chase credit card: dwtx3$20
    citibank credit card: dwtx2#de
    online banking: dwtx3%34)

    but never write the FULL passwords anywhere. This way, if someone steals the piece of paper with your passwords, they will only know the second half of your passwords. They will not know your full passwords because you have the first half memorized.

    I have about 40 different passwords written down on a piece of paper, but no one will ever know my full passwords because I have the first half of the passwords memorized.

    Also, make sure you have good anti-spyware and anti-virus software and a good firewall so hackers don't steal your passwords as you type them.
    Last edit by mikethern on Dec 24, '07

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