How do you protect your identity? - page 5

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   Kiren
    Quote from mikethern
    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.
    [font=impact]that's a good idea about the passwords. i'll have to try that.
  2. by   KaroSnowQueen
    There are many weirdos in the world. Some of them are patients or family members of patients. Some of them get upset enough about normal hospital procedures, and want to make sure someone knows about it. Or threaten to make sure WE know about it. I have been scared to go to my car at night because of irate, irrational family members. Just because people walk the streets freely does not mean they are not just a tiny bit "off".
    I protect myself by putting first name only. If they want to identify me, they can say Karo on floor x on day shift, with blonde hair. The powers that be can figure out who I am. This goes whether they want to complain, or compliment me.
    My last nurse manager insisted I go get a new badge with my last name on it. It got "lost". And stayed lost. She wasn't the one dealing with some of these people.
  3. by   rehab nurse
    When I worked out of state, a nurse was being stalked by her psycho ex boyfriend, who shot and killed her in the hospital parking lot. After that all employees had to be escorted to their cars with security during dark hours. Employees coming in to work during dark hours were seen and security met them at their car.

    I have been hit by a patient (not badly, he had a bad reaction to some medication and in the morning profusely apologized)l

    A coworkers boyfriend came into the building and busted down the door where I was hiding with her and basically picked me up and threw me out of the way (this happened in a patient room, since that was where we were when he was looking. it just kills me that this place had no security <LTC> and the supervisor let him in).

    At my last job I worked (I am disabled w/ cancer and back issues) both first and last names were on our badges but I covered my last name up. Two nurses had their identity stolen and opened up some credit cards in their names (get this....it was from the payroll lady, who was promptly fired).

    I have also worked agency and there was a place where two of the aides were best friends. until one stole her "best friends" credit cards and maxed them up at the mall on her lunch break (they caught her obviously due to the cameras of where she purchased)l.

    In my state, only nurses city and zip code are given out online, thankfully. I wouldn't like my name and address out there for all to see.

    Good thread. This world gets scarier every day.
  4. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from JustaPatient
    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.
    I've had patients ask me for that purpose and I tell them just mention Dutchy H on the 5th floor. It works every time...no problem.

    And no nobody knows me as dutchy that's my name on allnurses.
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Dec 25, '07
  5. by   AmaurosisFugax
    Quote from mikethern
    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.
    If someone is so paranoid about the people they are dealing with maybe they should work from home...if soemone is dealing w/my health, finances, real estate or other business I always ask for a business card (most times I dont even have to ask for it); I guess that's one of the hazards of being alive. I wont trust my health or business on someone who wont reveal his/her name to me.
    When I was sick the nurses/doctors/techs all had full names on their tags. It was gratifying to know they trusted their pts., especially since they knew the pts. name, DOB, health records etc. I would be uncomfortable talking about my intimate health details to someone who just says "i am a registered nurse" but wont show me an ID.
  6. by   mikethern
    Quote from AmaurosisFugax
    If someone is so paranoid about the people they are dealing with maybe they should work from home...if soemone is dealing w/my health, finances, real estate or other business I always ask for a business card (most times I dont even have to ask for it); I guess that's one of the hazards of being alive. I wont trust my health or business on someone who wont reveal his/her name to me.
    When I was sick the nurses/doctors/techs all had full names on their tags. It was gratifying to know they trusted their pts., especially since they knew the pts. name, DOB, health records etc. I would be uncomfortable talking about my intimate health details to someone who just says "i am a registered nurse" but wont show me an ID.
    Why stop at their last name? Why not ask for their social security number?

    I think you would have less of a holier-than-thou attitude had you been stalked in the past. Some people only learn the hard way. I guess you have a "will never happen to me" attitude.

    You are assuming that all patients and family members are safe respectable people. That is an unwise assumption. Like it or not, they are strangers.
    Last edit by mikethern on Dec 25, '07
  7. by   AmaurosisFugax
    Quote from mikethern
    Why stop at their last name? Why not ask for their social security number?

    I think you would have less of a holier-than-thou attitude had you been stalked in the past. Some people only learn the hard way. I guess you have a "will never happen to me" attitude.

    You are assuming that all patients and family members are safe respectable people. That is an unwise assumption. Like it or not, they are strangers.
    Because I dont need SSN for an identification; full name & title are sufficient in case I need to follow up (like, so-&-so told me these terms of financing etc)
    No I havent been stalked. However when we choose certain professions we should understand the risks...police officers, firefighters & social workers routinely have to go to "bad areas"; schoolteachers have to deal w/ violent students. Whatever one's life experiences are, one has to move on with a sense of trust if one wants to interact with the rest of the world...if I am in a car accident I cant possibly ask my employer to allow me to work from home forever b/c there are crazy drivers...when I was a med school instructor I had my name, degree, grad school, office addr, phone & email on the school's public website...
    While there are pts & families who are less than respectable. people also have had babies stolen from hospitals b/c someone waltzs in wearing a scrub & no one checked their ID...& hospital workers themselves may be in danger if people's identities are not displayed, like the murder of Dr Kathryn Hinnant...so it cuts both ways...despite the bad apples trust is so necessary in the healthcare field.
  8. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from AmaurosisFugax
    If someone is so paranoid about the people they are dealing with maybe they should work from home...
    I don't advocate turning the ID badge around backwards, I think that is just wrong, IMHO.

    I don't see any problem with first name and title, no matter, the profession. I expect a first name and title. No one needs to know my last name or where I live, it has nothing to do with my level of care but my title sure does.
  9. by   Fiona59
    Only our given names appears next to our pictures on the front of ID cards. Our family name is on the back. I am the only person with my family name in the city I live in (well there are none listed in the 'phone book).

    Luckily I use my birth name. My phone number and bills are all addressed to my husbands family name.
  10. by   CritterLover
    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?

    those other professions don't give the same level of personal care that nurses give.

    i'm sure that there are physicians out there that have been stalked by their patients, and teachers that have been stalked by either student or parents. but i doubt as many of them have had problems like nurses have.

    doctors are sheilded, in part, because of the skilled nature of their profession. patients don't see them as their peer.

    nursing is perceived primarliy as a "caring" profession, rather than a "skilled" profession. we can argue about whether or not this perception is accurate (and we have, in other threads ); but the reality is, that is how the public sees us.

    physicians may do "intimate" exams, but those are done in a clinical, impersonal manner. they are done for a reason, and while we hope they are done in a gentle manner, they certainly arn't done for comfort.


    we are expected to give baths, pericare, listen when our patients talk, hold hands, all with a gentle/caring attitude. it is expected of us. if we seem clinical or impersonal, it is considered to be negative. if a doctor is called impersonal, that is just seen as part of their profession.

    i'm not saying we shouldn't be compassionate.

    however, in the mind of some patients (or even family members), such as an imbalanced, social awkward one, that caring touch they get from the nurse or the cna can easily become something more.

    we also spend more time with our patients than the doctors do. the patients depend on us, and come to feel as though they know us.

    i used to white out my last name on my id badge. i recently changed jobs, and haven't done so yet, but i probably will soon.

    i'm single, i live by myself, and while i don't have a rare last name, it isn't very common, either. my phone number is unlisted, and i live almost an hour from where i work, so those things help me.

    however, i have been stalked in the past, and that makes me very leary.

    we have to be careful.
  11. by   jackson145
    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.
    Some employees tried this at my workplace. They were verbally warned once and written up the second time, even when they said it was a mistake. Administration told us if we were that fearful we should stay home.
    When my husband was a detective we had several death threats in the mail and a few offers to hurt me and the kids. Regardless of all that, he always had to disclose his full name to anyone he had legal interaction with. It was a big part of his career and he wanted to remain at his chosen profession.
  12. by   mikethern
    Quote from jackson145
    Some employees tried this at my workplace. They were verbally warned once and written up the second time, even when they said it was a mistake. Administration told us if we were that fearful we should stay home.
    I get a kick out of hospitals who want to retain nurses yet treat them like dog crap.
  13. by   jackson145
    It does seem kinda crappy, doesn't it? I've been told that it's no problem at all to replace nurses. They always tell us that there's a line of them just waiting to be hired at my facility.

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