How do you protect your identity? - page 6

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   bethin
    I lie. We don't have last names on our badges, but when asked by a pt I'll give them a common but not too common last name. My last name is not common at all and it would be too easy for a pt to look me up. I've had problems with pt's following me before. I feel bad lying, but I really don't want to have to get another restraining order.

    Also, when asked where I live I give them the wrong town. I worked yesterday, and the first thing out of a new pt's mouth was "what's your last name and where do you live?"

    My number is unlisted and my employer only has my cell number, which I mostly use anyway. My landline is for internet use only.
  2. by   mikethern
    Quote from bethin
    I lie. We don't have last names on our badges, but when asked by a pt I'll give them a common but not too common last name. My last name is not common at all and it would be too easy for a pt to look me up. I've had problems with pt's following me before. I feel bad lying, but I really don't want to have to get another restraining order.
    Also, when asked where I live I give them the wrong town. I worked yesterday, and the first thing out of a new pt's mouth was "what's your last name and where do you live?"
    My number is unlisted and my employer only has my cell number, which I mostly use anyway. My landline is for internet use only.
    I always lie about my phone number whenever a store asks me for it. I give them a fake number. I avoid telemarketers this way.
  3. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from mikethern
    I always lie about my phone number whenever a store asks me for it. I give them a fake number. I avoid telemarketers this way.
    :yeahthat::yeahthat::yeahthat: Me Too!
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from mikethern
    i always lie about my phone number whenever a store asks me for it. i give them a fake number. i avoid telemarketers this way.
    i ask them why they need it -- almost invariably they either don't know, can't answer or want it for marketing reasons. then i refuse to give it to them. although if someone wants my phone number so they can call me when my order comes in, i'll give it to them. i give them the number to the land line, which we never answer unless it's someone we want to talk to at that moment. (love called id!)
  5. by   Plagueis
    Quote from mikethern
    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.
    While I agree that patients and families are strangers, so are potential employers and new coworkers. Should we not reveal our full names to our coworkers (and some people have been stalked by them), our supervisors, and to potential employers because they are technically strangers, too? (That interviewer could stalk someone.) I loved the advice about protecting ourselves with the passwords and being careful about who we give our Social Security number to. However, how far should we go in order to protect ourselves from the bad people in the world? I have had to take out a restraining order myself, but it was against someone I "knew," not a stranger, so we are not even "safe" from people we know! Anyone can be a potential stalker, so who should we give our real names to?
  6. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from Tommybabe
    Anyone can be a potential stalker, so who should we give our real names to?
    Those whom we trust and those who have a legitimate reason to know. You're right anyone can potentially be a stalker but why take chances by giving away personal information to just anyone and yes I consider my last name personal (only need to know) information.

    I went to a Minute Clinic today. The NP had on a name tag.

    Keith, APNP.

    I was fine with it. No problem.
  7. by   mikethern
    Quote from Tommybabe
    Anyone can be a potential stalker, so who should we give our real names to?
    People who need to know it.

    You cannot make yourself completely safe, but you should try anyway.

    Locking your front door won't stop a determined burglar, but you should still lock it.

    A seatbelt might not save your life, but you should still wear one.

    If someone wants to find you, they might be able to, but you should still make it as difficult as possible.
    Last edit by mikethern on Dec 26, '07
  8. by   CritterLover
    Quote from rnsrwe
    about the licensing thing: i can get anyone's license number in my state; all i need is their names! however, a license number isn't going to get you employed: you have to show your original license. my employer has a photocopy in my personnel folder, i have the original. if my license were to show up in anyone else's employment folder (read: identity theft) seems i'd have a nice lawsuit against my employer for letting that piece of paper out.

    actually, the last two jobs i've had, they did not want the paper license. all they did was check my license online and verify it there.
  9. by   fronkey bean
    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.
    You are an exception. Of course, working ICU where most folks remember very little about their stay, I have rarely been asked for my full name. I introduce myself by my first name and if some one wants to make a comment about me in their opinion survey they usually just say "(my first name) from ICU..." The few times I have been asked it was usually b/c someone had seen my name tag (before I covered my last name) and thought my last name was unusual.
  10. by   mcknis
    I am glad that I started this thread. Lots of great info on here to learn from. Last night at work was assaulted by another pt. It was a 76yo male with h/o dementia. it was not is fault he was hitting me, but as I was wrestling with him, my supervisor, charge RN,and NM were standing there just watching this happen to me. I was able to restrain him, but they did not do anything to help me. I told them to call security stat for about 5 min before they finally listened and did so. My NM actaully wanted me to let go and let him walk back to his room all by himself. I was not going to let go after him hitting me! Of all things, where this occured, was just outside of our ICU waiting room. There were about 30 people (including children) watching me wrestle with this man, and still I had no help from staff/mgt or anyone. 5 min can seem like hours when you are the only one there doing anything.

    Protect yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally for any and all situations you may come in contact with. If someone is being hurt by staff or pts/family, step in and do something, or at least call and get help on the way. Listen to your gut and liste to those around you.
  11. by   caliotter3
    Your supervisor, charge nurse, and NM sound like real winners. Just the kind of people one wants to work for and with. At least, if not before, now you know where you stand in a sticky situation. And if these persons won't cover you when you're physically being assaulted, imagine how they will back you when you're threatened by a non-physical problem.
  12. by   anonymurse
    Sorry for the delay.

    Quote from mikethern
    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?
    Because I'm here to explore issues inappropriate to be discussed in my work environment. And the reasons they are inappropriate are because if the nurse and facility were identifiable, then the privacy of the persons discussed would be compromised. And that's illegal. However, when here and using no identifiers, we can relate relevant experiences and offer relevant advice.

    Surely you don't find anything odd about this, unless you are still trying to dodge the point--that we should be held accountable for our actions.

    3. If a patient sees your last name and stalks you, will you want to keep your last name private after that?
    Absolutely not!

    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?
    You continue to dodge the accountability point.

    And sex is no proof against stalking. Read "The Gift of Fear." I don't care how invulnerable being male makes you feel. You can be targeted and killed by a stalker and never know what hit you.
  13. by   mikethern
    Quote from anonymurse

    Because I'm here to explore issues inappropriate to be discussed in my work environment. And the reasons they are inappropriate are because if the nurse and facility were identifiable, then the privacy of the persons discussed would be compromised. And that's illegal. However, when here and using no identifiers, we can relate relevant experiences and offer relevant advice.

    Surely you don't find anything odd about this, unless you are still trying to dodge the point--that we should be held accountable for our actions.
    Of course we are accountable for our actions. That's why we sign our names in the patients' charts, as I have already mentioned a few times in this thread.

    Quote from anonymurse
    And sex is no proof against stalking. Read "The Gift of Fear." I don't care how invulnerable being male makes you feel. You can be targeted and killed by a stalker and never know what hit you.
    Well then maybe I should starting hiding my last name after all.

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