I have a surname. I'd like to use it.

  1. At the hospital at which I'm planning to work, Nurses' name tags say (in big letters) SUSAN and in little letters below that... Smith, RN. Consequently nurses are called by their first names just like the housekeeping staff are.

    Back in the old days... I called my patients "Mr. Brown" or "Mrs. Smith". I introduced myself as "Miss McCann". Amonst ourselves we used our first names, but we called the doctors "Dr. Jones". Am I a complete fossile living in another era? Seems to me that peer professionals should be given similar courtesies.

    Guess I'm dreaming, huh?
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  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   ERNurse752
    I agree with you in a way...I'd just probably feel weird with people calling me Miss X or Nurse X.

    But if pharmacists and physical therapists et al started going by titles rather than first names, I might jump on board!
  4. by   DusktilDawn
    People always mispronounce my last name, I'd rather be called by my first.
  5. by   Fiona59
    I use my birth name, not my husbands. So, I am untraceable.

    I have worked with people who have been "tracked down" by patients and/or their families with questions, complaints, plain harrassment at home all because their name tags had their surname on it.

    By all means put your surname on your tag, but make sure your phone number is unlisted.
  6. by   1Tulip
    Excellent suggestion. Ours is unlisted. What a sad situation we've come too. When I left nursing that sort of problem was not even on our radar.
  7. by   Still Riding
    I don't think I would liek people calling me Miss X. I have no issues with my last name on my name tag, but i would perfer not to be called by it. I am a fan of first name relationships, to me it makes it seem warmer, friendlier and flowing.

    That is just my opnion, but as you say it could be a gerneration thing as I am only 21.
  8. by   gauge14iv
    It isn't just phone numbers you have to worry about - with public respositories, someone can look up your last name and first name and pull your driving license, address and the names of all family members who live there, they can obtain licensing and criminal info, right down to the traffic ticket you forgot to pay in 1984. They can also pull up your info in multiple states. They can even watch you walk out to your car, type in your license plate and bingo - they now know where you live and how many cars are registered at the address and who owns them and who the lien holders on them are.

    IM NOT KIDDING

    All it takes is a membership to a certain databank which ANY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC can buy for 25.00 a year.

    You don't even have to have a phone for someone to find you...if they know both your first name and last name.

    I would RATHER be called by my last name, but I don't want psychos showing up on my doorstep!!
  9. by   devi
    I'm not sure if it's a generational thing. I'm 26, but I would definitely prefer being called by my surname. After all, I call patients by their last names (unless clearly invited to call them by first names). It's a respectful courtesy and should be returned. Unfortunately, in most facilities today, patients and physicians just assume they can call you by your first name without even asking or waiting to be invited.
    I guess it's sort of a pet peeve of mine. I was brought up to always follow this little rule of etiquette in personal life, and it seems it should be even more important in professional life.
    Personally, I will always call a patient by his or her last name until they tell me otherwise, regardless of whether or not they automatically assume they can call ME by my first name. However, if a physician calls me by my first name, I take it as an implied invitation to call them by their first name.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    There was a long thread about this issue - not having their last name put on their name tags because of privacy issues.

    I, on purpose, do not put my last name on my name tag.

    I like the idea of teaching kids to call grownup by their last names though - and teachers, etc.

    But I'm comfortable being called by my first name by patients.

    steph
  11. by   1Tulip
    Dear Stevie...
    I didn't know I was plowing old ground. But my peeve is the professional one. We p--s and moan that we are not respected as professionals. But then we reflexively offer respect to others that we do not expect and demand for ourselves.

    Guage14... your observations are chilling. Maybe I should use my maiden name. (Besides which most of the people at this hospital already know my husband and I don't want to be thought of as Dr. so-and-so's wife.)
  12. by   zambezi
    My last name is definately not on my name tag. It is just my name and last initial.

    I prefer people to call me by either my frist or last name- but definately no Mrs. first. Patients and docs call me by my first name.
    I call my patients by their first names but I clarify this first when I meet them (ie: hi, I am your nurse today -i take a look at the name band- would you prefer to be called sally or mrs. jones- or is there another name that you prefer??)

    As for docs, I call most of them dr. so and so. I could call them by their first name (other nurses do) and they don't mind but it just feels strange to me so I don't do it.

    Personally, I like first name basis for most things.
  13. by   mopsi
    I would prefer to addressed as Mrs.X or Nurse X...It is more professional . In our profession , anything to give some repect and an slight advantage to the nurse would be welcome. We don't say "Hey Donny, how are you?" When we see a MD we know. Nor do the patients address their Doc's by first names. Policemen are Officer Brown, not Joey. The teacher is Miss Tucker, not Tammy. Now the WalMart cashier is Becky, but that seems OK! [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]( no offense to the cashier)The return to formality to establish a line of respect and role capacity might be something to consider.For those who fear stalking by someone who is unbalanced, there is no guarantee that they would not wait outside of work and follow you, even if they only knew you as Susan. If someone is going to get you they probably would not be discouraged if they could not find you in a phone book.Where I work of course we are all first names..I would like it to change.
  14. by   ShayRN
    I feel uncomfortable when someone calls me Mrs. M. I want to look around for my mother-in-law. I am 35. I was raised calling teachers Mrs/Mr. But my mom's friends were all on a first name basis. My children call our close friends by their first name, but those that we just know in passing Mrs/Mr. The docs at work all call me by my first name, I do address the elderly by Mr/Mrs until given permission to call them by their first names. Funny, I never really gave it much thought until now.

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