When everybody knows your name - page 2

by 313RN

15,915 Views | 50 Comments

This is something that I wrotte for a class while I was in Nursing School. I came across it again and decided to post it and see what the reaction would be. Fire away, all responses or opionons will be welcomed, none will be... Read More


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    I think its purely a matter of personal preference...a lot of the docs that I work with, especially the younger ones (by that I mean under 40), introduce themselves by Doctor First Last Name, rather than just Doctor Last Name...and many of the patients continue to refer to them as Doctor First Name...especially if their last name is long or difficult to say, and none of the doctors that I've ever worked with are offended by that. Because the Nurse/Doctor relationships are very close on our unit, we are all on a first name basis, so even the nurses in front of the patients often refer to the doctors by Dr. First name...again never been a problem. At our hospital, our ER staff (both doctors and nurses) does not have their last names printed on their badges for safety reasons--there are way too many weirdos out there, and regardless of whether or not I've been stalked or attacked in the past, I'm certainly not going to open myself up to that possibility for the future by asking my patient to use my last name. Most of my friends and family don't understand the hierarchy of nursing education (diploma nursing, Assoc, BSN, MSN, LPN--but we are all still nurses) so I certainly wouldn't expect my patients to understand, nor do I have the time to explain it to them...all that they need to know is that the state says that I am licensed to do my job, and what my FIRST name is in case something happens before I get back into their room.
  2. 0
    Quote from Tait
    In Wisconsin we called out patients by their first name, here in Georgia it is last names only...unless they have been with us for a long, long time.

    Tait
    It might be regional, I am in Wisconsin. We call patients by their first name at work, but I've also only been called by my first name when I'm a patient, such as in the doctor's office. When they call people back from the waiting room, it's by first name. Same for dentist's office.
  3. 0
    One more thought, in terms of calling nurses by first name rather than "Nurse Breeze," is that IMO it's easier for the patients to remember. Some of the first names can be hard enough, and with some of the last names of the nurses on the unit, patients would end up just calling everybody plain old "nurse."

    I had a patient this week (young gal, too, 27?) who, even though my name was on the white board, kept addressing me as "Nurse," as in, on my way out of her room, "oh nurse? Can I have some more juice?" She did this multiple times.

    I hate being called "Nurse."

    Speaking of whiteboards, if we went with last names, what would we write up there? We put both the RN and the LPN/CNA's names. Would we write "Nurse Breeze, RN" rather than "Cherry RN"? Would we put that for the RN, but a first name for the LPN or CNA?
  4. 3
    My thoughts:

    When I introduce myself to patients, I always give my first and last name because I believe it to be more professional. They call me by my first name but when I worked at Grady, they called us Ms. Last name because that is the culture of the place.

    Some people claim they keep their names hidden because of safety concerns. I call bull. I've worked in more than one inner city hospital, taking care of prisoners, gang bangers , you name it. I used to work in a prison. Keeping your nametag turned around isn't going to make you safe.

    The nurse(LPN not MA) at my pediatrician's office identifies herself as "Nurse Jackson" always. She identifies herself at the beginning of the conversation and at the end. I like that. She sounds professional, confident and competent.

    By contrast, when I went into Dekalb Medical Center to have a minor diagnostic procedure, not one nurse identified herself by first or last name. They just walked up to me and said "I need to start your IV now" or "I have some medicine for you". Also their name badges were turned around. I am re-thinking my decision to use them as my healthcare provider because I do not appreciate that at all. It's unprofessional. Oh and when I went to have my mammogram, the tech called me by my first name without my permission. I don't like that.
    DolceVita, HealingBalm, and elkpark like this.
  5. 1
    Quote from cherrybreeze
    Speaking of whiteboards, if we went with last names, what would we write up there? We put both the RN and the LPN/CNA's names. Would we write "Nurse Breeze, RN" rather than "Cherry RN"? Would we put that for the RN, but a first name for the LPN or CNA?
    Why would you use the last name for the RN and the first name for the LPN? Both are nurses and that's really all the pt is going to care about. And personally, I went to school quite a bit longer than a CNA and would not appreciate being addressed like one.
    HealingBalm likes this.
  6. 5
    I have always used my first and last name on my badge, and introduced myself verbally to clients and physicians by my first and last name -- and I've never had a problem come up because of that. I work in psych and have worked in some really rough urban settings (also rural areas where everyone knew who you were and where you lived, regardless of what name you used at work). I've also always called all adult clients "Mr. X" or "Ms. Y" until they ask me to call them something else.

    My mother was an RN long ago, and her opinion is that we've given up a lot of power by going to the first names -- she can't imagine having ever allowed anyone to call her by her first name instead of "Nurse X" in the clinical setting. I've only been called "Nurse X" in one situation, and it wasn't because I asked or expected to be (and, oddly enough, it was by a young physician). I was clinical instructor with a group of students at the state hospital (psych rotation). The psychiatrist on the unit was pretty informal, and all the regular staff called him by his first name (although not in front of the clients). I was not regular staff, was only there a couple days a week, didn't know him well, and, frankly, prefer not to get too chummy with physicians anyway, so I called him "Dr. Y." In return, he called me "Nurse X" -- not in a cold or unfriendly way (we had quite a few interesting, extended conversations during the rotation); not in a snarky or mocking way (he was consistently courteous and respectful toward me); my first name was right there on my badge where he could easily see it; it just seemed v. clear that, from his perspective, he was respecting the boundary I had established (by calling him "Dr. Y") and he wasn't going to cross it without my inviting him to. At first it felt extremely strange to be called "Nurse X," but, as time went on, I got to like it. I would not mind being called "Nurse X" all the time ...

    I agree with my mother completely about this, and felt the same long before she and I ever discussed it. In our society, only children and pets don't have last names -- responsible adults have first and last names. What kind of message does it give to clients when the people standing in their hospital rooms are Dr. Smith, Dr. Jones, Dr. Brown and Susie? The message is that Susie doesn't really matter. Is that really the message we want to send?
    DolceVita, aussiemom, Meriwhen, and 2 others like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from SharonH, RN
    My thoughts:



    Some people claim they keep their names hidden because of safety concerns. I call bull. I've worked in more than one inner city hospital, taking care of prisoners, gang bangers , you name it. I used to work in a prison. Keeping your nametag turned around isn't going to make you safe.
    My Great Aunt lived by the saying "They are going to break into your car whether you like it or not, but I sure as heck am not going to leave the doors unlocked."

    I feel like a very respected nurse, from patient and co-workers a like and those who do not respect me, wouldn't do it if my name started with Pope anyway...

    By contrast, when I went into Dekalb Medical Center to have a minor diagnostic procedure, not one nurse identified herself by first or last name. They just walked up to me and said "I need to start your IV now" or "I have some medicine for you". Also their name badges were turned around. I am re-thinking my decision to use them as my healthcare provider because I do not appreciate that at all. It's unprofessional. Oh and when I went to have my mammogram, the tech called me by my first name without my permission. I don't like that.
    I have a feeling it wouldn't have mattered if they had introduced themselves as Cindy or Nurse Bedpan. The pure fact that they made an effort to even introduce themselves at all would have left this situation as just another visit to the doctor's office, instead of a black stain on your memory.

    I to question my choice of OB-GYN offices when I go because they often just dictate what I need to do and offer no simple interaction other than "Sit here" "Give me your arm" "Place your things there". However it is much more often the demeanor of the demands, than the lack of which stated name they give me.

    Anyway it is three am so I am probably not getting my point across, but my opinions were previously stated in my original post.

    Tait
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    It makes me chuckle every time I read an article on discontent in nursing. Like in every other station in life, there is always hierarchy, some good and some bad.

    Now, why would we want to quench all of that away, to level the ground. I sometimes wonder why people are so preoccupied with attaining status. If you want more, sure by all means, study more and get some.
    Meriwhen and ItsTheDude like this.
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    For security purposes I've always used my first name and last name initial and my title LPN on any badge/name tag. I introduce myself as Good morning/hey/good evening/what ever, I'm Kate your LPN for today/eve/noc and you can reach me by......

    I've worked in a lot of smaller communities and I prefer my last name to remain mine.

    As far as addressing patients in a hospital setting, it's Mr., Miss, Miz, Misses last name. In SNF and clinics where I saw these people on a regular long term basis, it might become Miz or Mr "first name" like Miz. Joy or Mr. Joe.

    The name I use at work is for security, the name I call a patient is to show respect, they've already lost plenty just because of the nature of being a patient and they need to retain dignity and respect.
    Tait and Otessa like this.
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    Quote from Tait
    I have a feeling it wouldn't have mattered if they had introduced themselves as Cindy or Nurse Bedpan. The pure fact that they made an effort to even introduce themselves at all would have left this situation as just another visit to the doctor's office, instead of a black stain on your memory.
    No Tait. As I stated before, the nurse at the pediatrician's office made a point of telling me her name and that stuck out to me. It makes me more confident in her ability and professionalism.

    Quote from Tait
    However it is much more often the demeanor of the demands, than the lack of which stated name they give me.

    Tait
    It's both. If you are going to be performing intimate procedures on me and have access to most of my personal and private information, the least you can do is tell me your name......and say it nicely.


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