When everybody knows your name - page 5

by 313RN | 16,379 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


  1. 0
    yeah it would be weird and I am around doctors here at my postdoc all the time and the only one I call doctor are the older doctors on the floor and my PI of course due to respect but most of your contacts are colleagues in the patient's room you are colleagues right( kind of working on the same project, once you are a board certified nurse, not a student). Most younger doctors insist on it first name basis only those with a bug up their but would want otherwise...
  2. 0
    It is good to be respected. Use of first names has become the norm in this culture. It is very common to hear the students address their teachers by their first names. And so it just gets imprinted on their minds that using the first names is OK.
    On the other hand at the bedside patients feel more comfortable adressing the nurses by their fist names (no disrespect); Doctors as 'Doc' or Dr. X (so be it).
  3. 0
    My patients call me Miss Laura, and the nurses and staff even refer to each other that way (Mr. John, Miss Ashley, etc). It shows a little bit of respect, but doesn't give our last names.

    Kids will try and friend us on Facebook, or write us letters if they know last names. Teenage girls have sent letters to male staff (in care of the hospital) with sexual propositions, photos, etc - that's a HUGE problem.

    I think it's kind of dated to be called Nurse Laura - and it just doesn't make sense. I don't say "Therapist Joe" or "Social Worker Karen" - even though they've earned their degrees, and usually have more advanced licensure than I do.
  4. 0
    I don't really have a set opinion about what I am addressed by, but I have tended to go by my first name. Part of that may be out of habit from my previous work in customer service. When I worked in early childhood education, many of my coworkers went by "Miss Jill" or "Miss Shelley." I always hated being called "Miss Terra" by the kids.

    Maybe it is a state Nurse Practice Act thing where I live, but it is actually illegal to cover up a last name on a badge. The patient has a right to know who is taking care of them and look that person up on the licensing website to see the standing of their healthcare professional's license. Not that it stops some people from covering up their last names anyways. The only person I have known that has been stalked, harassed, etc was simply followed home from work one day, as the frequent flyer psych pt know when this particular nurse worked.

    Enough of my tangents! I was actually wondering what the opinions are regarding the proper way to address an NP, CRNA or CNM when they are the provider. What about if they have a DNP? Is it confusing to call a doctorate prepared NP, Dr. ____? Do you think it demeans the master's prepared providers to refer to them by their first name? My CNMs all introduced themselves by their first names and I always wondered if their was any title that would convey more respect, or if it was even necessary. It would be ridiculously awkward to say "Hi, I am CNM/Midwife/Nurse Midwife Jones." I have no real set opinion on this, but was wondering what any APNs or nurses who work with APNs think about this.
  5. 0
    If someone introduces him/herself by saying "Hi, my name is Doctor Smith" - I instantly loose a bit of respect for them. Now and then I'll reply "Oh wow, I had no idea Doctor was a first name now". (I know I'm a rebel). Or I would say "Well hi there, my name is Nurse Browning" - just to make them realize it sounds stupid (at least to me).

    I much prefer a close work environment with the physicians and absolutely prefer being on a first name basis with them.
  6. 0
    Interesting topic. I have no problem with patients calling me by my first name, just because it's easier than my last. I don't necessarily give my last name (I would if they asked), but I would never cover it up (badge, etc). If I were a patient, I'd want to know who is caring for me if I asked for full names.

    I also make a point to give my first and last name to ancillary depts or doctors that call to ask me questions (there are quite a few Sarahs, and Jessicas, etc. that work on my unit, how do they know which one?).

    And I definitely call a few interns and residents that I'm familiar with by their first names. Just good working relationships I guess.

    But I find it strange calling ALL of my patients by Ms./Mr. last name. It's pretty standard at my hospital (mid-west). I don't mind calling my patients that are older than me by Mr/Ms....I'm 30. But when I have patients that are younger than me or are about my age, I find it awkward calling them Ms/Mr. Then I feel like it's subservient or something...

    What I also find strange is some nurses notations: like "patient febrile, MD notified." Well, which MD? The intern? Resident? Night float? Consulting service? The teams switch all the time...I guess it's just a timesaver. Or when I get report from outside hospitals, some nurses will give their first name, but not their last. Well, if I ever have to follow-up or something comes up legally, how do I say "Ann at XX Hospital reported this to me." ?
  7. 0
    I guess I see both sides of the issue. I can say that where I work (bigger hospital in Milwaukee) we have our patients address us by our first names and our badges simply say "Lindsay L Registered Nurse". If a patient asks my last name, I have no problem telling them it's Landoff but I don't see what anyone gains by having it on my badge. On the whiteboard, I put RN: Lindsay PCA: Katie and Doctors: Dr. Smith (hospitalist) Dr. Rock (cardiology) Dr. Bone (nephrology) just for clarification.

    I personally would rather be called by my first name rather than last simply because it's easier for the patient who already has 20+ ppl enter his/her room throughout the day and also because I feel like after spending 12+ hours with him/her, we should be on a first-name basis. As for patients, it varies. Most times I'll walk in, address myself, and ask what the patient prefers to be called. I can't say I've ever been told "Mr. Adams" rather than "Jim". I think patients tend to feel more comfortable and like they have a better relationship with their nurse if they're on a first name basis both ways as well. (I do think the point made about facebook is a good one by the way!)

    Most doctors on our unit we address by last name i.e. Dr. Smith. Some nurses call them by their first names and perhaps it's because I'm on the newer end of the spectrum that I don't but I do not feel that they do it for superiority. Often when talking about another doctor they'll ask the nurse, "oh has Bob been around yet?" instead of "oh has Dr. Smith been around yet?" Many introduce themselves by first name or first and last name.

    As for security, I don't think there's anything wrong with the nurses who do not want his/her last names advertised. We have to keep in mind, it isn't only hospital staff and patients that are roaming around the hospital. I have no problem with sharing my last name but I can see why some ppl might not feel as comfortable.

    Blue-collar, white-collar, pink-collar... I'm proud to be a nurse and you can call me whatever your little heart desires
  8. 1
    I started introducing myself as 'I'm First name, Last name, I'm a registered nurse and I'll be taking care of you today' ever since I took a nursing leadership course a good 18 years into my career. I definitely seem to receive a bit more respect using this introduction and have had a few patients thank me for identifying myself as a Registered Nurse because it made them feel safer. All kinds of people call themselves 'nurse' from MAs (who shouldn't) to LPNs (who of course should). Professional Registered Nurses will continue to be disrespected by others unless and until they start respecting themselves and their unique skill set.
    elkpark likes this.
  9. 0
    Unless and until our entire society returns to a more formal mode of addressing each other, the first names will remain. Older follks, I usuallly ask how they want to be addressed; or if I use the Mrs. so&so often get told "oh just call me Jane".

    As for the only friend of a friend getting the threats; no. I have been told "I could find your house if I wanted to!" "I will find you on the street (female canine) and beat your (donkey)" "I'll be waiting for you outside the back door some morning"
    ER is such fun! Now some of those threats don't need my name... but I still prefer not to advertise it.

    On the other hand, use of formality sometimes shuts up the foulness from intoxicated or hostile persons brought in by the police. When I use Mr. Jones! in a loud and firm voice, it cuts through the ranting and often gets them to answer me.
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    I think it depends where you are, as to what people call you! When I first moved to rural PA, it was not uncommon to hear the nurse addressed as Mrs. Smith or Nurse Smith. But we also stood when the doctors came in! We also gave up our chair to them. Now, I go by my first name, and rarely do people ask what my degree is. I introduce myself as Mary Smith, I am here to work with you today!
    I also try to put people at ease. I know how frightening it can be in the er, or same day surgery. I say to them... "Hello! I am Mary Smith" I am here today to travel through this experience together. I tend to be politically incorrect...So! If I say or do anything to offend you, please call me on it immediately...! How would you like me to address you? What can I do to make your time here go more smoothly?
    People tend to open up to this, and you can tell if they are more inclined to a formal or informal approach... I also promise nothing. I tell them right up front.... Ask me anything, and I will find someone who knows the answer to your question... as nursing and medicine is a practice.... where we all learn together!!!


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