How do you introduce yourself to patients? First name? Mr/Ms/Mrs X? - page 2
I was just reading a book on nursing and our introductions to our patients. It brought up an interesting point. Physicians usually introduce themselves as Dr. Xyz but most nurses usually introduce... Read More
Dec 21, '12I do not want patients knowing my last name for safety reasons, and other reasons which would take too long to explain. When i have had name tags with my last name, i put some kind of sticker over the last name.
I personally dislike the way females marital status has to be included if we did use last names. Miss or Mrs is too revealing, imo, for some of my patients to know. 'Ms' is not always well accepted by some patients, especially older ones. Nurse Jones sounds too odd to me, so, i'm just Jean.
I do think i generally carry myself in a way that garners respect, the name that they use to get my attention, are less important than how i present my own self, imo.
I also call all my coworkers by their first names, and don't feel it diminishes my respect for them, either. But, it's something to think about. Several of my pals are lawyers, and they are often addressed by their clients by their first names, too.
I always introduce myself "Hi, I am Jean, i will be your nurse til 3pm" and go on from there. I always address all adult patients by their Mr or Mrs or Ms or Miss or whatever with their last name, unless invited to call them something else instead.Last edit by somenurse on Dec 21, '12
Dec 21, '12I think you should give AT LEAST your first name and title. My mom just had outpt surgery and maybe one in five staff introduced themselves much less gave a title! I usually start with "My name is Marie and I'll be your LPN tonight". I do think you have to be careful to give your title in a way that informs the pt but doesn't alienate them, if that makes any sense. The pt should know if you are some Joe Blow off the street, LPN, CNA, RN, etc. even if most of them will just call you "nurse" no matter what your credentials are.
Dec 21, '12"Hi, Mr./Ms. Whatever. My name is dudette, and I'll be your nurse until 7 pm. Here's my number to my phone (pointing to the whiteboard) if you need me, or you can hit the call bell (showing the call bell button) and someone will answer you." If anyone is in the room I'll ask how they know the patient and their names. I'm usually tipped off to the main contact person during the private part of report, and I want to know which one it is without being obvious.
Dec 22, '12My greeting changes depending on if my patient is conscious or sedated/vented.
"Good morning/evening, Mr./Miss/Mrs. [last name]. My name is [first name], and I'll be your nurse until 7a/p." I then address the visitors in the room and state any goals for the day.
"Good morning/evening [first name-- preferably the name they go by with friends/family], my name is [first name]. I'll be taking care of you today/tonight. You have a tube in your mouth to help you breathe, so you cannot talk and medicine to keep you sleepy. Your hands are tied down to keep you from pulling out these very important tubes/lines. You are very sick with _____, but we are taking good care of you to help you get better. I talked with [spokesperson] and they will be coming to visit later today /OR/ [spokesperson] was in earlier to visit and went home to ____."
I think it is very important to keep sedated patients as oriented and aware of their surroundings as possible. How am I to know if they are worried that their dog is at home alone and hearing that their neighbor just went home to let them outside is a big relief (True story! Very agitated sedated patient calmed right down after saying that!)? I also hold their hand as I introduce myself to them. Introduductions to these patients (in my opinion) are a very big part of gaining their trust and the trust of the visitors in the room. It's also a good time to assess their response to stimulus. I know I won't respond to Ms. [last name] or my legal first name-- that stuff is reserved for when I'm bad!!
Dec 22, '12I introduced myself to my confused delusional psych patients as first name RN, but to their families as first name last name RN. When my patients were more themselves, I'd reintroduce myself as first name last name RN.
Dec 24, '12I believe that I would give out my last name if asked. I've had employment where we regularly received death threats and I still felt it was the right of my clients to have my last name. Now. Just TRY to find me using my last name. Not as easy as you might think.
In practice though, my last name is a mouthful to say and nobody can spell it correctly. So as an everyday way of introduction it wouldn't be terribly helpful (My first name is difficult enough for some people, I go by a shortened version of it for consumer ease).
Also, in the myriad times I've been hospitalized, my nurses have always both stated and written their names (most usually the first name, I believe) on a whiteboard in my room. I have to confess that at the time I was so ill that I really didn't pay much attention to anyone's name. Sometimes, I barely even knew my own. I wouldn't have remembered anyone's name after leaving the hospital.
I remember the faces and the kindness of many of the nurses and thanked them at the time when I could (it's amazing to me that nurses can be so difficult with each other considering how well they took care of me and how kind they were btw - just as an aside).