How do you introduce yourself to patients? First name? Mr/Ms/Mrs X?

  1. 1
    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 ourselves by our first names these days. I'm curious, what do you do? And what if we (professional nurses that we are, mind you) were to introduce ourselves as such: "Hi Mr/Ms Smith. I'm nurse Xyz' or 'I'm Mrs. Abc and I'm an RN. I'll be with you until 0700.' I think instead of writing just my first name on the board from now on, I might be inclined to write my full name and credential. Not to be puffy or haughty, but to show my patient who I am and to perhaps work toward minimizing the professional inequality. Something to think about...
    Ir15hd4nc3r_RN likes this.
  2. 22 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Our whiteboards in each room say "Your nurse is " and "Your nursing assistant is ". We put our first names and ASCOM number. Works for us!
  4. 2
    I say, "My name is Do-over, and I'll be your nurse today. If you need anything, press your call button, call my phone, or holler 'hey Do-over'. I also answer to 'nurse', 'hey you', and 'help!'." On the whiteboard, I'll usually write "Do-Over, RN x1234"

    My last name is a long, eastern-european mouthful. Even when I taught swimming to young kids, or helped my mom with the pre-schoolers, I was alway Miss FirstName - the last name was too much =)
    Ir15hd4nc3r_RN and anotherone like this.
  5. 2
    Hello, I am Nurse Last Name. Most cant pronounce my first name and I get tired of talking about its uniqueness and origin
    itsmejuli and anotherone like this.
  6. 2
    I introduce myself with my first name "Hi, I'm Katie and I'll be your nurse until 2300."
    somenurse and loriangel14 like this.
  7. 1
    I use the following script: "Hello! My name is ______ and I will be your nurse this evening."

    Since the average age of my patient population is 60 years old, I always refer to them as 'Mr.' ___ or 'Mrs.' ___ unless someone specifically says, "Call me William!"
    tewdles likes this.
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    I say, "Good morning/evening, I'm Saoirse and I'm your nurse today/tonight. What would you like me to call you?"
    tewdles and Ir15hd4nc3r_RN like this.
  9. 2
    Quote from SaoirseRN
    I say, "Good morning/evening, I'm Saoirse and I'm your nurse today/tonight. What would you like me to call you?"
    I have used a variation of that line for quite a few years. It usually puts the patient at ease and gives them a sense of control, where they often don't feel like they have much.
    Ir15hd4nc3r_RN and tnmarie like this.
  10. 0
    I call clients Mr. or Ms. Last Name regardless of whether they invite me to call them something else (unless the client is a teenager). I introduce myself by my first and last name ("Hello, I'm (Jane Doe) from psychiatry") and have both on my badge.

    I agree that the whole "Dr. Smith, Dr. Brown, Dr. Jones, and Susie" issue is a problem for nursing -- we are voluntarily giving up power and status with this (to me) ridiculous fondness for first names and informality (my mother was an RN before I was born, and she can't believe nurses nowadays are dumb enough (in her view) to allow anyone to call them by their first names -- when she was practicing, if a physician had dared to call a nurse by her/his first name, the physician would have been reported to the DON and reprimanded). I don't correct people who call me by my first name, but a couple of the psychiatrists on our service, when we are seeing someone together, introduce us as, "I'm Dr. ABC and this is Ms. XYZ, and we're from psychiatry" and I really appreciate that.

    I've been in only one situation over my career in which someone called me 'Nurse XYZ" (ironically, it was a young physician, fresh out of his residency, not some old-timer who was used to this from the old days) -- I called him Dr. ABC, even though all the regular staff on the unit called him by his first name, because a) I didn't know him well (I was a nursing instructor bringing students to the unit twice a week; I didn't work there) and b) frankly, I prefer to keep most physicians at "arms' length" and not get too chummy with them, and he made it clear that he was simply, politely respecting the boundary I had set; if I was going to call him Dr. ABC, then he was going to call me Nurse XYZ. It felt really weird for the first few weeks, but, as time went on, I got to like it. I would be happy to be addressed as "Nurse XYZ" on a regular basis -- but I certainly know better than to actually ask to be addressed that way, haha ...
  11. 1
    I never give out my last name to pts at work for a safety issue. We have had pts and pts family memers contact nurses at home to harass/ ask them out on a date. I do not have my name on my badge and do not tell pts or their families if they ask. Just something to think about... I say, "I am limaRN and I will be you nurse tonight until 0700."
    somenurse likes this.


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