What is the correct title? - page 3

by Redriver 4,969 Views | 47 Comments

Hello, I am a medical student about to graduate and start residency, and I have a question. I always felt it was rude for doctors to call a nurse by their first name, and before I start residency at a new hospital I wanted to ask... Read More


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    Call me by my name. Do not call me "Hey Nurse" or "Hey you!"

    I've never been called "Ms _______" or "Nurse _______". In my area of the country, someone would look at you quite strangely if you called them "Ms Mary" or whatever. I've always called doctors (other than Attendings and even some Attendings once I've known/worked with them for a while) by their first names as well.
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    IMO, I'd err on the side of too polite (e.g, Mr. X, Ms. Y) until you find out how the nurses prefer to be addressed...but keep in mind that every workplace as well as every nurse is different.

    In all the places I've worked in, most of the nurses prefer to be addressed by their first name. That's how I prefer to be addressed. However, you may come across the occasional nurse who prefers to be addressed in a more formal manner.
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    Males will probably not want to be called Nurse _____. I know I don't lol. It just sounds weird...First names are perfectly fine.
    HM-8404 likes this.
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    Quote from seanynjboy
    Males will probably not want to be called Nurse _____. I know I don't lol. It just sounds weird...First names are perfectly fine.
    Why would a male nurse not want to be called "Nurse"? How can it be weird? This is bizarre.

    Anyway, Doctor- nurses are always clamoring to increase their professional stature, and status. I'll offer that since I call you "Dr. Smith", that you call me "Nurse Smith". That's the proper, and professional, thing to do, the professional manner in which to address a nurse. Naturally, if I know you personally, I'll call you "Bob", whether socially, or in the workplace- and you'd call me "Suzie". But would I call you "Bob", not knowing you, if a patient needed an order? And would you call me "Suzie" if a patient needed treated, and you didn't know me, personally? No, you wouldn't. "Nurse Smith", until and unless you know me on a personal or social level, thanks.

    The sexist double standard remains.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
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    Here's a spoofy but poignant exemplar scenario, from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", that brings up the point the OP made...(If you haven't seen the film, this will be lost on you):

    "Hey, Louise- I need a shot of Haldol, I think I'm going crazy!
    Ok, Jack- let me call Bob, and I'll get an order for that.
    Thanks, Louise.
    No problem, Jack."

    Who is Bob? Jack? Louise?

    Does a nurse call a patient by first name? (No, rarely acceptable).
    Does a patient call a nurse by first name? (Yes, almost always).
    Does a patient call a physician by his first name? (No, rarely).
    Does a nurse call a physician by his first name? (Rarely, with conditions).
    Should a physician refer to a nurse by her first name (Rarely, with conditions).

    Politically and professionally correct: Doctor Smith. Nurse Smith. In either direction, until social mores determine otherwise?

    Thoughts?
    Miss Lizzie likes this.
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    All of the hospitals I have worked in require all nursing staff to be called by their first name. All doctors are Dr. So and So, and we are not allowed to call any doctor by their first name. Even the doctors who are married to each other call their spouse Dr. So and So in front of others. We also cannot call a patient by their first name; Mr. or Mrs. Last Name Only. I have a problem with this. At my age, I sometimes feel uncomfortable being called simply by my first name, but I have to refer to patients and doctors by a title. But, I am from the deep south, and old-school. I feel funny when I call a 21 year old Mr. or Ms., but they are calling me by my first name, with no title.
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    Sexist, not P.C., and out of touch. Also, it's unprofessional, offensive, and improper- if a doctor cannot be addressed by first name, how can a nurse ?
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
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    Our in house Doctors call us by first names. The locum Doctors use "nurse" because they can't keep track of everyone, nor could they care working short assignments.
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    As long as you are throwing a tantrum, I really don't care what you call me. We have very few residents at our facility. Mutual respect is what I look for. No matter who you are.
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    We use first names at our facility, for everyone, even patients, not a big deal.


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