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First Names & "Professionalism"

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Well we had a unit meeting yesterday and were informed that we are no longer allowed to refer to Surgeons, Gasmen or Assistants by their first names. We were also informed that we were not allowed to talk about anything other than our "case". Our program mangager seems to think that we are not being percieved as professional when we refer to to the guys by their first names. Some of us think that this is a retalliation because one of our more prominent surgeons has recently been written up (three times) for harrassment. We think she is in his back pocket. Whatever he needs he gets. Special attention is given to this surgeon, she is in and out of his theatre when he is working. None of our other surgeons get this kind of special attention.

Many of us feel that our department is ripped in half, morale is low. People feel like they cannot go to management with any concerns. When issues come up they are not dealt with, just lip service and no follow-through. Unit meetings are a joke. Everything is her agenda and none of our concerns. Many of us feel that this first name business is just another form of "control" that she needs to exercise over us. CRN's have no input and are never allowed to exercise their own judgement. They are never consulted, and are often "last to know" when things come up.

Just wanting to know what goes on in other O.R.s. Maybe I'm totally out of line here. I think that anything that can foster a sense of "team building" is a positive thing. When you work closely with people and establish a rapport with them I don't feel that referring to someone by the first name is a lack of respect. Thanks for letting me rant.

mcmike55

Specializes in surgical, emergency. Has 40 years experience.

Ruby

I believe that in an operating room, especially, first name basis comes from knowing the doc, respecting him/her, and should not be used all the time.

Let's face it, in OR, we see a doc at his/her best and worst, and they see us also that way. I feel, depends on the hospital, I guess, but at where I work in a small hospital using a doc's first name kind of goes with the territory, after you get to know them, and they get to know you.

There are times, that I will still call the doc, DOCTOR JONES, or whatever in front of a pt and/or family, but depending on the situation, I don't, and I'm sure that is ok with them, because I know them.

First name basis is NOT a lack of respect, in my mind, how you treat each other and how you talk to each other is much more important! Again, this comes from knowing each other, and respecting each other, not only as a human, but as a medical professional. If you can't respect the person as a doctor or as another human being, you can put all the "doctor" this, or "mr/mrs" that you want in front of a name, and still be disrespectful or unprofessional.

I'm rambling a bit, I know, but I suspect that it may be different from big hospitals to small, but, to me, it's all has to do with respect and familuarity.

Frankly Ruby, I sounds to me that you all have bigger issues than calling each other by your first names. If some of those issues could be addressed and corrected, maybe, the name blame problem, may right itself.

Good luck

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

Surgeons or anesthesiologists, we call them "Dr." We don't have any set rule about this, but everyone just does this.

I was at a party recently, in a discussion with two anesthesiologists. Another person said "Dr. ____, do you work tomorrow?". She replied "Well, yeah i do, but we're not at work. Call me Tracy." The other Dr. said "Yeah, call me John, we're not at work."

I figure it this way, "Dr." at work, and "Dr." off work unless they specify.

We talk about anything (within reason) in the O.R., unless the surgeon specifies that they want it quiet. And there are certain ones who want dead silence in their room.

But for those cases that might be 5 hours or more, i mean, home much can you tlak about your case in that amount of time??

Yeah I agree Dr or as we call them Mr or Ms at work and first names outside. I prefer it as when we have a disagreement about over runs, attitude ,etc ,etc , it allows us to treat each other as co workers and not disagree as friends. I think its for the best. out of interest to the first poster, what do the mds call the nurses?

live4today, RN

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

doctors and nurses should be allowed to refer to each other on a first name basis when not in the presence of the patients.

as for me......just call me nurse "so and so" and i will call you doctor "so and so". :chuckle

why do doctors and patients call nurses by their first names, while patients and nurses call docs by their title and last name? i never really understood that? how did that get started anyway, and why is it allowed to continue if we are both professional healthcare providers? :confused:

sounds like another "double standard" to me. :uhoh21:

My husband went to see a doctor for the first time and the doc used my husbnd's first name. My husband's response was "I missed what you said your first name was." The doc was too embarassed to corect himself and call my husband Mr. ___. Instead he gave my husband his first name, and they have been on a first name basis ever since.

Pat

I'm with Rene. I'll happily call docs by their formal name as long as they do the same for me. Just don't expect to use my Christian name if you won't allow me the same familiarity.

Well we had a unit meeting yesterday and were informed that we are no longer allowed to refer to Surgeons, Gasmen or Assistants by their first names. We were also informed that we were not allowed to talk about anything other than our "case". Our program mangager seems to think that we are not being percieved as professional when we refer to to the guys by their first names. Some of us think that this is a retalliation because one of our more prominent surgeons has recently been written up (three times) for harrassment. We think she is in his back pocket. Whatever he needs he gets. Special attention is given to this surgeon, she is in and out of his theatre when he is working. None of our other surgeons get this kind of special attention.

Many of us feel that our department is ripped in half, morale is low. People feel like they cannot go to management with any concerns. When issues come up they are not dealt with, just lip service and no follow-through. Unit meetings are a joke. Everything is her agenda and none of our concerns. Many of us feel that this first name business is just another form of "control" that she needs to exercise over us. CRN's have no input and are never allowed to exercise their own judgement. They are never consulted, and are often "last to know" when things come up.

Just wanting to know what goes on in other O.R.s. Maybe I'm totally out of line here. I think that anything that can foster a sense of "team building" is a positive thing. When you work closely with people and establish a rapport with them I don't feel that referring to someone by the first name is a lack of respect. Thanks for letting me rant.

O.R. Australia

Good grief! Evertime I read one of these comments on the forum it is something I could have written about where I work! Obviously everyone must have the same problems world wide!

How petty your management must be, I suppose they think they are being "politically correct" when in fact they are being very politically uncorrect! I agree with another comment - how come doctors get called doctor & we get called by our first names! Seriously though - are your management determined to drag you back to the dark ages of F. Nightingale??

It makes my blood boil when I hear accusations by management of "lack of professionalism" of nurses - when have you ever heard other doctors accuse each other of this (openly)? Why do we have to constantly prove our "professionalism"? I dont think calling doctors "Doctor" will suddenly make these fictitious patients happy that we are professionals. On every survey ever done anywhere in the world, nurses are at the top of the general publics list of most trusted & valued "professions". Doctors by the way are way, way down the list (not quite as far as politicians). I dont think hospital administrators figure anywhere.

My advice is, either laugh & ask whether it is April 1st yet, or give it the attention it deserves - ie ignore it.

I guess that once you get the name thing down you will have a perfect hospital(from admins point of view). These people need to get lives.

Marie_LPN, RN, LPN, RN

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

Recently i started training in ENT and dental surgeries. These docs work with children and the kids call them (for example) Dr. Greg, say if, his last name were Smith. For some reason, this doesn't bother me to do, yet i feel weird calling a the general, ortho, ect. docs by their first name.

Docs call me "nurse (last name here).

When I answer the spectralink I say " Unit xyz Jo Anne (last name) RN..." Docs don't mind at all, and I don't mind if they call me Jo as long as I can call them by their first names. Otherwise, he/she is "doctor XYZ" and I am "nurse (my last name)".

To med students I go strictly by "Nurse xyz".

My fellow nurses and nursing students are the only ones allowed to call me by my first name at work.

My great aunt was a nurse and we always heard patients, doctors and assistants refer to her as Nurse Jones, not by her first name. I honestly don't want some ED pts to know my last name if I can help it. But any type of doctorate degree (even Ross on 'Friends') are always called Dr. Gellar in a professional setting by both those with or without doctorates as well. But I agree, if your friends with someone, or outside work call them by their first names.

I would feel so weird if anybody--nurse, doc, patient, whatever--called me "Nurse so and so." I prefer to be called by my first name. I even feel weird when an attorney calls me "Ms. so-and so" or when my childrens' friends--even when they were young--called me "Mrs." so and so.

But, that's just me--to each his own; whatever one is comfortable with is cool with me. Pretty much wherever I have worked, we call each other by first names, but we do try to maintain some semblance of professionalism in front of patients--because that's what the PATIENTS expect. We could really care less about titles.

I don't think ANYBODY has ever referred to me as "Nurse" so and so. If they did, I would probably fall over laughing, or turn red with embarrassment--it would just seem so formal; so stilted; so--unexpected. Unfriendly, as well.

You know what I REALLY love, though? I LOVE it when middle management or management comes up to a surgeon at the scrub sink and calls him by his first name--and he immediately tells her (it's ALWAYS a her) that they are not friends, they never will be, and to please address him as "Dr." whatever. I LOVE it!!!!! It shows them (management) that they are just what we--the staff--tell them they are--the mutual enemy of both the surgeons and the nursing staff, who must stick together against their incredible idiocy.

I should add that SOME management is cool--I have worked in a couple of operating rooms where they were the nicest folks in the world, and would do anything they could to make our jobs easier--but, for the most part, it's like middle management, particularly, seems to personify the worst of "the Peter Principal--" EVERYONE ridicules them behind their backs. Poor souls--they just don't get it.

Our program mangager seems to think that we are not being percieved as professional when we refer to to the guys by their first names.

There's a name for senior nurses forcing newer nurses to propogate archaic mannerisms that have little or no relevance to the current setting.

Horizontal violence.

Nurses eat their young.

What do you call the guy who came last in med school? "Doctor".

In hospital, every man and his dog has a doctorate, and the title is meaningless. Knowing a person and remembering their name is a far greater sign of respect than using a title that half the people you run into has.

Professional my backside. I call my mother and my grandparents by their first name, and that does not reduce my respect for them one iota. I ask, respectfully, when I meet a surgeon, how they prefer to be addressed. Most of the time they say something like "anything but late for dinner". I've never had any complaints form doctors about the way I address them, but plenty of complaints from old nurses who are irritated because *they* would never dare address the Lord Doctor as anything else, or that they feel that they earned the right to use a doctor's first name because they worked with them for ten years...

This issue is not about professionalism. it is about old nurses wanting to keep the status quo and support the very segregation that our university courses, our professionalism, is seeking to break down. This issue opposes professionalism.

Ferret :devil:

Yeah I agree Dr or as we call them Mr or Ms at work and first names outside. I prefer it as when we have a disagreement about over runs, attitude ,etc ,etc , it allows us to treat each other as co workers and not disagree as friends. I think its for the best. out of interest to the first poster, what do the mds call the nurses?

this is the first question that popped into my head.... If they had to get so up in arms that a meeting had to be called over the use of a title, then the docs need to be required to call the nurse mr./ms/ or nurse ____ also.

this is the first question that popped into my head.... If they had to get so up in arms that a meeting had to be called over the use of a title, then the docs need to be required to call the nurse mr./ms/ or nurse ____ also.

I would also like to know the answer to this one. If there is a new rule about first names,I hope that the physicians must adhere to it as well.Otherwise it is a bold statement that screams docs are professionals and nurses are not.

Someday-C.R.N.A.

Specializes in Nursing Assistant/ Army Medic, LVN.

If I become friends with a Doc, I think that we would be on a first name basis.

When we are by the water cooler or on the golf course, he would be "Tom", and I would be "Joe".

As soon as patients are around, or any time we are in a professional situation, he would become "Dr. Jones", and I would become "Nurse (or Mr.) Smith".

If a Doc or Nurse would rather be called by their first name, I don't see why that would create a problem but, it is their decision to make.

Doctors work very hard to earn the title "Doctor". They deserve some degree of respect.

Nurses work very hard to earn the title "Nurse", and they also deserve some respect.

Doctors and Nurses are ALL adults. They are entitled to decide for themselves how they would like to be addressed, and their adult coworkers should respect their wishes.

where i work, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. no one ever calls me nurse (fill in last name.) they call me by my first name, everytime, and i wouldn't want that to change. when it comes to the physicians, i will call any resident by their first name unless talking with or around a patient/family. frankly, we've all earned our titles, whatever they are, but i don't expect or need to expect to be honored with it everytime calls me by my name. i know who i am, and what i have accomplished. only the most fragile of egos need such an ego-boost. i call my personal doctor by his first name, always have, always will. he sees my crotch for goodness sake! what the hell is a first name after that?? :chuckle

anyway, there are some "elder-statesmen" of surgeons here that i will always call dr. so-and-so. that's fine. i consider it a generational issue, and i'll go with that.

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