First name basis?

  1. I have often been of the opinion that we should be on a first-name basis with physicians. I always call them by their first names. The couple of times they've said, "I prefer to be called 'Dr. _______'," I've responded with, "Then you can call me 'Nurse Castens.'"

    After all, I've worked very hard to get where I am, I deserve the credit. I have no problem with using a professional title, as long as I get the same treatment. Most of the physicians I work with haven't had a problem with this. In fact, when meeting a new doc they will frequently introduce themselves with their first names.

    I should also add that in front of patients or families I always address them as "Dr. _________" to maintain more of a professional image.

    Thoughts on this anyone?
  2. Poll: Are you on a first-name basis with the docs you work with?

    • Yes

      50.00% 30
    • No

      50.00% 30
    60 Votes
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    About mattcastens

    Joined: Sep '01; Posts: 273; Likes: 31


  4. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Courtesy dictates that when one is introduced to someone new or when you are meeting someone for the first time on your own, ask how the person prefers to be addressed. You have the opportunity to also state your personal preferences. To assume one standard for all can lead to social/professional faux-pas. A simple statement and question can clear up tension and anxiety in first meetings: Please call me ________. May I call you _______? And please, shake hands with a firm grip, not a wet noodle!

    best to all
  5. by   kaycee
    I work ER and am on first name basis with all the Docs. I also refer to them as DR. so & so in front of pt's.
    I also call alot of the attendings by their first names cause I've known them for a long time.
  6. by   Dave123
    The place where I work only puts my first name on my badge. I told them I wanted my last name and title. They said no.

    With the doctors and PA's it just depends. Most I let call me by my first name, some I do not. I prefer Mr. to Nurse ______ myself.

    The only really firm rule I truly have with the doc's is to right up front let them know they will get what they give and I am not a servant.

    The PA's are almost always really great to deal with.

    Just my opinion

  7. by   Zee_RN
    This is a personal bugaboo with me too. I believe if anyone calls ME by my first name I should be able to call him/her by THEIR first name. I am on first name basis with some of the physicians at work. And there are some physicians that we address simply by their last name--"Hey, Smith...!" Obviously, these are physicians we work very closely with in ICU and have a good rapport with.

    I also firmly believe, however, that when I am with a patient or introducing a physician to a patient, that the "Dr. _____" should be used. When speaking with other physicians on behalf of a doc, I also use the title...For instance in a phone call, "Hello Dr. Smith, this is Zee, RN. Dr. Johnson wanted me to notify you...."

    Any young hot-shot doc that thinks he's gonna call me by my first name without giving me his/her first name is sorely mistaken. It will be Nurse Zee or Mrs. Zee...they can chose. I give a little more leeway to the docs that are older than me (these are getting fewer and fewer).
  8. by   e-nurse
    PA's and Residents I address by their first names. However for the Attending heart surgeons I bow down and kiss the ground that they walk on b/c this is behavior they have come to expect being the Gods that they are.
  9. by   e-nurse
    I hope noone took me seriously, but these heart surgeons are tough. Alot of them really think they are Gods.
  10. by   Sundowner
    I like this subject,

    My opinion is varied dependant upon circumstance, I think it is appropriate when nurses work so very closely with Physicians that they be on a first name basis, I think it breaks down barriers and enhances the feel of a team. I also feel that infront of clients, a definate no-no.
  11. by   P_RN
    I think I'm with Zee for the most part.

    What was sooooooo "bad" was when the residents started being younger than my children and started calling me Ma'am.

    Grey hair will get them EVERY time.

    You call me by my first name, then I get to call you by yours. Not in front of patients however, then I expect to be Mrs.____and they become Dr.______.
  12. by   debbyed
    In our ER we call most the doctors by their first name and they call us by first names except infront of patients. I think most of our doc's know that if you get called Dr. so & so in private you've done something to pi$$ the nurses off.
  13. by   kaycee
    I think most of our Doc's know that if you get called Dr. so & so in private you've done something to pi$$ the nurses off.

    Oh so true Debbey!!
  14. by   Zee_RN
    Heh, that's true with the doctors themselves too, I've noticed...that calling them by Dr. _____. When one is upset with the other, you can certainly tell when they start addressing each other as "Doctor" instead of using first names....
  15. by   BrandyBSN
    I'm a student, so it might be a little different.

    With Med students, its alway their first name. When residents, its first names too. The older ones, I usually refer to as Dr. ____ mostly because they barely give the older nurses the time of day, so I expect even less.

    In school, once we became Juniors, all professors are called by there first names, as they have explained that since we are now practicing student nurses, we are not all colleages, which makes for a nice environment.