who the heck are you...


I work at a hospital where we all wear identification badges, mostly hanging off of lanyards (scary) and no other form of ID. I am a new grad and find this a huge issue. I watch my patients faces as doctors, dietitians, physio's, etc, file in and out of their rooms. Badges swinging in the wind-- hard to read, and minimal if any introduction from the patient.

As I am new, and live in the middle of Australia, could you tell me... does the hospital you work in have mandatory name tags with professional designations (in addition to, or other than photo id cards on lanyards)?

Would love to know if someone can point me in the right direction for evidence based info on this-- I must be searching in the wrong areas because I am finding very little on this.

Thanks for your help!

Specializes in geriatrics,med/surg,vents. Has 25 years experience.

Where I work we wear name tags with our name and title,the tags clip onto our clothes.No matter how I fasten mine it always seems to be turned around backwards,I take it off and turn it around and the next time I look it's backwards again.Maybe a long pin on the back would help keep them on straight instead of the lanyard or clip.


165 Posts

Specializes in L&D.

We have badges with our pics, name, and title. Nurses also have a plastic tag that sits behind our badge that states "RN" in big white letters against a blue background or "LVN" in big blue letters against a white background. It hangs far enough down so the RN/LVN is below your badge and it just looks like it's a part of your badge. That was admins idea of id'ing us so the pts would at least know who the nurses are.

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 37 years experience.

We have badges we wear on lanyards. Our designtation is on but is hard to read - the print is small, as is our names. Plus - most of us nurses end up taking the lanyard off and sticking it in our pocket because it gets in the way of our work.

One priceless moments comes to mind - a fellow RN had lost her badge. Looked everywhere for it but couldn't find it. Until the next time she changed her pt - rolled him to the side and found her badge!

As it was weekend and the security person who issues new badges wasnt' around, she had to use it. The poor badge had so much claviside and alcohol poured over it I'm surprised it stil worked! :)


1,313 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

We just have the photo ID card on our lanyard , and states whether your an RN, EN, medical staff.

I don't believe in displaying surnames though, why would the patient need to know your surname? A nurse i know received phone calls from one of her patients, i'm not putting myself at risk.

sharann, BSN, RN

1,758 Posts

Perhaps they should make badges with photo and credentials on BOTH back and front. Then if it flips over, oh well no problem.

Specializes in midwifery, NICU. Has 12 years experience.
We have badges we wear on lanyards. Our designtation is on but is hard to read - the print is small, as is our names. Plus - most of us nurses end up taking the lanyard off and sticking it in our pocket because it gets in the way of our work.

We are the same, the swinging badge gets in the way, and never faces the right way anyhow! Sometimes, the photo on it is best kept in your pocket!...I know mines is! It's years old, I was growing my hair, and I look like one of the Beatles in the hippy period! Guess I need a new photo, I dont look at all like my pic!

These swinging ID badges must be on par with Doctors ties.....in the germ count! Yuk!


1,549 Posts

Specializes in Post Anesthesia. Has 30 years experience.

I agree with loaparker. We used to have name pins- hard plastic with big letters with your name and title that pinned to your uniform. Now we have I.D. badges- mostly on lanyards since you have to use them to chart, clock in, give meds, buy your lunch, park, and open any door. It seems like actualy identifying ourselves to people is the least important function of our I.D. badges. On top of that it gets dipped into so many intresting things when you are doing patient care as it swings through the air. I can imagine the only evidence you will find that these things are a good idea comes from the makers of the badges! I kept my old name pin and still wear it. The badge stays mostly in my pocket.


1,348 Posts

Some states in the US have nurse practice acts that require you to be properly id'd by name and title.

I have seen many nurses over the years try to cover up their pictures, names, and titles on their badges for fear of being sued or harassed by patients. This is in direct violation of the nurse practice act in those states.

f you are so afraid of being called at home by a patient, there is this really neat thing in the states called "unlisted and not-published" where your phone number and address is not put in the telephone book and is not able to be retrieved by a person that calls information or by looking it up on the internet.

I have also seen many hospitals that purposely have small, illegible lettering on their ID badges so that patients are less aware of how many nurses they staff with. So many patients think that anyone wearing scrubs that comes in their room is a nurse and hospitals with poor staffing like the pt to be mis-informed to try to cover their butts.

I think it is inappropriate to attempt to hide or not properly display your ID. You worked hard for the title that you have and should be proud to display it. If you are in fear of being sued, perhaps you need to work on improving your nursing skills and rapport with patients to lessen the chances of a lawsuit.

Specializes in MCH, L&D. Has 17 years experience.
perhaps they should make badges with photo and credentials on both back and front. then if it flips over, oh well no problem.

my badge is made that way, both front and back, so there's no hiding who you are.

casi, ASN, RN

2,063 Posts

Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience.

We have the ID badges too. Most people either wear them on a lanyard or clip them to their tops.

I used to wear a lanyard until I about the third time I dipped my ID badge in the container I was emptying a foley into as I was bending over.

I've started wearing clipeze name badge holders. They work out rather well.


400 Posts

I always show my badge to my patients when I introduce myself. The only problem I have ever encountered with identification is in the cafeteria. When I stand in line to pay for my lunch, the cashier always asks to see my identification - like a lay person would go to the trouble of buying scrubs to get discount on hospital food... not to mention that I've worked there for 2 1/2 years and always eat in the cafeteria (too disorganized to take my own food).

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