What is the correct title? - page 2

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... Read More

  1. by   BrandonLPN
    The only place I've ever seen a doctor say "Nurse Smith" or "Nurse Perkins" is in really, really old movies.
  2. by   runnergirl86
    You have such a good attitude. Being a Navy nurse I hardly know anyone's first name, as we call each other by rank and last name (i.e. LTJG Smith, CAPT Brown). All of our civilian employees we address as Ms. or Mr.
  3. by   Esme12
    Quote from Redriver
    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 what the proper title is for an RN? Should I say "Nurse Smith?" or "Mr/Mrs Smith?" or something else? Its also frustrating to me that a lot of hospitals only display people's first name on their name badge, in this case would it be dumb to call someone Mr/Mrs/Ms John/Cindy etc .. or Nurse Cindy/John? I hate walking up to someone I don't know and calling them by their first name. I wanted to know if there was any convention in this case, and apart from that, what is the general nursing opinion. Thank you, and I'm sorry if I posted this in the wrong section.
    You are fine....and very considerate to ask. There night be certain parts of the country that have the respectful yes ma'am no ma'am...

    "Excuse me miss/ma'am/sir...but I don't know your name I'm Red/Dr Red and you're....." is a pretty neutral way of introducing your self. First names are usually used these days .... some facilities request the MD's to be called Doctor.....especially in front of the patient.

    I'm old school...you are Doctor in front of the patient and whatever you prefer in the nurses station.

    I think you are going to be a fine MD.
  4. by   CT Pixie
    I think it's great that you came here to post this! I think the others have offered great suggestions/ideas.

    I would be fine with my first name. I have one doc that calls me Miss (First name) as well as the other nurses who are in my age bracket and older. The younger nurses who are more in his age bracke,t I've noticed, he calls by just their first name. Seems like a respect your elders sort of thing. It's fine with me, I am only in my mid 40's but quite a bit older than him.

    Whatever you call the nurses don't call them "YOU!" with a head nod. I have one particular doc who refers to any nurse as YOU...as in YOU (as he does a head nod in the direction of the YOU he's speaking AT) what's room 219's labs.

    I wish you the best of luck. If you keep that respect for the nurses, I'm sure you will be one of the favorites and have no issues.
  5. by   nursej22
    It never hurts to just ask. I myself prefer "Goddess" .
  6. by   bookwormom
    I have no trouble being called Mrs. XXXXX, both in the academic setting and the clinical setting. I'm okay with my first name, but I've reached an age where students tend to call me Ms. XXXX or Dr.XXX, and I realize that it represents a certain respect. I am a little uncomfortable that physicians usually introduce themselves to patients as "Dr. YYYY", but nurses are always expected to be on a first name basis with patients. I always try to use titles with patients, unless they make it clear to me that first names are acceptable. You may guess that I am over 60
    Last edit by bookwormom on Mar 22, '13 : Reason: wording
  7. by   SunshineDaisy
    Not a nurse, yet! But, in all of clinicals I have seen everyone on a first name basis. As I student I call the nurses Miss or Mr first name, out of respect, even if they are younger than me. In my mind they are elder in experience, ya know?
  8. by   KelRN215
    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.
  9. by   Meriwhen
    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.
  10. by   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.
  11. by   SuzieVN
    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.
  12. by   SuzieVN
    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?

  13. by   applewhitern
    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.