Is it offensive?

  1. First off, I'm not a NP - I'm not even a RN yet - but I felt like this was the best place to ask my question. I just recently found out the woman who typically treats my daughter at our pediatrician's office is an NP. I've never noticed her credentials advertised on her lab coat and because she is so fantastic with my daughter, kind, and so good with quelling a worried Mother's fears (lol), I suppose I never thought to learn the nature of her licensure. So, to my question, because I'm positive that I have called this woman "doctor" innumerable times, is it offensive? Are you offended when you're called doctor?

    Thanks in advance for responses!
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    About PC0229

    Joined: Jul '14; Posts: 15; Likes: 12
    from US


  3. by   elkpark
    Not at all, and she should have corrected you any time you did call her "doctor" (unless she has an earned doctorate, that is). I'm a CNS, not an NP, but I work in a large urban teaching hospital, my position requires me to wear the same white coat all the physicians do, and I'm frequently called "Doctor." No problem, and a perfectly honest and understandable mistake. I simple explain pleasantly that I'm not a physician, I'm a nurse, and move on with what I'm doing.
  4. by   Dembitz
    Not offensive at all. I introduce myself by my first name, but many of my patients call me Dr. LastName anyway. I correct them the first few times, then give up. I've been called much, much worse.
  5. by   BostonFNP
    I so the same as the above posters. I introduce myself by my first name and I let patients know it's perfectly fine to call me that. Most then call me "doctor firstname".

    I always correct them the first several times or until they tell me they are going to call me that regardless.

    I find many patients simply use the term "doctor" because that's what they want to call the person that takes care of them.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    I have a lot of military veterans for pts and many know I'm a vet too so I get called doc a all above posters I correct the first few times then just go with the flow.
  7. by   PG2018
    Floor nurses get called doctor. Just about anybody who provides direct care gets called doctor at times. It's just a misconception people have that's exacerbated by clinic work and lab coat wearing. Fourteen years ago I took an EMT course mainly because I thought it'd be interesting and wanted something else to do at night. I didn't intend to work as one so I didn't buy a host of EMT equipment or clothes. That said, I did my hospital clinical time wearing business casual and lab coat. I got called doctor all the time even in that instance.
  8. by   cruisin_woodward
    I am called "that gal" or "the nurse", or "your nurse" all the time, NEVER do they mistake me for "doctor", even when I have my white lab coat on. But I always explain who I am, my title, and ask if they understand what a nurse practitioner is. However, my colleague, a male PA, gets called "Dr" all the time. He doesn't correct them (incidentally, I have my doctorate). I have to admit that it does bother me, but mainly because I feel it is sexest. I AM a nurse, so I don't mind that, but they look at me as the "assistant". I work quite autonomously, and do the exact same job as the male PA.
  9. by   BlueDevil, DNP
    I would not tolerate that. No excuse for that degree of rudeness. Correct the speaker, loudly, firmly, each and every time.
  10. by   2015
    Am guilty of calling NPs doctors. I hope they don't mind. Just the other day I booked an appointment for my kids, and the nurse on the line told me this time I will be seeing a NP. Come the day of the appointment, I kept on telling my kids to listen to what the doctor was saying. She didn't seem to mind. My 5 year old is always calling me doctor....I hope by the time he's grown enough to know the difference, I will be on my way to getting a DNP.
  11. by   2015
    cruisinwoodward....that is very disrespectful and you need to demand the respect you truly deserve. You have to build your image and refurbish is to be what you want it to be. I used to think people parade their credentials for the sake of it, but being in graduate school has totally changed my mind set. I know I would have earned those letters that come before or after my name by the time am done with school. If you work autonomously, think of a fresh start if that is what it takes. Print business cards with DNP on it. Have the credentials posted on your office door or something. That is just plain offensive for people to refer to you as "that girl."