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What is the proper way to address an RN?

Posted

This question is probably a bit silly, haha. I'm not in school just yet and I've never been a patient (for an extended period of time anyway) so I haven't really been in a position where I would say anything to a nurse beyond "excuse me." So let's say my name is Sally Smith. Do patients call me "Nurse Smith" "Nurse Sally" or perhaps just Sally? Or does it differ by hospital, region, etc? Just curious :) Thanks for the help!

Defineyourself

Specializes in Emergency.

I make sure my patients know my first name, and try to make them feel comfortable using it. Being human is part of what makes your care so special.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

In general, nurses tend to have less professional distance from patients than other members of the healthcare team, so very few people refer to us with formal titles.

Patients usually refer to me by my first name. Some will simply yell out "Nurse" or "Miss" if they do not know my name.

The "Nurse Smith" formalities disappeared many decades ago along with the white uniforms, nursing caps and pantyhose. As someone born in the 1980s, this bygone era predates me.

In addition, most patients do not give a hoot about 'RN' or 'LPN' or 'CNA' in my personal experience. The vast majority of Americans lack college degrees and view any female in scrubs or medical uniforms as a nurse.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

'Your Highness ' will do! :p

SubSippi

Has 2 years experience.

In general, nurses tend to have less professional distance from patients than other members of the healthcare team, so very few people refer to us with formal titles.

Patients usually refer to me by my first name. Some will simply yell out "Nurse" or "Miss" if they do not know my name.

The "Nurse Smith" formalities disappeared many decades ago along with the white uniforms, nursing caps and pantyhose. As someone born in the 1980s, this bygone era predates me.

In addition, most patients do not give a hoot about 'RN' or 'LPN' or 'CNA' in my personal experience. The vast majority of Americans lack college degrees and view any female in scrubs or medical uniforms as a nurse.

Or the ever popular, "Hey Miss Nurse!"

OneDuckyRN

Specializes in ICU. Has 3 years experience.

There is one Fundamentals instructor in the program I graduated from who holds on to the "Nurse (last name)" tradition. She expects her students to address her that way, and in turn, she addresses them the same way, from day one of nursing school. Granted, after Fundamentals most students stop doing it fairly quickly because none of the other instructors carry it through, but you can always tell who had Nurse Last Name for Fundamentals!

ixchel

Specializes in critical care.

'Your Highness ' will do! :p

I'm a fan of "Mistress" or "Madame", as well. :)

Come to think of it, I can count on one hand, probably, the number of times a person has actually used my first name, and those typically are ones who I've had for extended periods of time. I'd actually prefer that. Instead, patients shouting, "Nurse!" into the hallway, in spite of the perfectly good call bell next to their hands, tends to be the norm. Makes me wonder if maybe patients aren't sure about this, in general, as well.

featherzRN, MSN

Specializes in Outpatient/Clinic, ClinDoc. Has 30 years experience.

Everyone calls me by my first name. :p If someone actually called me "Nurse Myname" (and was serious about it) I'd probably crack up laughing. :)

subee, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 49 years experience.

If a physician makes me call him/her "Doctor___", I insist on being called "Nurse_____.

TakeTwoAspirin, MSN, RN, APRN

Specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

If a physician makes me call him/her "Doctor___", I insist on being called "Nurse_____.

I don't call physicians "Doctor" because they make me. I call them Doctor out of respect.

In general, nurses tend to have less professional distance from patients than other members of the healthcare team, so very few people refer to us with formal titles.

Patients usually refer to me by my first name. Some will simply yell out "Nurse" or "Miss" if they do not know my name.

The "Nurse Smith" formalities disappeared many decades ago along with the white uniforms, nursing caps and pantyhose. As someone born in the 1980s, this bygone era predates me.

In addition, most patients do not give a hoot about 'RN' or 'LPN' or 'CNA' in my personal experience. The vast majority of Americans lack college degrees and view any female in scrubs or medical uniforms as a nurse.

Now that I know I 'm from the bygone era, I will just grab my cane and shawl and sob silently into my hankie.:cry:

Been called everything in the book. I just respond where I'm needed.

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

I've been called: by my first name, by my last name, wrong name, nurse, doctor, waiter, yo, hey you, sonny, buddy, dude, my brother, dearie, hey babe (had to do some boundary setting with that one) and soldier (wwII era dementia pt, i simply responded with yes sir).