So, this week at work, we’ve had an email come round promoting the “Hello my name is…” campaign. Of course, I’m sure you must all be aware of this campaign by now, as it’s been fairly prevalent over the last few weeks. In case you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s a campaign started by consultant Kate Granger. Kate became frustrated whilst recieving treatment in hospital for cancer, when staff did not introduce themselves before providing care.
This current hot topic has made me reflect back on my time as a student.
In my third year, I spent time on an elderly care unit. Granted, I didn’t love the placement, but the patients were often there for long periods of time, so you often got to know them quite well. When a patient was first transferred to us, and I was given the responsibility of admitting them to the ward, and would always try to introduce myself and my mentor. Shockingly, I was told off for this by my mentor. She said, and I quote, “Never tell them your name. If you do, they start to ask you to do things for them. If they ask you you’re name, tell them it is Nurse.” EXCUSE ME?? Is that not pretty much the purpose of our job??? To DO things for our patients? I cannot tell you how horrified I was at this, although, as I was a student at the time, felt there was little use in fighting it.
In my final placement, my mentor was often viewed as lazy and unwilling to work. The one thing he did do though, was take the time in the morning to go round to every single one of his patients and introduce himself, and me. This was a mean feat on an often frantic Acute Medical Unit, but it was something that he thought incredibly important for building up a rapport with patients and their relatives.
This is something that I now continuously try to do when meeting new patients for the first time and, still, when I visit patients again having seen them previously. I’ve also had the opportunity to look after several students now, and always try to encourage them to do the same. I can’t stress the importance of this enough, especially in community nursing. Not only are you providing care to someone, but are doing so in their home setting. And no one wants a stranger bowling into their house right?
This is why I think Kate Granger’s idea is so important. It is such a basic thing to introduce yourself to your patients. It helps humanise the nurse and remove the superior barrier that can sometimes be felt between nurses and their patients. Most importantly, it opens up a channel of communication. If a nurse is approachable and friendly from the onset, it will drastically improve outcomes in patient experience.
I certainly know which mentors approach I will be adopting.
We all know what Maya Angelou said, and in this instance, it could not be more true.
What are your experiences in relation to introductions? Is there ever a time when you haven’t wanted to tell a patient your name? Is your trust encouraging the role out of this ideal?
The Nurse is Needed