Monday, December 11, 2006

. . . the effect on patients of knowing nurses only by their first names

I have a number of questions about the effect on patients of knowing nurses only by their first names. First, does it matter, and if it does, how is mattering manifest? Are patients as comfortable providing personal details or seeking information from Sue as they are from Sue Smith? Are they more comfortable? Do patients hold different expectations of nurses when they know only their first name, as opposed to knowing their full name? Is it appropriate in some patient care environments but not others? Second, what is behind this trend to using first names only in nursing? Is it a safety issue? Has it anything to do with nurses' status within the healthcare team? Was it planned, or did it just happen? Finally, are we compromising any aspect of our professionalism by using our first names only? Do we know the answers to these questions? Should we?

Dorothy Pringle, PhD and editor in chief of the Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership.

1 comment:

cathedralboo said...

This is part of a 20 year de-professionaliztion of the profession. It began with the abandonment of the nurses uniform in favour of the clown outfits. The nurses unions complaints about over work and under pay which nurses have bought into. The high pay rates meaning youngsters got into the job for the money, not the vocation.

Perhaps a more worthwhile study of the effects on patients would be the proliferation of 12 shifts and the errors caused, or full time nurses holding 2 jobs and the consequences to the patient recieving care on the 5th or 6th 12 hour shift in a row. Or the high "sick" time these long shifts cause and the resultant shortages of replacement staff and overtime required to be worked.

There is emperical data to study and perhaps nurses and their unions will realize one day that they are doing alot of this harm to themselves