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#hellomynameis Campaign


St. James’ Hospital is starting a #hellomynameis Campaign today. A doctor called Kate Granger who was diagnosed with cancer found that when she was in hospital with postoperative sepsis, none of the hospital staff would introduce themselves formally while in their care.

“It felt incredibly wrong that such a basic step in communication was missing. After ranting at my husband during one evening visiting time he encouraged me to “stop whinging and do something!””

A campaign was born and Kate took it to social media users first, using the twitter hashtag #hellomynameis, to encourage hospital staff to introduce themselves by announcing their names.

Kate says: “I firmly believe it is not just about common courtesy, but it runs much deeper. Introductions are about making a human connection between one human being who is suffering and vulnerable, and another human being who wishes to help. They begin therapeutic relationships and instantly build trust in difficult circumstances.”

Speaking from own experience I feel that Kate is making a valid point here. I had to visit several doctors and hospitals this year and not even one of the hospital staff or doctors that I was examined by introduced themselves to me, this had me feeling neglected and in the way of my own visit, asking myself “What am I doing here?”, “Do I have a right to be here?”, or “Is this doctor not liking me?”.

At my own doctor’s practice where there is over nine doctors at the one practice, I have never been told their names. I am always being asked by other doctors, “so who is your doctor” and I will say “I don’t know which one I saw the last time I went there, she never told me her name”.

At a recent visit at St. James’ , I was seen by four hospital staff in A&E and only one was wearing a name-tag, the other three (two nurses and one doctor) never told me who they were. If you don’t ask, you will never be told, is what I had to realise.

It also makes it difficult when you want to follow-up on your visit and you don’t know who to speak to when you phone in. I am not advocating that the hospital staff are arrogant or rude, in fact I found them friendly and helpful, but they become just faces when they don’t have names.

Dr. Granger introduces herself to her patients in the following way, her first hashtag read: “Hello. My name is Dr. Kate Granger. I’m one of the senior doctors who will be looking after you on the ward while you’re with us. How are you feeling today?”

This is polite and you will not easily forget the friendly doctor who wants to know how you are, and note – the “senior doctor” bit, you will definitely be able to remember her by association of her title.

So far this morning at St. James’s Hospital the walls are being filled with pledges from the hospital staff, one twitter says: “We’ve run out of space on our pledge wall in the staff canteen!!”

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