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To want 'Dr' on my name badge?

(99 Posts)
sallysparrow157 Mon 01-Jul-13 00:22:09

Following a chat with my non medical friend - I'm a doctor and very aware that the general public don't really know what our job titles mean any more (FYs and STs). My past two jobs I have had to specifically ask to have Dr myname on my name badge as well as the generally meaningless st6 or 7.
Of course I introduce myself as 'my name, the children's doctor on the unit today' but my ID badge is so people know what I am as well as who I am. If I had not pushed for it I would be wearing a label saying 'myname st7' and nothing else which means sod all to anyone who matters (ie the people I care for and their families)

piprabbit Mon 01-Jul-13 02:28:38

Could the new August doctors have a special badge that says "Cut me some slack, I'm still trying to work out where the toilets are".

MammaTJ Mon 01-Jul-13 02:38:55

In my experience, people ignore name badges and look more at how you are dressed. I used to work a an agency care assistant and the uniform was a mid blue tunic. People always assumed I was a trained nurse and I spent my life explaining I was totally clueless about everything. This was in spite of me having a perfectly adequate badge telling them my lowly position in life.

sashh Mon 01-Jul-13 02:39:02

But most people don't have a clue what any of these letters and numbers mean!

So why didn't you explain them?

VinegarDrinker Mon 01-Jul-13 02:43:56

sashh so every time you see a patient you have to give them a lecture on the intricacies of current postgraduate medical training terminology? That could take a while!

Does it actually help you, as a parent of a sick kid in A&E, to know exactly that the OP has done 2 years of 'general' postgrad training and is in her 7th year of specialist training in paediatrics?

And wouldn't you think it a bit odd if she started explaining all of that rather than getting on with treating your DC?

bruxeur Mon 01-Jul-13 03:36:13

Not if you're twisting yourself in knots trying to find a reason to complain, VD. You need to think like sashh, like a professional whiner.

Clutch pearls too, if you like.

newcupboards Mon 01-Jul-13 04:17:06


I've always wanted to ask a proper medical person the following two questions sad git that I am

1. do you call each other "Dr Spencer", "Sister Smith" and "Nurse Brown" like they do on Holby City or are you on first name terms with each other?

2. do nurses who work on the wards also work in theatre? I thought they were two different specialisms but on Holby the nurses will be attending to a patient's catheter one minute and then passing the scalpel to the surgeon in theatre the next confused

MammaTJ Mon 01-Jul-13 04:21:55

Ooo, oo, Newcupboards I have one too.

3. Why can't I decide to be a nurse, work a few months on one ward, then be fully qualified, like the black doctors daughter did in Hoby City? Why do I have to actually do a three year degree to gain the qualification?

JessieMcJessie Mon 01-Jul-13 04:36:45

vinegardrinker I believe that what sashh was asking was, "Why didn't you explain them in your OP?". That struck me as a little odd too, kind of surprised that someone who is an intelligent doctor wrote an OP that was borderline unintelligible, using jargon that she already knew to be incomprehensible to the general public, her audience on this board.

OP, YANBU. But I'm a bit worried at your ability to give jargon- free explanations to patients/families.

Or MammaTJ you could start out as an agency nurse then if you fancy it become a ward manager, then its a hop, skip and a jump to being some sort of Medical Director/Chief Exec. Easy Peasy.
(Yes Robert Powell/Chrissy from Holby's dad, I'm looking at you). grin

Back to the OP, our doctor's ID badges are like this, e.g. Doogie Howser, Doctor - ST6, Speciality, Hospital Trust. It is important that patients are clear on who is who, Transparency of care and all that.

Newcupboards first name terms here, only the very traditional 'old school' sort refer to me directly as Sister Alex in general conversation.

Same as we don't directly address our doctors as "Dr. Bloggs", unless they're of the few that have been there forever and, well you just do.

We normally use our titles when chatting to patients, e.g. "Sister Alex will do that for you" or "Dr. Billy will be along to see you soon".

Holby makes me snort, if a Dr. decided to start meddling with our off duty, dictating our roles and responsibilities or decided to discipline a nurse the way they do on that programme etc. they'd be given a very short shrift.

I love to hate Holby, do you remember the midwife who became the ward manager of the adult medical ward overnight? Who are the medical advisors on that show?!

VixZenFenchell Mon 01-Jul-13 05:20:02

newcupboards :
1. Consultants call each other by first names. Junior trainees call us Dr So&so unless invited to use a first name. I call juniors Dr So&so in front of patients and by their first names otherwise, but theatres is generally informal and I normally do invite trainees to use my first name. Nurses would use my first name mostly although in front of patients they'd probably call me Dr Fenchell.

2. Ward nurses don't work in theatre. Occasionally recovery nurses are dual trained and work in recovery / ward, occasionally theatre nurses have to help out in recovery. None of our ward nurses work in theatre and none of our theatre nurses work on the wards.

BeehavingBaby Mon 01-Jul-13 05:47:24

I am really struggling to remember what they say where I work. Midwives call all drs but consultants by their first names, I find this very unhelpful as I am a student and don't want to do that but can then never remember their surnames on the phone, when facing the patient or when writing in the notes. I would l

BeehavingBaby Mon 01-Jul-13 05:49:40

ove it all old fashioned call the midwife formal though. My badge could not be clearer but I still have to have a dayglo lanyard with student on or I can look after someone for days and they profess on discharge to being convinced I was qualified despite introductions to the contrary.

BeehavingBaby Mon 01-Jul-13 05:50:51

Midwives and nurses only call each other sister something as a joke smile

MammaTJ Mon 01-Jul-13 05:57:45

AlexReids, YY to that, thanks for highlighting my new career plan! (Btw, not seen you around much lately).

When I started care work a long time few years ago it was all a lot more formal than it is now. It was clear to all who was who in the pecking order!

LookMaw Mon 01-Jul-13 06:07:20

Beehaving - on a previous ward I trained on, there was a sister, 3 trained nurses and 6 HCA's per shift. The sister was addressed as sister and there was nothing 'jokey' about it.

MummytoKatie Mon 01-Jul-13 07:07:37

Consultant is easy to spot. He's the one with 17 people following behind him / her hanging on every word. [grin\

When dh was in hospital a few years ago the consultant came round the side of the bed to talk to dh. It was a bit of a tight space due to the positioning of the curtains. But the rest all piled in too like they were playing sardines! (Even better - they were all young, male and really really handsome. Dh got really annoyed that I would go off to do my hair ten minutes before ward rounds..,,,.)

Korovaj Mon 01-Jul-13 07:23:31

Sally, my badge says 'trainee doctor' on it despite the fact I am just about to go into st3..... That's even more confusing for people!!

VixZenFenchell Mon 01-Jul-13 07:35:30

But Korovaj - at ST3 a trainee doctor is exactly what you are. A doctor, in training. Mine used to say SpR on it, nobody had a clue - given I was obviously a girl, I was therefore a nurse of some description.

Mind you, last week a patient was convinced they'd been anaesthetised by a medical student. Was quite flattered given how rapidly 40 is approaching!

AndHarry Mon 01-Jul-13 07:50:32

MummytoKatie that is very true. When I was in after an operation the chap in charge was a massive professor trailing various lower orders of doctor in his wake like a comet. He was very French and had a booming voice that made all the junior-ish doctors jump a mile as they scrambled to explain what was wrong with me (too much morphine). I felt quite sorry for them really as they were all lovely and competent on their own but jellified infront of The Professor.

YANBU OP and I agree with ^ who said that if they were a doctor they'd want it embroidered on their smalls.

FredFredGeorge Mon 01-Jul-13 08:25:09

YABU and seem very insecure, maybe being a DR wasn't for you if it's all about the title rather than the patient?

AndHarry Mon 01-Jul-13 08:32:11

I understood the OP's point to be that the patient didn't have a clue whether they were a doctor, nurse, HCA, secretary, cleaner or Joe off the street and so she wanted 'Dr' on her name tag so they understood who was treating them. Nothing egotistical in that surely?

cardamomginger Mon 01-Jul-13 08:36:25

Absolutely you need to be clearly identifiable - to other staff, to patients, to their families. Either from your name badge or from a uniform that is unambiguous. You're not in uniform, so therefore Dr on the badge.

Vaguely horrified by this ST1 guff. What the hell is wrong with House Officer, SHO, etc? I'm betting it's not a change that's been based on anything sensible....

BinkyBinkleBinkster Mon 01-Jul-13 08:40:02

I've never met a doctor who wears a name badge. I wish they would.

cardamomginger Mon 01-Jul-13 08:41:52

AlexReids - yes! I loved/hated the episode YEARS and YEARS ago when the consultant who was a general surgeon started doing palliative care on a breast cancer patient who was inoperable, rather than referring to, at the very least oncology. Numpties.

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