Monday (23 July) was international Hello….my name is day, in recognition of the late Dr Kate Grainger. It was when she became a patient that Kate realised how many clinicians do not take the time to introduce themselves to their patients. Being in hospital can be stressful and upsetting, so this can have a huge impact on patients, whereas a simple, hello, my name is… can help put them at ease.
Jacqueline Palo, one of our nursing associates, is extremely passionate about it and has encouraged colleagues across our Trust to make sure they’re doing this one simple thing with all patients. Read her account of what inspired her to champion hello…my name is.
Earlier this year I was working in our Ambulatory Care department as part of my training as a nursing associate. I noticed that patients, having already waited in our Emergency Department to be referred, were often very agitated by the time they came to us.
On one occasion I heard a mum complaining loudly, she said no one had told her what was going on and she was worried as she wanted to get back to her children at home. I went over and introduced myself to her, explaining what was going on, and her demeanour quickly changed and she was grateful I’d taken the time to do that.
I’d also seen colleagues on many occasions taking blood, or carrying out other treatment, without introducing themselves or explaining what they were doing. I was looking for an improvement I could make as part of a university project, and I knew I’d found it.
I grew up in the Philippines and was a nurse there 20 years ago. Since moving to the UK I’d worked with the elderly in care homes and could see how important it was to introduce yourself to them and explain what was going on. Often they can be confused so it makes a big difference and takes just minutes. I knew we should be doing the same with our patients.
I was aware of the Hello, my name is… campaign and found it really inspiring. Coming to hospital is scary enough, so it really helps to introduce yourself. It’s the first contact you have with them so you can make a difference to what their initial feeling is, and it helps to build a rapport with our patients, putting them at ease.
Most importantly, I could see it was a small, simple thing we could all do, which could have a great impact on our patients.
My manager helped me introduce it at our staff huddle and I found everyone was really supportive and receptive to it.
We saw an improvement in our friends and family text scores in the first month.
Since then I’ve worked in other teams and continued to encourage my colleagues to use hello, my name is…
I’m known as the smiler and I think it can really make a different to a patient to say, ‘hello, my name is Jacqueline,’ and greet them with a smile. They feel more at home and we’re starting out on the right foot.
I’m really enjoying my training to be a nursing associate and I’m planning on staying with our Trust when my training finishes in January. When I came to the UK in 2004 I didn’t plan to work in a hospital and was avoiding going back to nursing. However, since I joined our Trust as a healthcare assistant in 2014 it’s been calling me back. I feel that nursing is my calling.
And I’ll continue to put Hello….my name is into practice whatever I do in my career.