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Student nurses to wear 'hello my name is' badges


Student nurses at Swansea University will wear name badges from this month, after convincing the institution to back the “hello my name is” campaign.

More than 200 students from adult, mental health and children’s nursing courses will wear badges featuring the “hello my name is” logo, after the idea was suggested in class.

The campaign was launched by NHS doctor and cancer patient Kate Granger when she became frustrated at staff who failed to introduce themselves properly while she was in hospital.

Dr Kate Granger

Dr Kate Granger

It has won the backing of many nurses, including chief nursing officer for Wales Jean White, who praised it as a “simple but powerful message for all who care for others”.

Julia Pridmore, senior lecturer and quality improvement lead for Swansea’s pre-registration nursing programme, said students flagged up the name badge idea as an example of good practice during a lesson.

“It is a very simple, small-scale change that could have a big impact with hundreds of students wearing these badges,” she told Nursing Times. “I am absolutely delighted that it was an initiative that came from students,” she said. “It shows the value of a questioning and open attitude.”

“It is a very simple, small-scale change that could have a big impact”

Julia Pridmore

The Swansea name badges will feature the campaign logo and the university plans to extend them to students on other healthcare-related courses in the future.

Ms Pridmore added: “We talk an awful lot about the need to treat patients with dignity and respect and communicate effectively, and it’s such a big part of normal human interaction to say ‘hello my name is’ when you greet someone.”


Readers' comments (30)

  • How about just teaching appropriate communication skills to the student nurses instead of utilizing some jaded approach to communication.

    Equally, does this campaign include many other professionals and students who fail to introduce themselves to patients, including medical students, speech and language therapy students, physiotherapy students etc ? Of course it don't.

    This futile campaign seems to send out all of the wrong messages to what nursing is about and there professional ability to communicate and engage with patients appropriately. If a student is failing at this 'featherweight' level of nursing, then surely their mentor should be aware of this an manage the situation with appropriate advise and training.

    Using a campaign such as this invalidates the profession and frankly makes nursing look pretty incompetent in-terms of their communication skills. This furthers the inequalities that nurses face against many other health professionals and the public perception of the nursing profession.

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  • Completely agree with the above comment. Students should know the basics i.e. effective communication skills without the 'use' of badges!

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  • Hello, Welcome to McDonald's, oops, sorry, Swansea Hospital, my name is ......

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  • If health professionals were so competent at introducing themselves, I'm not sure the campaign would have been as necessary or successful as it has. Definitely witnessed such basic failures of communication in my workplace. Agree with regard to badges though, a meaningless gesture without accompanying comms skills training.

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  • Er .... thought all name badges and dangly bits were deemed unsafe and infection control factor?

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  • Ellen Watters

    ms1233 | 1-Sep-2014 11:28 am

    I think that's a little harsh, surely it can be used along side other communication skills teaching to enhance the experience of patients and their loved ones.

    I think every little helps (to coin a phrase) but absolutely it should be stressed to the students that this along with developing excellent communication skills in general, is a useful tool.

    And who knows, if its a resounding success then it can be taken up by other HCPs ..:)

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  • I don't know if I would call it a "good idea" but I do think it is absolutely the way for all staff to go.
    ALL staff should have their full name on a badge and a clear (very clear) and simple role description like nurse, porter, doctor, radiographer, newspaper salesperson, minister of religion, nurse assistant or patient assistant.
    I have a professional friend who deliberately refuses to wear any form of identification and laughs at me because I do. She believes that not wearing identification keeps you out of a lot of trouble.
    I think it should be mandatory.
    I am also sick and tired of staff saying to patients Hi, I'm one of the nurses here. I always wish the patient would say to them "Hi nurse, haven't you got a name"?

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  • Why don't you go the whole hog and have star systems for their abilities, a la McDonalds? Why don't you demand a certain number of items of "flair"?

    Alternatively you could have a simple name and designation badge - "Doug Paulley, Student Nurse" - and ensure that medical professionals have the professionalism and courtesy to introduce myself.

    "Hello my name is" is both patronising for those people who can and do read it, and of no use whatsoever to those who don't or can't for whatever reason.

    Doug Paulley - member of the public

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  • I agree with most of the posts above. If nursing staff need a badge saying "hello my name is", because they can't be bothered to introduce themselves, then we need to re-think how we can improve the communication skills of these nurses. I seriously worry about the nursing profession sometimes. I am really sorry, but the badge does not substitute a personal greeting and it is extremely demeaning and patronising (including to those who bother to say hello, my name is and I am your nurse for the day). Ridiculous.

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  • So when dealing with patients, the students can just point to their name badge. They do not have to talk to the patients. Students do have badges already, so it must be the "hello" that is going to make the big differrence in the quality of care.
    What is wrong in insisting that nurses introduce themselves to patients. Is it too much to approach a patient, greet him by his/her name (whenever possible) and tell him/her your name and who you are? When I trained as a nurse I was told to introduce myself to all my patients and as a nursing lecturer this is what I told my students too.
    The message we send to students is "the badge will speak for you"

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