First-Names-Only on a Name Badge?
How can I address a note of thanks to a medical professional whose name badge gives only the person’s first name and surname initial?
——I know the physicians’ surnames, but most of the medical team revealed only their first names and last name initials on their name badges, such as
–V——Beth M., RN
—V-—-Bob M., CAN
——This reminds me of elementary school, when we children were required to head our papers with only our given names and surname initials. That was appropriate for young children with emerging manual dexterity in a small classroom, but I do not understand how it makes sense in a professional setting, unless the personnel involved fear legal retribution, such as malpractice suits, and thus wish to hide their true identities.”
——Please advise me on how to address these semi-anonymous professionals, who hold their patients’ lives in their hands but will not reveal their full identities.
—-—-—-– Taylor Stuart
Dear Taylor Stuart:
As for your immediate question: when addressing an envelope and note, follow the lead of the individual. Address them with the name you have.
—-—-Beth M., RN
—-—-Surgical Recovery Unit
—-—-Wilson County Hospital
—-—-4455 Wilson Road
—-—-Wilsonville, State, ZIP
—-—-Dear Beth M.,
But to get a more thoughtful answer about the why, I asked an expert on etiquette in the medical arena – Karen Hickman of Professional Courtesy, LLC for her take on it:
“The primary reasons medical personnel list first names only is for security reasons, Nurses are authorized to phone in prescriptions for physicians and there is less chance for a clever patient to call in medications using the nurses full name.
“If the patient has an established relationship with the facility there is a chance that a manager or supervisor would share last names.
“Speaking from personal experience, from my nursing days, cards and notes of gratitude are always so appreciated by care givers. Gifts should be sent to the team – since ethically, nurses and physicians are discouraged from accepting personal gifts.”
Karen: I learned something from you today (no surprise!). Thank you.
– Robert Hickey How to Write a Name on a Name BadgeHow to Write a Name on a Name Badge