#hellomynameis was the brainchild of Dr Kate Granger who blogged about her experience of being a patient in hospital where not everyone introduced themselves to her during her stay.
One of my pledges for Change Day 2014 was to introduce myself to my patients using my first name “Hello, my name is Dr Jonathan.”
Unexpectedly, introducing myself in this way changed my approach to consultations. Just by using my first name I felt different. Things felt immediately 'less formal' and more friendly. A levelling and better balance of 'power' between myself and the patient took place. This was a positive thing. There were more smiles, and a better level of engagement and communication. These were just the things that I felt, of course, and I can only hope my patients felt this too.
It has also had a knock on effect with the reception staff. Previously I was usually referred to as Dr Griffiths. I have now noticed more of the staff referring to me as Jonathan. I have never previously told the staff what I would I like them to call me. I also see this as a positive step forwards.
In summary I feel that the benefits have far outweighed any possible costs. I hope my patients feel as though I have made more of an attempt to connect, that I have been more friendly and more engaging. I hope they know who they have seen, and perhaps will remember? I am glad it seems to have improved my relationship with them, as well as with our reception staff.
If you are a GP, nurse or health care professional in any setting, why don't you give this a try? I think you will notice a difference.
These stories have been adapted from Dr Jonathan’s blog. You can read the full stories at www.valeroyalccg.nhs.uk/blog/categories/24.