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‘Hello’ is only the beginning

27 May 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 10

Recently, at a standardisation meeting for an undergraduate nursing module in the final year of study, I expressed disappointment to my team of colleagues that in a piece of critical reflection we were discussing, a student had cited a YouTube video as supportive evidence for the importance of introducing herself to her patient. A colleague on the marking team defended the student, informing me that the YouTube video had been a key component of a recent campaign to encourage everyone working in the health service to introduce themselves to individual members of the public in their care. I confessed that I had not heard of this campaign but that I remained dissatisfied with the quality of the student's supportive evidence. After some discussion, the module team agreed that the student should be marked down for insufficient attention to evidence.

I am wondering what we have come to when a highly educated workforce, such as the one currently populating our health service, is thought to require a promotion campaign to guide their behaviour in the direction of what is a basic tenet of human communication and common courtesy. Furthermore, the notion of such a campaign is highly suggestive of a reductionist approach to what has been shown to be a complex and sensitive skill central to the nurse-patient relationship.

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