‘Hello, my name is …’: an exploratory case study of inter-professional student experiences in practice
The ‘Hello my name is …’ campaign emphasises the importance of compassionate care and focuses on health professionals introducing themselves to patients. Research has found that using names is key to providing individuals with a sense of belonging and can be vital in ensuring patient safety.
To investigate the student experience of having ‘Hello my name is …’ printed on student uniforms and implement this campaign in practice.
A case study was used to capture the experiences of 40 multiprofessional healthcare students in practice. Participants were asked to complete a reflective diary during their first week in practice and attend a focus group with 4–8 other students.
A higher education institution in the north east of England with students from adult, child and learning disability nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and midwifery programmes, in a variety of clinical placements throughout the region.
The implementation of the campaign and logo branding on the uniforms of students resulted in an increase in the number of times students were addressed by their name in practice. Participants reported that the study helped them to quickly develop a sense of belonging when on placement, and aided them in delivering compassionate care. Occasions when patient safety was improved were also reported.
The use of names is a key feature in human relationships and the delivery of compassionate care, and the authors advocate use of the ‘Hello my name is …’ campaign for all health professionals.
At the core of each person is the need to seek out interaction with others, whether that be through verbal or non-verbal interactions. It is fundamental to who we are as human beings (Blumer, 1969). From an early age we learn about the importance of introductions to each other, which is seen as the first step in social etiquette, enabling the formation of relationship and social interaction, regardless of the culture or the circumstances: personal, professional or social. It produces a sense of commonality. This is particularly true and important in a healthcare setting.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018) has identified this behaviour as an element of promoting professionalism and trust and the Health and Care Professions Council (2018a; 2018b) and Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2017) emphasised the need to be aware of how this affects the engagement of people in their own health care. Therefore, it must be questioned why so often, at the most traumatic or vulnerable times, health professionals fail to introduce themselves. A lack of a basic introduction was experienced during an inpatient hospital stay by Kate Granger, an NHS doctor, in 2013, and the momentum that grew when she talked about the issue suggested her experience was far from unique. Granger reflected that during her admission:
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