Do you introduce yourselves to your patients?
Although it may be many years since you graduated from med school, all the basics and fundamental knowledge stays with you, despite constantly developing and learning. Drilled in to you from day dot of clinical medical studies is the simple act of introducing yourself to your patients, a skill that Dr Kate Granger believes is lacking in today’s patient care. She explains in her blog “starting the relationship with a patient begins with an introduction. It was easy marks in our exams”.
As well as being a junior doctor specialising in elderly medicine, Dr Granger is also an incurable cancer patient, with the unique situation of seeing both sides of the standard of care coin. After being admitted to Leeds hospital last August for a kidney infection, she noticed that the unintentional simple slip in manners of doctors not introducing themselves to patients actually had a massive impact on how the patients felt about their care.
“As a healthcare professional you know so much about your patient. You know their name, their personal details, their health conditions, who they live with and much more. What do we as patients know about our healthcare professionals? The answer is often absolutely nothing, sometimes it seems not even their names. The balance of power is very one-sided in favour of the healthcare professional,” she writes.
Determined despite her worsening condition and encouraged by her husband, Dr Granger set up the #hellomynameis campaign, promoting the easy idea that every doctor, nurse and healthcare profession should pledge to introduce themselves to their patients, to encourage and create a positive and trusting relationship.
Within days, her campaign was viral across the UK, with NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, NHS England’s national medical director Sir Bruce Keogh and chief nursing officer Jane Cummings all following her on Twitter to show their support of the scheme. So inspirational was Dr Granger’s work and motives, that soon after, the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards were born, with the leading doctor herself announcing the winners at the NHS Expo in March.
Show your support for this incredible campaign by posting your introduction as a comment below. Here is Dr Granger’s:
“Hello. My name is Dr Kate Granger. I’m one of the senior doctors who will be looking after you on the ward while you’re with us. How are you feeling today?”