Hello my name is

You may have read somewhere or seen in the press the campaign commenced by fellow wordpress blogger Dr Kate Granger, “Hello my name is”. The campaign is to encourage medical staff to introduce themselves to each and every patient that they encounter and she is quite right too. Nowadays I am very good at the introducing myself part, but I have to admit that the rest of the ward round get referred to as “the ward doctors” or “the team” or “the doctors and some medical students”. The reality is that the ward round has to be over by 9am so I can get to theatre and there is no way that I can introduce the 10 people on the round to the 30 patients we whizz around. I hope though that Kate would forgive me for this as I am the one doing the talking and the touching and the others are learning or writing down the jobs, I hope.

In defence of medical staff everywhere I wonder if Kate remembers what it was like to be the most junior member of the team and feel that you are the “fucking house officer” or the “useless F1”. You are at times not treated by all of your colleagues as worthy of having a name and so to introduce yourself to a patient whom you are not going to see again can seem unnecessarily confusing and time consuming. I often said “hello I am one of the doctors” and left my name out of it when I was having chance encounters in the night to take blood, site IV’s and attend to the demented and distressed. Mrs Goggins doesn’t need to know your name when she’s puking blood and has a BP of 70 systolic and it can muddy the waters somewhat especially for us girls as quite a few patients who are acutely confused will begin arguing that this “daft wee lassie” cannot be the doctor. I suspect that there are circumstances that we wold be excused the introductions in the interests of administering life saving care.

I was thinking about the “hello my name is” campaign today as it was mentioned in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) yesterday which I finally have caught up with, mainly by throwing out all the unopened BMJs and deciding to make a fresh start with the most recent one. It was jolly good actually with a nice article on the treatment of gout and quite a bit of controversy about the MRCGP exam being racist. The BMJ has something for everyone most weeks, and it is readable and very magazine like. The same cannot be said for the BJS (British Journal of Surgery) which is so boring and dry and sterile that you really need to psyche yourself up for it. So far I have taken the same three unopened BJS magazines to Italy (twice) and Spain (once), I shudder to think of the carbon footprint but I shudder more when I look inside and begin to read the thing. So, clever old me has come up with a rule, no other magazines until I read those BJSs, no Grazia, no Vogue, no sneaky peeks at heat magazine in the gym, no Red, no Marie Claire.

I am also going to stop optimistically taking the BJS abroad and introduce it into my reading habits this week at some point. Not now though, obviously.

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