Knowing the Patient's Name

McKenzie, Robin PhD, RN

AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000421002.93888.3b
Letters
Author Information

Robin McKenzie, PhD, RN

Orange Park, FL

As a clinical instructor, I was tickled to read the July Reflections (“To the Nurse Who Knows My Name…’”) and plan to have all my students read it this fall.

It drives me a bit crazy when I talk to students about their patients, and they're unable to tell me their names. I understand the need for privacy and the use of room numbers to identify patients, but I still expect students to know patients' full names. Each student is typically assigned only one patient.

Knowing the patient's name and, certainly, knowing how to pronounce it correctly, is vital to establishing good rapport and a trusting relationship between the student nurse and the patient and family members.

Robin McKenzie, PhD, RN

Orange Park, FL

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.