We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

hello my name is

A terminally ill doctor wants all hospital staff to introduce themselves to patients

St James’s Hospital in Dublin has signed up to her campaign.

BEING ADMITTED TO hospital can be a frightening experience for anyone.

This can be compounded if doctors, nurses and other members of staff don’t introduce themselves to the patient.

Kate Granger, a terminally ill doctor in the UK, found this experience to be true when she was admitted to a hospital nearly three years ago.

IKTPMWys Twitter Twitter

Following her admission to hospital in August 2013, Kate noticed that very few of those treating her introduced themselves by name.

“I made the stark observation that many staff looking after me did not introduce themselves before delivering my care. It felt incredibly wrong that such a basic step in communication was missing.”

Granger started an online campaign with the hashtag #hellomynameis “to encourage and remind healthcare staff about the importance of introductions”.

I firmly believe it is not just about common courtesy, but it runs much deeper. Introductions are about making a human connection between one human being who is suffering and vulnerable, and another human being who wishes to help. They begin therapeutic relationships and can instantly build trust in difficult circumstances.

A number of hospitals in the UK have taken notice, with staff members pledging to introduce themselves by name to patients – a simple but important step that can be forgotten due to issues such as time constraints.

Crumlin Children’s Hospital introduced the campaign last year, after a staff member saw it taking place in the UK. A number of other hospitals here have also implemented it.

The largest hospital in Ireland, St James’s in Dublin, has now followed suit. Since a launch during the week, more than 400 employees have signed up to the campaign.

Maria Kane, St James’s person-centred care manager, said: “Visiting a hospital can be a worrying and stressful event for a patient and their family. It is our aim at all times to reduce this burden from patients so their energies are focused on their healing.”

15/6/2016. The òHello my name is launch. Staff at St James's Hospital Leah Farrell / Leah Farrell / /

Kane told the hospital decided to act after receiving feeback from patients.

She said introductions play a very important role in establishing a relationship between patients and their families and staff members, but can sometimes be forgotten because employees are so busy.

“We know we can always do things better.

It’s making that human connection, not just about the courtesy. We want to put the patient at the centre of what we do – whether that’s getting them a cup of tea or stitching their wound.

Speaking at the launch, Lorcan Birthistle, St James’s CEO, said: “The simple exchange of names between any member of hospital staff and a patient is how the foundations of a relationship built on trust and compassion is fostered.

“We take a holistic approach to the care of our patients and the launch of the Hello My Name Is campaign reinforces our continued commitment to the delivery of person-centred care.”

Kane said the HSE has been very supportive and is encouraging other hospitals in Ireland to join the campaign.

More information on the initiative can be read here.

Read: Smoking will soon be banned in most Irish playgrounds

Read: The government is reversing that €12 million cut to the mental health budget

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.