The Right And Wrong Way To Introduce Yourself To Patients

How Not to Introduce Yourself

We’ve discussed the best ways to introduce yourself to a patient, but many nurses make mistakes that can damage their therapeutic relationship with their patients. Here are some of the most common introduction missteps.

  • Not introducing yourself by name. It’s surprising how often doctors and nurses neglect to give a patient, their name. When you fail to introduce yourself, the patient may feel alienated.
  • Coming across as cold and aloof. A warm, welcoming demeanor is a big part of good bedside manner. If you come across as uninterested or annoyed, it makes patients uncomfortable.
  • Ignoring the patient or not listening to them. It’s important to be a good listener. Some patients may seem to go on and on about things that don’t matter, but it’s polite to listen and nod your head anyway. Patients also voice concerns about things like pain or discomfort. It’s important not to write off these complaints.
  • Not explaining what you’re doing. Patients can benefit from understanding what you’re doing when you visit them. Whether you’re administering a medication or examining their vital signs, it’s alienating and uncomfortable when they aren’t told what’s going on.


A Great Introduction Can Make a Patient’s Day

When you introduce yourself to a new patient, a warm greeting, and friendly demeanor can make a big difference for them. Whether they’re in a hospital bed or they’re seeing their GP for an annual check-up, patients can benefit when staff members are friendly and responsive.

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4 Responses to The Right And Wrong Way To Introduce Yourself To Patients

  1. emilleru2

    In this article… The Right And Wrong Way To Introduce Yourself To Patients. You start off as follows:
    A great introduction can be described by the “five P’s”:
    • You need to know who the patient is.
    • Understand where people fall in a hierarchy, and how it’s appropriate to address them.
    • Develop a consistent introduction to use.
    • Be sure to say the patient’s name clearly and correctly.
    • Introducing a point of commonality can go a long way toward forging a good connection with someone.
    WHAT ARE THE FIVE Ps????????
    Please clarify.
    Thanks, Eric

  2. minda

    In response to your article about the challenges of psychiatric patients in the emergency room, I am pleased to see you addressing this pervasive issue. All of us want to provide quality care to patients, kindly and efficiently. Barriers to this are enumerated concisely in the article. The economics of treating psychiatric patients in the current political environment has resulted in many mentally ill persons living in the community without housing and treatment. The emergency room has become a respite for stressed families, a warm place out of the cold for clients who are living on the street, and the last hope for desperately ill people who cannot negotiate the health care system. It does not help the client when the nursing staff handling this encounter had limited formal education in psychiatric nursing, and this occurred only when the nurse was a novice. Unfortunately, the trend in education is toward eliminating a separate psychiatric nursing course in nursing school, and integrated curricula that blur and delete this specialty.
    It is difficult to quantify the frustration that ER nurses feel in response to the mentally ill patient. Therefore staffing that provides care for ‘different’ patients is uncommon. Instead, nursing administrators should hire a dedicated psychiatric nurse for triage and intervention with the patients. This nurse is a role model to staff, an educator, consultant, and ‘social worker.’ Appropriate disposition will go far toward eliminating a revolving- door situation.

  3. jordan_holley

    I found this article very useful and interesting as it is associated with my vocational area of Nursing!.

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