The 2017 #HelloMyNameIs student competition asked healthcare students to submit a 500-word reflective piece on where they’ve used the phrase “Hello! My name is…” and how it’s helped their development as a healthcare professional. Our second winner, Sera Llywelyn Davies of Bangor University won on the strength of this submission:
Hello my name is Sera and I am a third year nursing student at Bangor. A simple statement makes a big difference to patient experiences within the health service. In terms of experience, introducing yourself and generally chatting and communicating with patients is crucially important. You establish an interaction and build a relationship with the patient whilst improving the quality of care. You naturally get to know the patient, which helps with care planning, collaboration and implementing their care. By introducing yourself to patients and their families they feel valued, and uplifted as they feel safe. Being cared for through the medium of Welsh is crucial and the passion to provide a bilingual service for patients is important. It is important that patients are able to express themselves in their mother tongue.
I reflect on my experience when I was on a clinical placement on a surgical ward. I was charged with caring for a group of patients, where patients receive pre- and post-operative care. At the beginning of duty, I would go around the patients greeting them with a smile … “Good morning, ‘Hello my name is Sera, I’m a nursing student, how are you feeling this morning?”. I felt the warmth between myself and the patient when they talked about their health, life and in general conversation about everyday life. I will focus on a day when a patient came to the bay from recovery after being treated a few hours earlier. The patient’s pain was being managed and he felt uncomfortable following surgery. I introduced myself by saying ‘Hello my name is Sera’ and welcomed the patient to the ward. The patient told me how grateful he was for being able to have a conversation in Welsh. As a nurse it’s important to respect the values and beliefs of patients through dignified care at all times. I explained what was going to happen within the first few hours, for example that a number of observations would be completed such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, respiratory pulse etc. Secondly, I explained to the patient that he could call me if he needed anything. After ensuring that the patient was settled and content, I went to see to the other patients. As I left the bay, the patient called me to ask for pain relief medication. This demonstrated how important and effective it is to start a conversation with the simple phrase ‘Hello my name is’. It shows that small things make a big difference in relation to the care that patients receive.
The campaign must contine to encourage others to start every conversation with ‘Hello my name is’. Inspired by my experience, this will stay with me throughout my career as a nurse. I would like to see this development being rolled out and used across the health service.
Remember, always introduce yourself and wear your #Helo my name is… ID badge.