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 first winner, Emma Morgan-Williams of Swansea University won on the strength of this submission:
I first became aware of Dr Kate Granger’s ‘Hello my name is’ campaign during the initial lectures I attended at Swansea University. I knew that at some point during my forthcoming placements I would use the phrase, however, I was not expecting it to become one of the very first things I would say.
On the very first day, of my very first ward placement within a local hospital I had the opportunity to use and slightly adapt the phrase ‘Hello my name is’, personally feeling more comfortable with ‘Hiya, I’m Emma’.
My mentor gave me the opportunity to assist in the personal care of a patient who was on end of life pathway. As we entered the patients room my mentor spoke to the family. Before even thinking, the words ‘Hiya I’m Emma, I’m a student nurse. Would you mind if I helped my mentor?’ came out of my mouth. The family gave permission for me to help, as due to the medication that the patient was having he was not in a position to do so. Even though they had granted me permission, I gave them a further opportunity to change their mind; I did not want them to feel obligated in allowing me to assist. Understanding this was a difficult time for them, I would not have been offended if they had wanted a more experienced pair of hands to care for their Dad at this time.
The simple use of ‘Hiya, I’m Emma’ gave me an instant opening for a conversation with the family. Had I not introduced myself properly I might never have been told how my patient had spent many years working within a hospital setting. I would never have known of his fondness for students. Nor would I have learnt how his daughter thought that it was very fitting that a student was there helping him in his last days. ‘Hiya I’m Emma’ helped me to feel more confident in caring for my patient. ‘Hiya I’m Emma’ meant enabled me to learn more about my patient, due to conversations I subsequently had with the patient’s family. I learnt that he had a nickname that he liked to be called, whereas he hated the name printed on his chart. I found that this aided me when attending to personal care to address the patient with a familiar name. This is something I might never have known if I had not taken the time to introduce myself properly.
This My variation of Dr Kate Granger’s ‘Hello my name is’, ‘Hiya, I’m Emma’ enabled the patient’s family to feel that they could speak to me, that I was approachable and open. This simple introduction made me feel more confident approaching the patient’s family and assisting in the care of the patient. I have used ‘Hiya, I’m Emma’ daily since; I am sure that it will follow me through each and every placement and through the rest of my career.