At a recent checkup appointment with a new (to me) primary care doctor, a stranger in a lab coat came into the exam room but didn’t introduce himself. He sat down at the computer and began to ask me questions, but I hesitated to answer because I had no idea who he was. Yes, he was wearing a nametag, but it was turned around and all I could see was the blank side.
So I asked him, “May I ask who you are?”
“Oh,” he replied. “Yeah.” Then he turned his nametag around so I could see what it said. But he never told me his name. And, because I have old, not-very-good eyes, I couldn’t read it from that distance either. I still had no idea who he was, or what his role was, or why HE was asking me those questions.
He never said a word, but looked at me expectantly, waiting for my answers.
“Sorry. I can’t read your name tag. Please introduce yourself so I know why you would be asking me these questions” I told him.
“Oh. OK. I’m Jason. I’m the medical assistant today. I have to ask you all these questions so the doctor won’t have to.”
Whoa… we were off to a really bad start! I had learned a few things I didn’t like already: Jason was clueless – at least very poorly trained. Further, informing me he was performing a task “so the doctor won’t have to” made me wonder how working with this particular doctor might work out.
Advocates and care managers need nametags, too.
The more I thought about the encounter, the more I got thinking that we, as advocates, should be wearing name tags. A professional-looking nametag, of course. Preferably one that can’t get turned around. There are name tags you can pin to your clothes, or that use magnets, or even clips to pin them to your clothing. The best ones are large, and highly legible, especially for older eyes (like mine!)
A nametag accomplishes a few things. For one, it puts everyone on notice – a client, a medical professional, receptionists and other office workers, hospital personnel – anyone you encounter – showing them that you mean professional business and that they need to pay attention.
Patients, family members, and other caregivers who struggle to remember names will appreciate the reminder when they see your name tag. Plus, there is some marketing reinforcement mojo for the name of your practice. People might even remember it well enough to pass your name, and your company name, on to someone else.
Professional, durable name tags can be easily obtained online. Here’s where I found one like the one above*. You can order one to include exactly the information you’d like – your name, company name, even your logo or your phone number. It’s up to you! Just make sure your name is very easy to read, even from a distance. (*No, I have no relationship to the nametag company. I just liked their images and thought they might be helpful to you. Buy one from any company that makes a nametag you like.)
So, here’s the upshot from my experience with Jason and the new primary.
(Sounds like the name of a pop-rock band!)
I eventually answered Jason’s questions. Then when the doctor came into the exam room, I noted that yes, she was wearing a name tag, (one that I could read!) but more importantly, she introduced herself.
I shared my Jason experience with her and she apologized profusely, telling me he was a temp, working in her office that day because her medical assistant had called in sick, and that she would mention to his employer that their personnel needed better training. She then thanked me for bringing the problem to her attention.
We were off to a pretty good start, I think. We’ll see what my next appointment brings.
Content Authenticity Declaration
100% of this post was written by me, a human being. When there is AI (Artificial Intelligence) generated content, it will always be disclosed.