#Hello My Name Is: The Power of Introducing Yourself

You’d think it’s no big deal, a seemingly insignificant detail that if missed doesn’t affect much.

Think again.

Dr. Kate Granger knows how much of an impact introducing yourself–or not–can have on a patient and their families. A terminally ill cancer patient herself,  she began the campaign after a hospital stay in 2013 where she developed post-surgical sepsis. She experienced first hand the many interactions with caregivers who never introduced themselves before delivering her care.

As doctor, she wanted to do something to bring to light this seemingly insignificant  yet profound interaction which she says,  “…is the first rung on the ladder to providing truly person-centered, compassionate care.”

She began the #Hello My Name Is campaign to  raise awareness of the importance of the  simple act of introducing oneself.  The worldwide campaign has caregivers re-thinking what it means to say hello.

“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.” –Dr. Kate Granger

I often teach the importance of a good introduction as the foundation to a good patient experience. It’s the strong base of a relationship between the caregiver and the person who is receiving care that is centered on trust.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid often times we over complicate it. We layer on acronyms and scripts–all with good intentions of helping–only to further push caregivers into the task trap while forgetting not what’s most important but who: the person sitting in front of them.

The most important thing that can happen in that moment when caregiver and patient meet is laying the foundation for a relationship that is based on trust. Introducing yourself extends the simple yet profound dignity and respect that every human deserves.

 

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