Clinical placements

Introducing myself helped improve patients’ experience and wellbeing

My management placement in the final year of training was on a trauma and orthopaedic ward. I had the opportunity to plan and prepare a service improvement project as part of my final dissertation.

My management placement in the final year of training was on a trauma and orthopaedic ward. I had the opportunity to plan and prepare a service improvement project as part of my final dissertation.

Service improvement focuses on the safe and effective delivery of patient-centred care and how care can be improved, so I decided to focus my project on patient experience.

An effective nurse-patient relationship is essential to a good patient experience, but I noticed that ward staff were not always introducing themselves to patients and relatives and so missed vital opportunities to build up trusting relationships.

I decided to introduce staff to the #hellomynameis campaign, started by Kate Granger in 2012. I explained that Dr Granger, who has terminal cancer, started the campaign to remind healthcare staff about the importance of introducing themselves after many failed to do so during her treatment.

She felt that this made her experiences as a patient harder, and created an imbalance of power in the relationship between patient and health professional.

As a nursing student, it was difficult reminding the ward nurses – some of whom had been practising for years – that they should always introduce themselves to their patients. The culture of the organisation meant some staff members were resistant to change and to trying new ideas.

But the #helllomynameis campaign complemented my project to improve the patient experience. Along with Nursing and Midwifery Council guidelines, recommendations from the Francis report and local trust guidelines, the campaign made me even more passionate about ensuring patients have the best possible experience while in hospital.

I also wanted to encourage staff to engage with the campaign because taking ownership of an initiative makes it much more likely to succeed.

I introduced myself to one of my patients, and explained that I would be looking after him that day. When the patient’s relative needed some information later on, she asked for me by name at the nurses’ station. This was a useful piece of qualitative evidence to back up the need for my project, which I was able to relay to other staff.

When health professionals work in partnership with patients, their families and carers it creates a more equal relationship. This helps staff and patients achieve health and wellbeing goals together, and I was pleased that my service improvement idea had helped patients and their families to be more involved in their care.

From researching the literature to help me with my project, to learning about the process of change, I am now more aware of the need for continuous assessment of our work and the way patients experience the care we deliver.

 

As a qualified nurse, I will make it a priority to introduce myself to my patients, to enable collaborative working and help them achieve their goals.

 

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