‘And your name is?’: why children’s nurses should ask accompanying adults this question

Calling someone accompanying an unwell child ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ can be disrespectful or wrong

Calling an adult accompanying an unwell child ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ can be disrespectful or wrong, so it is important that nurses start using the person’s name

Have you ever referred directly to the adults accompanying the child that you are caring for in hospital as ‘mum’ and ‘dad’? If so, please stop and ask yourself why?

It’s easy to assume that the adult at the bedside is the child’s mother or father with parental responsibility, but this is unsafe practice and could result in confidential information being shared or consent sought from the wrong person. The adult at the bedside could just as easily be another family member, friend or neighbour.

But even if you are certain of people’s status as parents, would calling them


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