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Recently Auntiedodo wrote "Please DONT CALL THEM NURSES, it’s an insult to those of us who actually are."


The women in mom's nursing home are frequently referred to as nurse by the residents, although among the staff they are called "the girls" (as in, "I'll get one of the girls to come and help you"). Uhm, no.


Personally I'm at a loss as to what form of address to use if I can't remember their actual name. For example I see _______ is getting out of her wheelchair and is going to fall, I'm not gonna call for a PSW! Aide! Caregiver! (Girl! lol)


Nurse gets used because it is one syllable and it traditionally described a person who gave care, even though the title Nurse should be reserved for those who have earned it. Any thoughts?

When I worked in a hospital if someone called for help, we all went forward. We soon sorted out who was needed.
At one time I was a Sterile Services Technician - my kids called me a 'Scrubber' (We dealt with all the instruments from the whole of the hospital - so our knowledge was great BUT we also cleaned them lol Hence the 'Scrubber' title.

Just shout HELP! :)
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Thanks, FF for your explanation about the tags. I never knew that!
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Any nurse who is insulted by what someone else is called needs to take a look at their paycheck. I am a degreed engineer, that too is a term the gets thrown around....so what!
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I have much more respect for nursing staff who are neatly turned out in matching scrubs not something they picked up at a garage sale.
WhereI am currently an inpatient, they all have matching scrubs and the RNs have RN embroidered on their tops. The CNAs aids, patient assistants what ever you want to call them are called techs.
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Couldn't agree more, Shane.

And it is simple. So simple, indeed, that the fact that it's often not done makes me think that either the organisation or the personnel prefer the staff not to be individually identifiable.

What makes me seethe is the way it's dressed up as not wanting to "confuse" people. So you'll get junior doctors taught that patients much prefer first names and don't understand levels of seniority and in the ER you'll hear "😀 hello, I'm Kate, I'm one of the doctors" and we're all supposed to feel right at home and comforted by this.

We are not supposed to narrow our eyes and growl: "name, rank, specialty IF you please - !" before we let them start poking us with sharp objects.
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Name tags. All staff are required to wear them and often do not. This is a pet peeve of mine.
I am a RN. It didn’t bother me while my mom was in a nursing home if someone called a CNA a “nurse”.
What should they be called in an urgent situation? Irrelevant to me in the long run. I knew who the RN’s were.
In a hospital I see that RN nametags have some notation - usually a big “RN” on their name tag. I am all for this.
But in doctor’s offices it is completely different. No one wears name tags so you don’t know who is who.
Simple name tag, Employer. Purchase them for your staff & make sure they wear them.
In nursing homes, doesn’t bother me what they are called as long as they come when summoned.
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I remember "Emergency" and "Dixie" the RN . She sure was one "cool cucumber" and could handle anything--the patients, the doctors, even John Gage, EMT (played by Randolph Mantooth).

Where I grew up each School of Nursing had their own style of nursing cap so you knew which School of Nursing a nurse had graduated from before you even talked to her. (Sorry guys!) A cap that looked like the soufflé med cups = Margaret Mary SofN, an A-frame cap = the University, a wide Blue strip = LPN SofN, a white Powder Puff= St. Luke's SofN, and so on....

At our School of Nursing, the nursing caps were shaped like a box. The "Capping Ceremony" was SO important that families came to it. I still remember receiving my nursing cap. The Two "Striping Ceremonies" were important because it meant that you had "graduated" from one "grade level" to another "grade level". So on Graduation Day, we had TWO Black stripes on our caps.

But in the "REAL" world, caps were a pain and a hassle to wear. Since I worked on an Orthopedic Unit, I kept hanging my cap on the traction ropes. The caps were also a good source of bacteria. A friend of mine did a study for her BSN Senior Project and discovered that the shower room floors were cleaner than the nurses' caps or their stethoscopes. YIKES!?!

Trying to decide what to call the caregiver staff at hospitals and nursing homes will always be an issue. So why not discuss it?
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When it comes to wearing scrubs, I like the idea of differentiating between the different staff members in health care settings, at the nursing home almost everyone is wearing scrubs including aides, RNs and RPNs, NP, housekeeping, dietary and the occasional doctor dropping by. We've even got a few family members who stop in after work wearing scrubs.

Lots of jobs require you to wear a company uniform or at least a company shirt. I was always pleased when the nurses and aides who came to our house wore their uniform shirts, when one nurse showed up looking like a goth teenager I almost didn't let her in!
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HolidayEnd, ah THAT CAP, I am reminded of the nurses cap whenever I watch some of the older TV series, such as "Emergency". I noticed "Dixie" who was the RN had two black stripes on her cap where others had just one, I guess to let the nurses know who was the charge nurse. Sometimes Dixie was wearing high heels. Seriously? High heels??? And sometimes had long fingernails and false eyelashes... oh, dear.
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" I thought this topic was done with but now we are going to dig it up"

I'm not sure what you are saying HolidayEnd or exactly which part of the discussion has you so riled up?
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I thought this topic was done with but now we are going to dig it up.
Yes, as we all started wearing scrubs, which was a relief because when I began my career the charge RN wore a dress uniform with three quarter length sleeves, over the knees, white stockings, nurse’s shoes and THAT CAP. I was glad to wear scrubs. I had all my scrubs and jackets embroidered with my name and title. I call the people who caregive but aren’t trained officially ‘aides’ because I’m old fashioned. Ma’am works well too.

The younger medical workers carry their a$$es on their shoulders about everything. It’s this generation.

So why don’t we drop it before I start yelling at people with “Hey! You!”
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I see nothing wrong with calling an aide "nurse". I've seen great nurses and aides, and some aides that are as knowledgeable as some of the nurses, and know their patients better because they are often doing more of the "hands-on" work, bathing, feeding, etc. They ARE members of the nursing/medical care team.

At mom's place, since it's the same 3 ladies that come in, we have learned their names and call them by name.
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All this Brave New World colour coding, and all for the sake of status. Lordy.

I remember when they banned doctors' white coats (hospital laundries had got shut down in the spending cuts, the contractors wouldn't do personal items, and the last person I'd expect to know how to run a boil wash would be a junior doctor), then ties, then sleeves below the elbow. Phil Hammond remarked "if they had their way we'd all be running around butt naked..."
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The complaint that "everyone is getting called "NURSE" these days, even the Housekeepers" is an age old problem that started over 30 years, when nurses and CNAs, etc. were allowed to wear colored uniforms or scrubs instead of only WHITE.

At one LTC facility that I worked at in the 1990's, all of the uniforms were bought from ONE COMPANY and the staff had a specific set of colors that they could purchase. For example, the nurses could chose uniforms from the grouping that had bright turquoise, purple and fuchsia; the CNAs could chose uniforms from the grouping that had navy blue, dark purple, and scarlet; the Unit Secretaries wore Bright Blue scrub jackets. {Except on holidays, all of the nurses and CNAs could wear the holiday scrubs chosen by the nursing manager. Have you ever seen a 6 ft male wear a bright pink and blue scrub with Easter eggs and bunny rabbits on it?} :-)

That is why some hospitals and nursing homes have gone to color-coding their staff. For example: Navy Blue for Nurses, Light Blue for CNA & Medication Aides/Technicians, Gray for Housekeeping, Orange for Physical and Occupational therapy, Pink for Pharmacy..... The staff wears solid colored scrub pants and they either sold color scrub tops or some can wear scrub tops with floral or geometric or other designs as long as their assigned color as the primary color in their scrub top. (And NO Pink Panther or comic strip characters or Super Heroes, etc...unless you work in Pediatrics.)

Some hospitals that I have been in have had signs that show the different colored scrubs and who wears them. Also, I have seen brochures that are given to patients that explain the color-coding to them .
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When I was working as a CNA and if a family referred to me as a Nurse, I would correct them and tell them I was a CNA or Aide even though my name tag clearly stated I was a CNA. I would tell my Residents I was not the nurse and ask how I could help them. My mom refers to her CNA’s as her helpers and they wear a light green shirt. The nurses wear blue shirts. My mom knows who the nurse are, but the one male nurse she calls him the doctor.
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I was listening to a national phone in radio broadcast (CBC's cross country check up) and one nurse was incensed that a DOC(DON) had been encouraging people to call the PSWs at her facility nurses. There is a legal issue about this, only licensed/registered nurses may use the title. According to the caller the DOC was reported to the college of nurses and fired (although given that DOCs tend to come and go often I have my doubts that this was the sole reason she left her position).
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CNAs get 8 to 10 weeks of training to learn how to safely bathe, toilet and dress residents. As an LPN in a rehab/NH, my daughter oversaw the CNAs. My daughter was overseen by the RN. LPNs don't have associates degrees RNs do and some with a BA. Those with a BA usually are the bosses and are the DON. All depends on the facility you are working for and what their requirements are. And if they want to pay for a degree. Like said, some places scrubs are color coded. CNAs one color, LPNs another and RNs another. If not, their employee ID should be visable showing CNA, LPN or RN. With the training and money that go into being an LPN and RN, I can see why a nurse doesn't appreciate a CNA being called nurse. But understand, it is just easier for residents to call everyone nurse.
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At hoca, they're called caregivers, but in a hurry, I'd say, we need help over here !

I always refer to mom's private caregivers as "our friend," as a way of introduction - she used to call them, "you who, " when she needed help, which works in a pinch too
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Ahmijoy, those name tags do spin around as they need to be on a elastic string so the person wearing the badge can pull it down to read the emergency codes. Here at our hospital, the RN's have a special longer tag, among the other tags, that has RN [red background black letters] on both sides in case the tag gets turned around. That is helpful.
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When I was a teacher’s assistant, the parents would tell their kids, when referring to me or the actual Lead Teacher, as “your teachers”. I didn’t have the title or the degree, but I did teach the children, too. I never, ever heard that the teachers I assisted were miffed because someone called me a teacher.

When my husband and mom were hospitalized, the charge nurse came in twice a day, at the beginning of her shift and st the end. Other times, they were assisted by aides and LPN. Since they, for some reason wore their badges backwards, we were never sure who had what letters after their names. And, if LO was in distress, we didn’t really care. Mom had no idea who was who except for the RN because she wore white. At one point she thought one aide was her daughter.
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HA! Auntiedodo! 🤣
I agree with CountryMouse (as usual😉)
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cwillie, that's an excellent question. At the hospital where I volunteer, this year uniforms are color coded as to what job that person performs. Of course the general public has no clue and why should they. This color coding is mainly helpful for the Staff. A patient will call out for a nurse, or use the call-button if they can remember, when they are in trouble.

My Mom would assume a male nurse was a doctor... and that a female doctor was a nurse.

This happens in other fields of work, too. I am an "operational manager" but my older boss refers to me as his "secretary" to others, I just roll with it. It's a generational thing.

Edit:  call me Girl Friday :)) 
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At Moms NH they are referred to as “Aides” vs “Nurses”.
The aides are HHAs and CNAs.
The LPNs, RNs are all called “nurses”.
(I promote Moms NP to “Doctor” status when she’s with mom to underscore to Mom she’s the boss. She understands doctor, but NP not so much. Ha.)
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Oi you! ?

Help! ?

Bollocks to it. Stick with nurse. If there are any egos to soothe within earshot you can always call them "doctor!"... 🙄
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