Apparently there is a regulation that healthcare workers wear an ID tag. It is not clear whether this is to ensure the safety of the public, remind absent-minded workers who they are, or protect the innocent.
For 23 years, I have performed eye surgery at a number of hospitals and locations. I have NEVER worn an ID badge at any point while operating.
For one thing, we wear sterile hospital gowns over our scrubs, which would cover any name badge.
For another thing, I do not operate on patients I don’t know or have never met. I certainly wouldn’t want someone I have never met to operate on me. All my patients have seen me at least once in my office before any surgery is scheduled. They KNOW me. Badge or no badge.
The staff I work with knows me. I have operated there since 2003. Sure, there are new people hired now and then. They get to know me. No badge required for that little exchange of information. Some may regret meeting me, but that’s another story altogether.
So while this well-meaning regulation may have some use in certain situations–I fully understand that a patient or family member in a hospital setting might be interested to know who is coming into their room and for what reason–is this person a nurse, a nurse practitioner, a physician’s assistant, a respiratory therapist, or a janitor, or is it someone who just stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night? I still think simply asking if you are curious would be sufficient, but no one asked me.
But there is no legitimate reason on God’s good earth, why I should wear an ID badge while operating at an institution that knows me, with people who know me, on patients who know me. And for crying out loud, they have cataracts! They couldn’t read the name tag anyway!
But today, the Board of Health (Bom, bom bommm!) came to our tagless institution for the supposed purpose of evaluating and certifying the place. Basically this means they want to make sure that we are following their rules, even if those rules interfere with basic patient care. None of this regulatory crap has anything to do with “patient care” anymore than Obamacare has anything to do with patient care (whereas it has everything to do with the government controlling your healthcare for better or worse, but again, that is a story for another day.)
But as I prepared to give patients the gift of sight today, I was accosted by a supervisor at our surgery center who insisted that I wear an ID tag–because the Board of Health (Bom, bom bommm!) is coming.
“Did we check the lights in the old north church?”
One if by land, and two if by sea.
The Board of Health is coming! The Board of Health is coming! (Bom, bom bommm!)
Seriously? Are you freaking kidding me?
And this serves what purpose in the treatment of my patients today????
The healthcare system in this country is sinking, and apparently the Board of Health is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
I was not the only doctor wearing these make shift labels today–we all were.
Misery stupidity loves company. None of us routinely wear ID badges. WE DON’T NEED THEM. Doesn’t improve patient care. And what’s to keep some criminal on the street from stealing a pair of scrubs and using a Sharpie pen to make his/her own name tag?
BTW–the Penn State badge is there because I am not allowed to wear my PSU scrubs anymore–only hospital issue uniforms. Another brilliant regulation dreamed up by someone who doesn’t have a real job, doesn’t do my job, but knows they can do my job better, and has to justify their existence on this planet by enforcing said regulation. The PSU badge does improve patient care–it makes me a happy doctor to wear it, and happy surgeons are BETTER surgeons. Trust me on that one. (Really, would you want someone unhappy to be putting sharp objects in your EYE!)
At least after I was done pounding my head against a wall in frustration, I could look down and remember who I was!