“Are you a Nurse?” by Margaret Wyatt RN, BSN, FNE-A

“Are you a Nurse?” by Margaret Wyatt RN, BSN, FNE-A

Are you a nurse? I’m not always sure who is and who isn’t, especially when an ID badge is flipped over, concealing the person’s photo, name, and profession. If I don’t know, I’m pretty sure our patients don’t know, either.

Patients and their families addressed this as a concern and we were able to find a solution.

As you may have seen, there is a new ID in town. RN Identification badges were distributed on Monday, May 3, during our Nurses Week festivities. This badge is designed to hang behind your hospital ID and identify you as an “R.N.” in large teal letters on both sides. It also lists Emergency codes and fire procedures. Don’t worry, if you haven’t received one, talk to your director.

This identification process is not original; many organizations already have something like this in place. I was in Alabama last year, where my father was hospitalized, and I was impressed at the ease in which I was able to identify the nurses, even if their badges were flipped over. I asked the manager of the unit if I could bring the idea back to AAMC and she said, “Of course!” Apparently they had gotten the idea from another facility, as well.

Sherry Perkins, PhD, RN, and Margaret Wyatt, BSN, RN, FNE-A show off AAMC's new RN Identification badge

I brought this suggestion back to AAMC’s Professional Nurse Council (PNC). We reviewed the information, sought out vendors, and reviewed the options. After the PNC made a recommendation, I presented the proposal to HR. They quickly approved the practice change.

It was amazing to see this idea go from suggestion to implementation (and I have to admit it makes me proud to say, “That was my idea,” when I see the badges being worn by our nurses).

I did not do this on my own—yes, I suggested it—but, in fact, many people contributed: the PNC, Jane Lucia (who helped to find vendors), Human Resources, and, of course, our wonderful chief nurse, Sherry Perkins, Ph.D., R.N.

The lesson here is this: if you think you have an idea that will improve patient care, please speak up! You could be the next nurse to help make a practice change.


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