Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are Medical Assistant Required to State their Name?

On January 8th, 2011 Mandy Roads asked:

Are medical assistants supposed to provide full name or only 1st name to a patient who asks? All doctors provide full name, but do patients have the right to full name disclosure of Medical assistants, also? If not, how do patients keep track for reference who said what, or did what medical care etc. on a given date and time etc.?

Medical Assistant Name Admin Says: 

In my opinion, and many will agree here, there is good policy and practice to state your full name when greeting a patient. By stating your name you establish an identity and build rapport with the patients.
Most medical assistants simply use their first name, while wearing a name badge with their full name and credentials printed behind it, e.g. MA, RMA, CMA, CCMA, NCMA, or whichever designations they have. A typical greeting, once a patient has been called in from the waiting area, is: “Hello, my name is Judy, and I am your medical assistant.” However, if a patient asks for the full name, I believe it would be improper and unethical to refuse to give it. I am sure this would not go over well with the doctor under which the medical assistant works. To me, refusal to state the name immediately implies lack of cooperation, lack of empathy, lack of courtesy and comes across as unprofessional.
In addition, from my own observations as a patient, I always find it odd if a medical assistant calls me in for my exam, takes me to the exam room, begins to take my vital signs and NEVER stated her name. Often, I will say politely something along the lines: “Excuse me, but I didn’t get your name”, just to let him, or her know I’d be more comfortable knowing with whom I am in the room. I, in my own role as a medical assistant and also, as a patient, highly recommend that every medical assistant automatically states his, or her name. The patients will appreciate it.

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