Surviving Modern Healthcare: Honey, Don’t Call Me Sweetie |

This has been under my ‘craw’ for quite some time. I like to think that when I practiced nursing, I wasn’t guilty of this, but I do recall my  87 year-old mother being called ‘dear’ or ‘honey’ or ‘Helen.’ Her response , was “I’m not ‘dear,’ ‘honey,’ or ‘Helen’ until I TELL you that it’s alright for you to call me that. It’s a bit presumptuous; forgetting for a minute how unprofessional it makes the nurse or whatever practitioner look!

Now, that I’m (gulp, 60!) and I’m called ‘hon’ by a 25 year-old nurse who assumes that I want those monikers, it does grate on my nerves a bit. ‘Honey’ is a term of endearment for you and for my husband, but not for a health professional; they diminish their stature each time they say those words.

Surviving Modern Healthcare: Honey, Don’t Call Me Sweetie |

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7 thoughts on “Surviving Modern Healthcare: Honey, Don’t Call Me Sweetie |

  1. I have to admit that I have been guilty of this! But then again, I live in the south. I don’t know where the nurse that wrote the article is from, but in the south, it is almost expected. If you don’t do it, sometimes people worry that you don’t really care for them. It isn’t limited to women though, men are also called honey and sweetie. Here it tends to put people on ease, especially when they are going into surgery or coming out of it. It is the difference between people thinking that you are warm and caring or thinking that you are cold and distant. I guess it is more a matter of where you live and what is expected, than it is professionalism.

    • It is odd what gets to us when we don’t feel good. I am glad that you are through surgery without any problems. Just wait until you are old enough to be their grandmother, then the problem is that they think that you are not capable of doing anything!

  2. I agree! I know I never did that in my practice. And I taught my nursing students just what you said. Call patients by their formal names untill told otherwise. What ever happenned to preserving dignity?

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