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Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's in a (first) name?

Does it bother you when a nurse or doctor or other care provider automatically calls you by your first name? Would it bother you if you were 80 years old and the caregiver was 30, and you were in a situation in which you felt that your dignity and privacy were already diminished? This is the subject of this article in the New York Times. My own experience with seniors leads me to believe that many of them would prefer to be addressed by their surnames. I have a strict rule to call my clients Mr. or Mrs. or Ms, unless they tell me that they'd prefer otherwise. I'm pretty informal as a rule, and all of my clients call me by my first name - and I'm completely happy with that - but I think it's respectful for me to address them more formally.

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