Here is something I am ashamed to admit. When I was a resident, I didn't really take the time or energy to learn the names of most of the nurses at our hospital. Honestly, I love nurses. My mom was a nurse. My sister-in-law is a nurse. I have many friends who are nurses. The nurses at our hospital are especially excellent and take really, really good care of my patients. But until I started my current job, I just never really tried to learn all their names.

I wish I had a good reason. I tell myself that it is because I was so overwhelmed trying to get my work done and keep up with my patients and learn how to be a good doctor that I just didn't have enough time or energy left over for anything else. Really, it's just because I didn't try. Because I didn't deem it important enough to make it a priority. Other residents would mention certain nurses by name and I almost never knew of whom they spoke. I cringe now when I think of it.

When I started my current job, I realized that I needed and wanted to know these nurses and their names. I wanted to have a face in my mind when I called them on the phone to ask about my patients. When I got a page telling me that my patient needed an additional medicine or was getting sicker, I wanted to know who was talking to me. It's easy to get annoyed at phone calls from nameless nobodies when I'm in the midst of doing something important, but much more difficult when there is a face and name attached. I tell myself that I became a doctor because I want to minister to those around me. How can I minister to someone if I don't even take the time to learn their name?

Since July, I have been on a mission to learn as many names as I can. I'm happy that it is slooowwly working. There are still many whose names I don't know, but the names of the nurses who work regularly and most of the secretaries I am finally learning. It is much easier to politely ask them to do something for me when I start my request by saying their name. I guess this is a priority I should make in other areas of my life - taking the time to learn the name of the barista who serves me coffee regularly or the neighbors I see walking their dogs every day or the person who checks me in when I go to the gym. God has placed these people around me, and how can I ever know why unless I learn who they are?

I am realizing that I need God's help to be in each moment of the days he has given me, not just rushing around from place to place always trying to think one step ahead.


Sue Tell said…
I'm not sure my last comment went through.

Huge lesson, Aubrey, and I applaud you for working on learning names AND blogging about it. People love being called by name.

YEAH for Aubrey!!! Love you!
Sarah said…
This is fantastic. As a nurse, I can say the doctors I felt most comfortable going to for help were of course the ones that knew me. Feeling comfortable going to the doctor for help is a huge stress preventer/reliever.

I am reminded however that I often do the same with our drug reps at the doctor's office. So, I'm going to start learning their names. They're not a nuisance, they're a person! Eeek I can be so blind sometimes.

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