Doctor Starts Writing His Name And Profession On His Scrub Cap And Now It Helps Save Lives And Make Patients Feel More At Ease

We get so used to our everyday lives, we rarely stop to question the simple things. After all, if they remained the same for so long, is it possible to improve them even more? Well… Yes. In an attempt to avoid confusion during surgical operations, Australian anesthetist Dr. Rob Hackett decided to wear a scrub cap with his name on: “Rob … Anaesthetist.”

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At first, his colleagues didn’t take it seriously. “There were some snide remarks, like ‘can’t you remember your name?’” Dr. Hackett told The Sydney Morning Heral. Fast forward a year, and Rob the anaesthetist is having the last laugh as it’s becoming a trend across the globe.

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Now, medical professionals are showing their support and involvement in the movement by tweeting selfies with their own caps, just like Dr. Hackett’s. Under the hashtag #TheatreCapChallenge, they argue that having their names on them can save vital seconds in life and death situations. The move, they say, can reduce delays and misidentification that occur when clinicians can’t recognize or can’t remember the names of their colleagues in the operating theatre.

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“I went to a cardiac arrest in a theatre where there were about 20 people in the room,” Dr. Rob Hackett said. “I struggled to even ask to be passed some gloves because the person I was pointing to thought I was pointing to the person behind them.”

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“It’s so much easier to coordinate when you know everyone’s names. It’s great for camaraderie and it’s great for patients as well.”

According to him, women who are having cesarean sections, in particular, might benefit from the reassurance of knowing the names and positions of every staff member around them.

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Operating theatres abide by the World Health Organisation’s surgical safety checklist, and it requires all staff to introduce themselves prior to surgery. Dr. Hackett confessed that, in his experience, this section of the checklist was often disregarded as a ‘tick-box exercise.’ “When it’s done properly there are a few giggles from people, which tells me it’s not done regularly.”

Dr. Hackett said the campaign has been met with some pushback. Usually, by the senior, hospital staff. The anaesthetist thought this was a symptom of inertia in the health system towards change.

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#TheatreCapChallenge made many remember the #hellomynameis campaign founded by Dr. Kate Granger, who died of cancer in 2016. Dr. Granger started raising similar points after a hospital stay for postoperative sepsis in 2013. During it, many of the staff responsible for care didn’t introduce themselves, and, in her opinion, passed on a valuable chance to strengthen therapeutic relationships and build trust between staff and patient.

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To follow Dr. Rob Hackett, check out his Twitter page.