Jump to content

Professionalism or lack of?
Is there an issue?


  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#1 bakesgirls

Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:23 PM

http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/cult...2b75l.html#poll

Just curious what others think of staff calling their clients and each other things like  'darling', 'sweetheart', 'honey' and so on.

I don't see an issue with staff calling each other such names if the other person is agreeable to it. I can see the issue though with calling clients such names, as it can be interpreted as condescending.

What do you think? Political correctness gone too far, or a problem that should be addressed?

ETA- Do you think it's OK for clients to call a professional, or anyone for that matter, 'honey', 'love', 'darl', or do you think it just needs to stop on both sides? If it's disrespectful to call a patient such names, surely it's inappropriate for patients to call their nurse or carer something similar?

FWIW, I have slipped up on occasion and called a petient one of the above names, but I do my best to remain professional and call them either Mr/s so and so, or by their first name, whatever they prefer.

Edited by bakesgirls, 11 December 2012 - 06:07 PM.


#2 lucky 2

Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:45 PM

In my experience we have always been advised not to use that kind of language when talking to patients/clients, its been that way for 20+ years.
But it happens and I've done it, by accident usually as in it's just slips out.
I try not to make a habit of it but I think there are more pressing issues in the public health system.
Staff definitely need to be careful so they don't end up with compliants made against them, probably more by colleagues than by patients.


#3 Guest_~Songbird~_*

Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:48 PM

.

Edited by *SnowFlower*, 20 February 2013 - 05:10 PM.


#4 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:53 PM

The article I read on this stated "mate" was also included in this...? I think you are pushing the proverbial uphill to get that word out of every workday conversation!

It kind of rubs  me up the wrong way when I get called honey or sweetheart....it doesn't happen so much these days though (to me)

#5 amabanana

Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:53 PM

TBH it depends on how it is used.  Once and in a nice tone, sure.  Over and over and in a condescending tone, not so much.

#6 Stellajoy

Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:54 PM

It's better to have a blanket rule.

I have an older male collegue who calls me "darl", luv, and girly.

As in we are having a meeting , five males and myself, all of who I'm more educated than, and he will turn to me and say "get us some coffee would you darl"

It is so very patronizing and condescending.

I didn't want to make a complaint against him so next time he asked "can you make coffee luv?" I told him I could, I'd made 1000s of coffees in a cafe while I put myself through my undergrad degree, I'd made myself a LOT of coffees while studied late at night doing my masters, but for the last ten years working in my field I've paid other people to make me coffee so I'm a bit rusty. Then I showed him where the kettle was.

He never did it again.

So no, I don't think it's over the top to ask staff not to adress each other by terms other than there given name.

#7 Froger

Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:55 PM

I've had nurses call me darl, love  and sweetheart.  I quite like it. It hasn't seemed condescending to me. Rather it made me feel like they cared about me, as they are emptying my catheter bag and showering my fat naky body, LOL.  I'd rather be called a term of endearment by a nurse than Mrs/Ms Whatever.

#8 bakesgirls

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:00 PM

QUOTE (Lucretia Borgia @ 11/12/2012, 05:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The article I read on this stated "mate" was also included in this...? I think you are pushing the proverbial uphill to get that word out of every workday conversation!


Yep, 'mate' was also included in the list of words, sorry I forgot to add that in the OP. I agree, it's going to be a tough word to extinguish from everyday conversation.

#9 liveworkplay

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:00 PM

Unless its an adult to a young child, I detest the whole Sweety, Darl, Honey and cringe whenever I hear it. I agree it sounds extremely unprofessional. Mind you, I also think mate has no place in a professional/client relationship. What they call each other (workmates) I don't care, but I am not some random public servants mate.

QUOTE
Terms like 'mate', 'darling', 'sweetheart' and 'honey' are not appropriate, the memo says, because they may be perceived as "disrespectful, disempowering and non-professional".

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/cult...l#ixzz2EjCS3qwN


QUOTE
I'd rather be called a term of endearment by a nurse than Mrs/Ms Whatever.


Really? I feel the exact opposite. Whilst I think first names should be used, pet names are totally stepping over the mark.

Edited by liveworkplay, 11 December 2012 - 06:02 PM.


#10 Exhaustedbuthappy

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:03 PM

QUOTE (Stellajoy @ 11/12/2012, 05:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's better to have a blanket rule.

I have an older male collegue who calls me "darl", luv, and girly.

As in we are having a meeting , five males and myself, all of who I'm more educated than, and he will turn to me and say "get us some coffee would you darl"

It is so very patronizing and condescending.

I didn't want to make a complaint against him so next time he asked "can you make coffee luv?" I told him I could, I'd made 1000s of coffees in a cafe while I put myself through my undergrad degree, I'd made myself a LOT of coffees while studied late at night doing my masters, but for the last ten years working in my field I've paid other people to make me coffee so I'm a bit rusty. Then I showed him where the kettle was.

He never did it again.

So no, I don't think it's over the top to ask staff not to adress each other by terms other than there given name.


Oh, I love this. I wish I had the guts to say something similar!

#11 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:14 PM

I agree that it's generally not appropriate for people to use these terms with their colleagues or clients (with the exception of "mate").  Even if colleagues are good friends outside of the workplace, it's not appropriate in the workplace.  

I think being called "darl" or "honey" by hairdressers, beauty therapists and such is a bit different though!

#12 EsmeLennox

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:29 PM

I would not be appreciative of being called any of these things in the workplace. Nor do I use any o fthese when speaking to my colleagues. I occasionally use 'sweetie' or 'mate' with younger students if they are upset about something and need a bit of extra kindness and warmth, but I do not make a habit of it.

In other situations it would depend on the context.

#13 PatG

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:39 PM

One place I worked there was a client who called me darl.  I hated it!  My boss was pretty cluey though and any time this client was there for a meeting he (the boss) made sure he made and offered the coffee! In general any of us made the coffee.  This same client on conference calls would say "hi guys" and then feel the need to correct himself and add "oh, and ladies too".  I'm fine with "guys" being gender neutral.

I think the best thing to do is avoid using terms at all.  You can come across caring without darl, love etc- "afternoon, how are you feeling?  Could I have a look at XYX", or using what ever name the person asks you to.

#14 Guest_3Keiki_*

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:40 PM

I used to use some of those terms in an effort to calm people, reassure people or placate people. When people dealing with health frontline health professionals stop using bi..., or bast... or fu...., cu... or any of the lovely things I was subjected to I am sure everyone will be happy to do the Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss thing.... jus saying

#15 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:40 PM

QUOTE (Stellajoy @ 11/12/2012, 06:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's better to have a blanket rule.

next time he asked "can you make coffee luv?" I told him I could, I'd made 1000s of coffees in a cafe while I put myself through my undergrad degree, I'd made myself a LOT of coffees while studied late at night doing my masters, but for the last ten years working in my field I've paid other people to make me coffee so I'm a bit rusty. Then I showed him where the kettle was.

He never did it again.



A boyfriend of mine many, many years ago.. was told on his first day of his apprenticeship by one of the TAs "Can you go and make coffee boy?"

He answered "Ah well I already know how to make coffee, I'm here to learn how to be an electrician, I don't know how to do that!"

His supervisor was shocked and then laughed.. "Too bloody right mate! Well said!"  and from that day on the TA made the coffee!


My boss calls me sweetheart and darling - but she is a very 'Mumsy' kind of woman and I don't mind.  She is utterly professional when it is called for and that's what counts.

When I was in hospital having my miscarriage the nurse who held my hand and said "It is not fair darling it is NOT fair!" had my eternal gratitude.


#16 la di dah

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:52 PM

I've wigged out Aussies by defaulting to sir/ma'am in work type settings but that's what I'm used to.

I don't mind dear/honey/babygirl sort of thing from waitresses/hair stylists etc. but I would find it cloying in an office environment.

I'd rather be called Ms. but that tends to not happen. I don't mind calling clients by title, I prefer the professional distance. And I found female clients especially enjoyed hearing their contractors call and ask for Dr. such-and-such and not Cindy, or whatever, as it seems people are often more willing to saw off a woman's work title than a man's.

#17 Riotproof

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:55 PM

TBH, I think it's a load of crap. Health professionals are meant to be caring, aren't they?
I think there is probably an age line, whereby if the health worker is much younger than the patient it shouldn't be used, but surely we can trust them to be the judge of that.
I don't think a term of endearment on it's own can be condescending anyway, it's the tone and body language that accompanies it.

#18 Stellajoy

Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:59 PM

QUOTE
A boyfriend of mine many, many years ago.. was told on his first day of his apprenticeship by one of the TAs "Can you go and make coffee boy?"

He answered "Ah well I already know how to make coffee, I'm here to learn how to be an electrician, I don't know how to do that!"


Awesome!

I still havent tackled the guy who calls me "girly" in a REALLY condescending way. He is about 75 though and a volunteer. Im trying to get brave enough to snap back with "Ok Old man" but it would just feel so rude...ironically

#19 SnazzyFeral

Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:01 PM

I agree that there should be a blanket rule to stop harassment or sexism but I am sad that it has to be that way. When I was hospital the most calming thing was a nurse saying “it will be alright lovie” It made me feel cared for and safe when I was really scared.

#20 KylieferalMin0gue

Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:03 PM

I work in aged care, and residents that I know well I always call names like mate, sweetheart, handsome (for the males) etc.  They love it.  The place that I am looking after them in is effectively their home, and I find that my residents are more relaxed when the staff are down to Earth, and not formal all the time.
Of course there are some residents that like to be called Mr or Mrs such and such get called by their formal names, but most like it to be more casual.


#21 liveworkplay

Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:04 PM

QUOTE
I don't think a term of endearment on it's own can be condescending anyway, it's the tone and body language that accompanies it.


Unless it is a very close relation or friend to assume a relationship with someone where a term of endearment appropriate is totally unprofessional and crossing the boundary.

I even cringe if it is the check out chick or hairdresser uses such terms. Totally over-familiar IMO.

#22 SkeptiFERAL

Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:12 PM

I think it is about the maturity to make the judgement of when it is appropriate. I always start with Mr/Mrs or Sir/Madam even. But there are plenty of instances of when I have picked my target and slipped into some of the terms above - normally to a patient who I have already progressed to hand-holding, rubs of the arm etc with. After many years, I think I pick my targets pretty well.

On the flip side, the 19 yr old hairdressing apprentice calling me "sweetie" on first contact certainly rubs me up the wrong way, as does the check out operator who I have had about 8-items-or-less worth of relationship with.

#23 Riotproof

Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:28 PM

QUOTE (liveworkplay @ 11/12/2012, 08:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Unless it is a very close relation or friend to assume a relationship with someone where a term of endearment appropriate is totally unprofessional and crossing the boundary.

I even cringe if it is the check out chick or hairdresser uses such terms. Totally over-familiar IMO.


The article is talking about health professionals, isn't it? The kind of people who see other people when they are scared, very unwell, in pain, vulnerable? I don't think "sweetheart" is a problem in that situation and I don't think it compares to a hairdresser calling you "honey" while blowdrying your hair.

#24 la di dah

Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:32 PM

QUOTE (Riotproof @ 11/12/2012, 08:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The article is talking about health professionals, isn't it? The kind of people who see other people when they are scared, very unwell, in pain, vulnerable? I don't think "sweetheart" is a problem in that situation and I don't think it compares to a hairdresser calling you "honey" while blowdrying your hair.


Personally I'd rather hear it from the hairdresser than my doctor/nurse. shrug.gif

I like the emotional distance when I am being physically intimate with a stranger.

#25 Riotproof

Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:38 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 11/12/2012, 08:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Personally I'd rather hear it from the hairdresser than my doctor/nurse. shrug.gif

I like the emotional distance when I am being physically intimate with a stranger.


But again, isn't that judgment? Isn't that reading body language and treating the whole person? I can't imagine someone saying something that could be construed as "personal" while performing a pap smear or breast examination, but if the patient is visibly scared, suffering from some trauma, what possible harm could a "sweetheart" do?

I'm not saying it should be open slather, but I feel it's taking away a legitimate tool to treat patients.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Mum assists in own caesarean surgery

A mum who partly delivered her own twins during a caesarean has encouraged other women to take control of their birthing experience.

How to handle common childhood regressions

Regression can be a natural and common part of development prompted by a variety of factors, but that doesn't make it less frustrating.

Disgruntled dad's pram ad goes viral

When buying a second hand pram, there are lots of things to take into consideration. 

Man discovers he's a dad after finding 55-year-old letter

Discovering you are about to father a baby is startling enough - never mind finding out you have a 61-year-old son.

15 thoughts mums have during a tantrum

Ranging from mild to feral and triggered by events both minor and major, tantrums certainly keep life interesting.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Forgotten Baby Syndrome claims the life of toddler

One baby dies every eight days in the back of a car in the US, victims of 'forgotten baby syndrome'.

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel

For a brief time, I was touched by an angel. You stole my heart, and changed me into the women I am today.

Chrissie Swan has reached her "sex quota"

Chrissie Swan says she and her partner have sex once a year due to her fear of falling pregnant.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Five-year-old shoots nine-month-old brother dead

A nine-month-old baby boy died on Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's home.

'Is that baby yours?'

She is my daughter. I gave birth to her. I nurse her. But she doesn't have any of my genes.

Episiotomy in childbirth: not just 'a little snip'

Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.

Toddler aggression not caused by language delays after all: study

The logic was that children who don’t have the language to fully express themselves will lash out when they’re misunderstood. Not anymore.

Why we chose to adopt a child with Down sydrome

Everyone in foster care (and really in life) has something that makes them more vulnerable. We just know what our son's is.

Object of desire

Curvy mums make clever babies

Scientists appear to have discovered why women have evolved to have more curves than men – shapely thighs and bottoms lead to healthier babies.

'We'll make sure they know how much she loved them'

A first-time mum will never get to hold her four newborns, dying shortly after giving birth to the quadruplets.

The baby names NZ knocked back in 2014

A New Zealander has tried to name their baby Senior Constable but didn't get away with it - and numbering children is also a no-no.

How can you go into labour without knowing you're pregnant?

For most of us, the idea that a woman could carry a child to full-term without knowing she is pregnant is mind-boggling.

Will you get to the hospital in time?

Worrying your baby will be delivered by the roadside is a common concern for many mothers-to-be. So how likely are you to be caught short?

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Back to School Offer

Findababysitter.com.au

We've got you covered for this school year. Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.