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

 

The myths and truths of gender swaying

Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.

10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas

It's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not branch out when you put up your tree this year and add a personal touch with a few DIY decorations? We've found the perfect easy-to-make ways to put more festive fever into your home.

The dangerous new trend of glucose challenge test refusal

A dangerous trend is seeing more mothers-to-be declining a relatively simple and painless test to check for gestational diabetes.

Office of Fair Trading reveals naughty toys ahead of Christmas

The Office of Fair Trading has pulled seven toys from shelves ahead of Christmas after they fail safety tests.

Video: Baby boy's trouble with twins

These twin girls will no doubt have fun fooling people in years to come, but nobody will be as confused as baby Landon.

Long-term reversible male contraceptive on its way

Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.

'I tried to kill my baby': one mum's story

After bathing and dressing her three-month-old son, Amanda had a rare moment alone with her baby.

Attack of the 'mummy brain'

I feel that almost every day, someone in my life - be they a friend, family member or complete stranger - feels the need to excuse my behaviour as I have other things on my mind.

Mum of baby who fell ill after drinking raw milk speaks out

A Melbourne mother has described how her son turned grey when he became seriously ill after drinking raw milk.

Australian divorce rate lowest since 1976

Modern newlyweds are now well into their 30s and marriage still offers something powerful a new book argues.

The aftermath of a traumatic birth experience

In Australia, 30 per cent of women find their birth experience traumatic, with 6 per cent going on to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Young mum burns 'from inside-out'

A young mum is in intensive care after she took a friend's antibiotic and wound up with an ailment that is burning her body 'from the inside-out'.

The disagreement that can break a relationship

If he doesn't change his mind, all I can hope is that I will. It would be a waste to spend the rest of my marriage mourning a baby that never was.

Co-sleeping or no-sleeping? Mum videos worst nap ever

One mother's futile attempt to sleep in caught on camera in a hilarious - and very cute - video.

Why children misbehave during the festive season

While we all like to imagine the holiday season as being a fun, loving and bonding experience; often our reality is quiet different.

I was fat-shamed by my doctor

The fear of being weighed is the most significant factor in women cancelling medical appointments - and now weight-shaming has happened to me.

End of an era: no more childcare

As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

The 7-year itch is more like the 10-year itch: study

Contrary to popular belief, making it past the seven-year mark doesn't mean your marriage will be smooth sailing from there on.

Stop telling us that parenting gets harder

I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.

Should children be forced to sit on Santa's lap?

We teach kids it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe, so why do some parents force their children to climb in to Santa's lap?

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

Baby born weighing almost 14 pounds

Yes, the bouncing baby girl was born by caesarean section. And mum says no more kids.

The dummy debate

I'm the first to admit that when I used to see tiny babies with dummies in their mouths, I thought "Hmm, lazy parenting." And now I apologise.

'I thought I was an only child'

Imagine meeting your double at a school sports event, or regularly being mistaken for someone you haven't met. Separated twins Margaret and Joy tell their story.

Mums reveal their nappy bag essentials

Ever wondered what other mums carry in their nappy bags? We have, so we asked mums to tell us their must-have nappy bag items.

Toddler died because he wasn't given antibiotics soon enough

A 15-month-old boy would almost certainly be alive today if doctors had given him antibiotics sooner, a coroner has ruled.

VIDEO: moment a toddler falls on to train tracks in Melbourne

Shocking footage has emerged capturing the moment a pram carrying a toddler rolled off a platform and onto train tracks in suburban Melbourne.

Sold on natural birth? Read the fine print

In the excitement and anticipation of a first pregnancy, I ignored the fine print: some women, some of the time.

Child with alcoholic mum who drank while pregnant won't win pay-out

A young child is not entitled to criminal injuries compensation after her mother drank excessively while pregnant.

Superbugs killing India's babies, posing wider threat

A deadly epidemic that could have global implications is quietly sweeping India, tens of thousands of newborns dying because antibiotics no longer work.

Can you teach a toddler to sleep in?

Parents share their tips on getting their early risers to sleep in, even for just a little bit longer.

Keeping your relationship on track as new parents

About 70 per cent of couples experience a slump in their relationship within three years of having a baby. Here's how we tried to get back on track.

America's favourite baby names of 2014

Americans are turning to television, Netflix and sports for ideas for what to name their wee ones.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

As Sydney grieves the loss of Sydney siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, reports have suggested that both died as heroes.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
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.