When Sydney-based anesthetist Dr. Rob Hackett made the decision to write his name and profession on his scrub cap, his colleagues initially found it “awkward.”
There was some laughter at his expense, including jokes like “Can’t you remember your name?”
Six months after he first started doing it, however, it’s become a trend being embraced by surgical staff around the world.
The idea is that having your name and profession clearly labeled like this helps to avoid mixups and delays in an operating room full of medical professionals in masks.
One of the trend’s new followers, UK student midwife Alison Brindle, created a hashtag for it: #TheatreCapChallenge.
In an interview, Dr. Hackett stated, “When you work across four or five hospitals and with hundreds of people, I’d say 75 percent of staff I walk past I don’t know their name. It’s quite awkward”
Name tags help surgical staff instantly identify one another when their faces are otherwise entirely covered up.
“Last Friday I went to a cardiac arrest in a theatre where there were about 20 people in the room,” Dr. Hackett recalls. “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.”
Surgical staff can lose precious time trying to remember who’s in the room with them during a procedure. There have even been times that medical students were mistakenly asked to perform procedures they weren’t qualified for as a result of this type of confusion.
Over the last few months, the idea has gained a lot of popularity in the medical community, with staffers from all over the globe sharing their new name caps.
It’s the kind of innovation that’s so simple, it’s surprising nobody had ever thought of it before.