Why Caregiver Photo IDs are Vital to Patient Safety

Hospitals and other healthcare providers commonly consider it “best practice” to require that staff wear official photo identification. Not only are nurses, doctors and other hospital staff encouraged to wear photo IDs, but so are in-home caregivers. Laws vary by state, but some states have already made it a requirement that all medical staff wear proper photo identification. These states include Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Rhode Island, Iowa, Massachusetts and South Carolina.

Although many states require medical staff to wear photo IDs, there are no specific regulations on what should be included on the ID card, or how often the card should be updated. For the safety of patients, photo ID cards should be current, easy to read and visible. Pennsylvania requires that medical professionals update their ID cards every four years, but some believe this is not frequent enough. “Photo ID cards should be updated yearly,” says South Carolina Registered Nurse Amanda Driggers. “Some employees’ photo IDs are so old and faded that you can barely see the picture anymore,” she continues.

The Lewis Blackman Act

The Lewis Blackman Hospital Patient Safety Act, enacted in 2005, requires all South Carolina hospital and clinical staff and trainees to wear badges that show their photo and professional title.

It is imperative to patient safety that doctors and nurses show their full name, photo and credentials to each patient. Not only does the patient and their family have the right to know who is providing care, but wearing proper ID ensures that critical and life-saving information is passed to qualified staff members. “If staff aren’t expected keep their badges current, it defeats the entire purpose of the Lewis Blackman Act,” states Driggers. The Lewis Blackman Act was brought about to ensure that all patients receive care from qualified nurses and doctors.

Lewis Blackman was a healthy 15 year old boy who passed away shortly after having elective surgery at The Medical University of South Carolina in 2000. It is believed that Lewis died due to the lack of qualified staff on duty, and the failure to communicate critical information about his failing condition to experienced professionals.

Cases such as the one of Lewis Blackman are not inherent to South Carolina alone, unfortunately these events can and do happen everywhere. Each state has a different set of regulations for hospital photo IDs, but it is recommended that all medical caregiver ID badges include the following:

  • Cardholder’s up-to-date photo (ideally no more than 1 year old)
  • Cardholder’s full name
  • Cardholder’s professional title
  • Cardholder’s medical credentials and qualifications

Hospital badges can also include optional information such as:

  • Years in service or years of experience
  • Badge issue date and expiration date
  • Official hospital or clinic logo
  • Cardholder’s fingerprint
  • Hospital contact information
  • Security access level
  • Cardholder’s signature
  • Bar code or QR code
  • Cardholder’s sex, height, hair and eye color
  • Cardholder’s job responsibilities

It’s important to know the laws and regulations specific to your state, but in general, it is best practice for all medical professionals to wear updated photo identification. NameTagWizard.com offers a full range of photo ID cards and accessories. Whether you’re working in a small practice or large hospital, there are many ways to use ID cards, visitor badges, color codes and other precautions to make safety a top priority in the healthcare field.

Click here to read more about the Lewis Blackman Act

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Lewis Blackman


Should Last Names be on Hospital Name Badges?

Last week I had a routine appointment with my doctor. When checking out, I noticed the assistant had a unique name on her badge, followed by only the first initial of her last name. She has a nice name, one I haven’t heard before.  I asked her to pronounce it and whether she also has an unusual middle name. She deflected the attention elsewhere and avoided telling me her name. It dawned on me that I was unintentionally invading her privacy, which leads me to ask: If hospital staff members are afraid to let patients know their full name, what kind of danger are they subject to?

According to OSHA, 75% or more of workplace violence cases reported each year happen to nurses and other hospital staff, either at work or outside of work hours. Some medical facilities have avoided providing full names on badges in the event that an angry patient will find out where a medical professional lives and harm him or her. In fact, an ER staff member in Memphis experienced this exact scenario. “Our clinical assessment staff member was clearly identified by a patient, who followed her car and found out where she lived,” said Carri Ann, St. Francis ER Nurse. This case and many others that happen on a daily basis prove that working in the healthcare field is more risky than some might imagine.

Not only are there concerns over disgruntled patients and family members, there are addicts seeking access to drugs. Many people believe that all healthcare workers have open access to medications, and have been known to threaten staff in hopes of getting pills or drug supplies.


There is debate on whether removing last names from badges really provides much protection. Many say that not including full names threatens the credibility of nurses and staff. After all, patients have a right to know who is caring for them and whether they’re qualified. Without a name, a patient who has received poor care has a much harder time reporting the experience to proper officials. Patients and their families deserve to know whether the employee treating them is an experienced doctor, resident, RN, physical therapist, specialist or aide.

ID badge laws and requirements vary by state. It’s important to know the laws of your state. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, have very strict rules for ID badge requirements. According to an article from Lippincott Nursing Center, some states require healthcare employees of state-licensed institutions (hospitals, rehab facilities, skilled nursing facilities) to wear ID badges that include a full name and current photo. Moreover, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is strict enough to require that ID badge photos be updated every 4 years. Similarly, California has very rigid rules, down to the type size used on nurse’s badges.

Others, including healthcare professionals themselves, believe it is bad practice to exclude last names or other valid information from name badges. “To me, not having our full names on our badges and not using our last names freely with clients just makes us look like we don’t take ourselves seriously and communicates to clients that they don’t have to take us seriously either,” wrote a healthcare professional on a discussion board at allnurses.com.

What are ways that hospitals can keep their staff members safe while also providing proper credentials for their patients? First and foremost, ensure that all healthcare providers and other staff wear official identification. Depending on individual state laws, this may or may not include a last name, but should at least include a first name and up-to-date credentials.

Tips for designing nurse and doctor badges or name tags:

Most importantly, ensure the text is large enough to read from a distance. No one should invade someone’s personal space to read their badge.

Include enough information to put patients and their family at ease. This can include:

  • Official hospital or healthcare provider logo
  • Hospital contact information
  • Cardholder’s name
  • Cardholder’s up-to-date photo
  • Fingerprint (particularly for high security staff like lab workers)
  • Employee’s signature
  • Badge issue date and expiration date
  • Barcode and/or QR code
  • Security access level or color code
  • Information such as height, sex, hair, eye and skin color
  • Job responsibilities of card holder
  • Years in service

This type of information puts patients at ease and reduces the need to show last names on badges. In turn, staff members feel safer from the threat of being located after work hours. Other measures for staff and patient comfort and safety include:

  • Color coded lanyards or badges
  • Corresponding signage that lists the color codes and their meanings
  • Secured entryways that open only with approved access cards, fingerprint or facial recognition
  • Secured parking areas for staff
  • Strategically placed surveillance cameras
  • Security staff stationed at vulnerable areas
  • Screening all visitors. Require that they show valid ID and wear a visitor pass

The debate will likely continue about whether full names should be included on nurse name tags, but in practices that are required by state law to include last names, there are other ways to protect staff privacy and safety. Before ordering custom photo IDs or name tags, it’s important to know your state’s laws, and to be aware of the unique requirements of your workplace. However, NameTagWizard.com customizes photo IDs and name tags that feature any information needed. From full names, logos, barcodes, QR codes and more, these badges can be fully personalized.

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3 Key Ways Badges Keep Hospitals Safe

Hospitals and health care centers strive to maintain safety, sanitation and a friendly demeanor with their visitors and patients every day. From keeping appropriate bedside manner to safely monitoring visitors who enter and exit the building, hospital staff have their hands full. Large hospitals and emergency centers can welcome as many as 1,200 visitors per day! What are the ways these facilities maintain health and safety?

There are 3 main ways that a healthcare badging system can effectively manage security, sanitation and professionalism:

Most clinics and healthcare centers have adopted some form of badging system that helps keep patients, staff and visitors safe, not only from the threat of violence but also from the spread of illnesses. First, doctors, nurses, security guards and other staff members wear color coded badges and lanyards. This way it is easy to immediately identify qualifications in emergency situations. These color codes also help maintain security within hospitals because they are more difficult to fake or duplicate.

According to statistics, 75% of all workplace assaults between 2011 and 2013 happened in the healthcare field, and much of the violence was directed at nurses. It is also said that the statistics are inaccurate, because much of hospital violence goes unreported. Some of this violence cannot be prevented because it comes from patients who are in volatile states or at a cognitive disadvantage. However, the threat of violence that comes from visitors and outside sources should be reduced, and badging systems can aid in the effort to protect healthcare staff.

Badge systems for hospital staff often include color codes, which are easy to identify from a distance. However, many healthcare centers have adopted smart badge systems for their staff. These types of ID cards have a memory chip that securely stores data, and allows them to enter secure areas of hospitals. Not only does this keep multiple entry points of the building secure, it also helps protect sensitive information like patient records.

Hospitals must also maintain cleanliness and prevent the spread of illnesses. With as many as 1,200 visitors coming and going from some hospitals, it can be difficult to maintain safety and sanitation. Temporary badges for visitors have helped healthcare providers maintain efficiency and security. For larger hospitals, blank badges can be used once and then recycled. The visitor’s name and information can be printed onto a sticker and applied to the disposable plastic card. Once the visitor leaves, they throw the badge away and it is recycled. This cuts down on the time staff members would normally use to check visitors in and out. It also helps prevent germs from being spread.

For smaller clinics and centers, color coded visitor badges can be used. These visitor name tags can be re-ordered every 3 months (or at other intervals) to prevent theft and falsification. Smaller healthcare centers can sanitize these badges each day to prevent the spread of illness from patient to visitor. Each time the badges are re-ordered, they can be customized with a specific number, code or date. This makes it more difficult for the badges to be stolen and re-used.

Lastly, hospitals must maintain a friendly and healthy relationship with patients and visitors. As stated earlier, much of the violence against doctors and nurses goes unreported. That is because healthcare professionals care about their patients and don’t want to make them the enemy. Badging systems and other security measures can help doctors and nurses maintain a friendly demeanor. If the hospital adopts an effective security system that includes ID badges for everyone on campus, then healthcare professionals can focus on providing quality healthcare.

The 3 main aspects of hospital security include:
– Ensuring that only authorized individuals are on campus
– Keeping sensitive data secure (file rooms that contain patient records)
– Processing visitors who come and go

Badge systems help maintain security and cleanliness by:
– Identifying every person on campus, including staff & guests
– Allowing access to secure areas to only authorized staff with the use of smart cards
– Requiring that guests prove who they are and to wear approved visitor badges while on campus

NameTagWizard.com offers quick turn-around on campus ID badges for hospitals, schools and businesses. These cards can be fully customized to include photos, logos, QR codes, bar codes and custom text. If you’re in the healthcare field, or any industry that requires security, these custom ID cards can be the first step to creating a safer work environment.

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10 Halloween Costume Ideas Under $15

Not a fan of spending a lot on a costume you will only wear once? Holidays can get expensive fast. So, how you do you prepare for all the spooky festivities without getting a whole new outfit? You make one!

For some people it’s easy to scare up some creative ideas and make a DIY Halloween costume. For others, coming up with an original or interesting costume seems impossible. For either party, the goal is to avoid the embarrassing moment when someone asks, “SO, WHO ARE YOU?”


NameTagWizard.com has the solution: Add a themed name tag to your costume so there is no question about who you are dressed up as.

Designing a name tag for a character you have already picked out is simple. You can pick out background color, font, size and text. Order a custom name tag as the finishing touch to your homemade costume. One you complete your home-made look with a custom name tag, you will eliminate any costume confusion.

If you have not settled on an unforgettable and affordable costume for Halloween 2018 yet, explore these fun and easy, just-add-a-name-tag ideas:

1. Jake From State Farm

Get a costume that is the perfect blend of laziness and humor with a Jake from State Farm name tag and outfit. Your part in putting together the costume is simple. All you have to supply as far as clothing is a red shirt (preferably a polo, though you can use a button down if necessary) and khakis. The name tag (or a Hello My Name Is Sticker) will clue people in on the joke.Jake from State Farm

Optional Props:

  • Headset
  • Landline phone

2. Dustin Henderson

Calling all Netflix fans! It’s time to dress up as Dustin Henderson from Stranger Things. Do you have a trucker hat, curly hair and a spare backpack? That’s really all you need once you have the Hawkins Middle School ID.

Dustin Henderson

Throw on any vintage looking tee (solid, brightly colored shirts in green, yellow or red work well). Maybe add a thrift store jacket (a windbreaker, jean jacket or hoodie), and you will be set.  Want to get really into character? Get a fake lizard from a toy store and let the tail hang out of the backpack zipper.

3. Joyce Byers

Are you a Winona Ryder fan and lover of the 80s? Keep up the Stranger Things trend with a Joyce Byers look. If you have bangs and mid-length brown hair, you are already on your way to being the full-fledged alphabet crazed, beloved basket case mom from the show. You don’t need all of these items to be convincing (especially if you have the Joyce name tag), but if you really want to get into character, go for it. Dig through your closet to find as many of these items as you can.


Here is your Joyce Byers check list:

  • Green cargo jacket
  • Striped shirt (a maroon and white shirt will really set the scene but any striped shirt can give that 80s vibe)
  • A dark blue work vest or button down shirt can be worn for her work look
  • Dark jeans (roll up the ends to give a more dated look)
  • ConverseJoyce Byers

Optional Props:

  • Rotary phone
  • Plastic axe
  • Christmas lights

The Christmas lights are a critical part of this look. Make it look like the lights got haphazardly twisted around you. The more chaotic the look, the better.  Finalize your look by making sure your hair is good and messy.

4. Dr. Acula

If you are a fan of the single article of clothing and simple name tag strategy, then the Dr. Acula look might be perfect for you. All it takes is a lab coat and commitment to the character. If you don’t have a lab coat, you can also wear a pair of super comfy scrubs. This costume is perfect for adding a little bit of dramatic flair and trying a Transylvanian accent.

Dr. AculaOptional Props:

  • Fangs
  • Stethoscope
  • Red paint

5. Shaun of the Dead

Do you have a business dress code at work? If so, this costume should work well for you. It’s in the same vein of the undead. Zombie fans everywhere get excited about the cult classic Shaun of the Dead.

Shaun of the DeadFor your easy to create costume, all you need is a white button down shirt, red tie and Foree Electric Shaun name tag. Depending on what point in the movie you want to represent (and your level of attachment to your white shirt) you can add ketchup or red paint to your outfit.

Optional props:

  • Wooden cricket paddle
  • Zombies

6. Real Housewives of YOUR CITY


Are you a reality TV addict and fan of all that is glamourous?  Do you love big hair, floor length gowns and all that drama?  This outfit is for a confident woman. It’s time to raise awareness for The Real Housewives of your city. Grab your friends and customize Real Housewives name tags that show pride for the city you live in. One you have the name tag, all you need is to put on your trendiest outfit, full makeup and enough attitude to shake up a dinner party.


*Works best as a costume group!

7. FLO


While dressing as a Real Housewife of New York means looking like someone everyone loves to hate, there are other costumes that are much friendlier. There’s no party hit quite like an overly cheerful FLO, everyone’s favorite Progressive Salesman. You bring your own zest to the personality and then wear all white, an apron and this FLO name tag. Getting the hair down will also help sell this character. A thick, navy headband and dark lipstick will go a long way. All you’ll have to do is show up and put on that big smile. Do you love insurance?Flo Name Tag

Optional props:

  • Megaphone
  • Passion for Insurance

8. Superhero Alias

Do you own a suit, have a passion for comic books and feel like dressing like an orphan with superpowers? Whether you’re on the DC or Marvel side of the universe (or both – it is possible), you have alter ego superhero name tag options. Without getting into full gear – wearing a complete body suit, cape and mask is quite a commitment – you can still give a nod to the crime fighters and heroes that inspired you throughout childhood and into adulthood.

Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne, Tony StarkPeter Parker – This one really only demands glasses and a camera. Rather than going full suit and tie, a hoodie and button down is enough to represent the New York City reject orphan and photographer.

Bruce Wayne – Bring that billionaire swagger to the table. Channel your status as the owner of Wayne Enterprises and keep a butler nearby. Adding a batman shirt underneath your suit can help sell the look.

Tony Stark – Playing Stark also gives you a chance to play a wealthy businessman. Only this time, you’re heading up Stark Industries with a passion for all things tech.

Optional Props:

  • Web shooters for scaling buildings and defying gravity
  • Batmobile
  • Iron Man Suit

9. Supermom

SupermomYou may not need a bodysuit but it certainly takes super powers to handle the everyday. Build your own superhero costume or wear your everyday clothes and add a badge that says it all: You are Supermom.

Optional Props:

  • Superchildren

10. The Name Tag Says It All

Here’s one last costume for that one person that really doesn’t want to dress up, but still has a party to attend. Stop people from asking if your forgot your costume by wearing this name tag. It provides a simple explanation for showing up in a basic shirt and jeans. All you need to know is:

Costume nametag

8 Perks of Showing Your College Student ID!

College is expensive – that’s an understatement, and there is no halt in sight for the growing cost of earning a degree. Many grads are closing their textbooks and entering the workforce with an average of $37,172 in student loan debt. Currently the total student loan debt across all demographics is $1.52 trillion! (Forbes.com). That’s difficult to comprehend. There are ways however, to keep debt under control while attending school. By taking advantage of student discounts and only borrowing funds to cover essentials like books and tuition, college kids can keep their debt from growing to an astronomical figure.

The student ID card has several innate perks. Not only does this little plastic ID card help students purchase meal plans on campus, check out books from the library and access school buildings, it can also help them save money at popular restaurants and retailers.

Most stores and restaurants don’t advertise their student discount, so kids looking to save money should never be too shy to ask.

The following are 8 perks students have access to if they just flash their student ID:

1. Discounts on food! What college kid doesn’t eat pizza, burritos and ice cream? Some of the most popular chains offer student discounts, including Chipotle, Papa Johns and Dairy Queen. Check out even more options here.

2. Savings on electronics and digital services. Favorites like Apple, Sprint and Adobe have student discount programs. Kids can get their course work done a little cheaper with savings like these!

3. Discounted oil changes and auto insurance. Not all college students live on campus. Commuters know the ongoing expense of maintaining a vehicle. Businesses like Jiffy Lube and Geico can help students save money on common car services and insurance.

4. Discounts at attractions and museums. Many courses require visits to art galleries, museums and the like. Rather than college kids taking on the full expense of gallery and museum visits to write papers and reports, they can take advantage of discounts.

5. Savings on travel. Most college students head home for the holidays, and for kids whose parents can’t cover the expense, there are often discounts offered on public transportation, rental cars and airfare. It never hurts to ask. Just have your student ID card on hand!

6. Movie night on the cheap! The pressure of college coursework and financial woes has been known to lead to anxiety and depression. Students can take a break from it all by seeing the latest blockbuster at their local AMC or Cinemark theater. Many theaters offer a break to students who show their college ID card.

7. Document copies and printing. Most college instructors require thesis papers, reports and other course work to be printed and bound. This cost can add up quickly throughout each semester. Students can save on prints and copies at stores like FedEx Office.

8. Shopping! Most students have a part time job to help make ends meet. Some of kids’ favorite stores can help stretch those meager earnings just a little further. Clothing stores like Banana Republic, J.Crew and Charlotte Russe are known to offer discounts. When it’s time for new clothes, kids should remember to flash their student ID at the checkout counter!

With the college debt crisis growing, it’s important for students to keep control of their finances. Parents can help instill financial responsibility in their kids before they head off to school, but students should also be made of aware of savings they have access to by simply showing their student ID card.

From food to oil changes to a new outfit, college kids can take care of their everyday needs AND save money. Many discounts are 10 to 20%, but some bookstores offer up to 50% off on subscriptions to important reads like the New York Times. These savings quickly add up and can help cut down on borrowed funds.

At NameTagWizard.com, we’re the identification experts. Universities and colleges can save by bulk ordering ID cards and other forms of identification here. Our online design tool makes it easy to upload names, logos and photos. Ordering custom photo IDs is fast, simple and affordable for schools and businesses.

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Protecting Students’ Right to Privacy

As schools are implementing new policies using student photo IDs and digital IDs, there is rising concern that students, parents, and school administrators may not be aware of how these new IDs could make private information accessible to others. The changes in ID use and advances in technology may significantly infringe on students’ privacy rights.

Many schools, from kindergartens to colleges, require that students and personnel wear some form of ID at all times. There are various types of IDs available, including photo IDs on lanyards or clips, cards with radio frequency identification chips (RFIDs), and wearable devices that replace physical badges.

It may seem like schools are simply updating their ID policies and security systems. Using photo IDs provides another layer of protection to help prevent strangers from intruding on school campuses. Digital IDs track who is in attendance and allow students to make various purchases, such as lunches or school supplies. But although new IDs offer convenience, students, parents, and teachers may feel less secure knowing the increase in potential risks.

When a chip is a necessity to students – allowing students to enter dorms or buy food in the cafeteria – some might consider privacy to be jeopardized.

Setting Limits

Schools now are able to gather extensive data about attendees. With new IDs, institutions have access to more student information, such as photo databases, attendance records, and students’ physical locations.  But how much information should schools be allowed to collect about students? Are enough safeguards in place to prevent schools from sharing this information with outside parties?

Some limitations for using new technology are already in place due to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws. FERPA laws are designed to keep student information, such as educational records and other student information, private. These laws prohibit third parties from accessing student information.

However, educational institutions are still able disclose certain student information. Schools can disclose information that it deems “not harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed,” according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Photo IDs

Student photos can be considered directory information, according to FERPA Guidance from the US Department of Education. A significant concern among parents is that directory information can be released to outside organizations without parental consent. Sharing this personal information is not considered an invasion of privacy.

Parents and students can choose to notify schools in writing that they wish to opt out of directory information disclosures. The question then becomes whether or not parents and students are aware that personal information may be shared. Are they aware that they have the right to opt out?

Online photo directories can pose problems as well. When student photos are used for IDs, images may be stored in an online directory. While school websites post policies regarding student photo ID usage, there is no guarantee that the policies will be upheld.

Additionally, even though there may be ways to further restrict privacy settings for these photos, students may overlook or not even realize that photos are part of an accessible directory.

Digital IDs

Apple recently developed student IDs that are part of wearable technology. These digital ID chips are stored in i Phones and Apple Watches. According to Edsurge.com, digital IDs will be used this fall at Duke University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Alabama.

With new ID technology, more information sharing is possible. The tracking used in RFID devices and wearable technology reveals specific student locations. Certain types of chips even have the capacity to gather information during times when students are not in class or even on campus.

The technological capabilities of digital IDs have even more potential for invasion of privacy. This type of data collection could be used to evaluate and predict student patterns and behaviors.  Some feel this closer look into students’ private lives is invasive, unwarranted, and even illegal.

Should every on-campus activity and location pattern be accessible to student institutions or technology companies developing these IDs? Or anyone else? Is an institution-imposed location or monitoring time limit enough to prevent schools – or third party technology developers – from accessing personal information regarding the physical location of each student?

Administrators, parents, and students may be unaware of how personal information could potentially be obtained when implementing new ID policies and procedures. While student safety may be the overarching goal for new photo policies and IDs with digital tracking, students’ rights to privacy and safety could be significantly threatened. Without the proper safeguards in place, photo database use and chip technology can be hazards to protecting student privacy and safety.




Should Students be Tracked with RFIDs? The Pros & Cons of Location Tracking

There is no debate over whether kids should be kept safe at school. With growing concerns of intruders, shootings, behavioral issues, children bringing weapons to school and other dangers, there is no doubt school districts have to find ways to protect students on campus. However, how far is too far when it comes to school safety precautions?

Some schools have already implemented the use of RFID tags, and the idea of tracking someone’s location is far from new, but should this technology be used to track your kids? This post will cover the pros, cons, ethical concerns and the potential health risks of using chips to track students at school.

First, what is a RFID tag? RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification Device. These chips can be placed in ID cards and clothing and they transmit a unique serial number via radio signal to an electronic reader at the school’s entrance.

What are the pros of using RFIDs to track kids at school?

  • Tracking students’ location on campus aids in safety, because teachers know whether a child has shown up to school or not.
  • Location tracking can save time each morning. Roll call is replaced by technology, which saves time for learning.
  • School funding is based on average daily attendance, and if a child is checked in with their RFID, they’re accounted for and the school will receive funds whether they are in their desk or not.
  • Location tracking can cut down on truancy. This technology makes it harder for kids to “fly under the radar.”

What are the cons of using tracking devices?

  • Many who oppose the use of RFIDs say that they treat kids like cattle, and that they’re unethical.
  • If the chips are not encrypted, it is easy to clone a card and impersonate a student, or to skip school by having a substitute card.
  • Where the use of radio frequency is pervasive, potential health risks are heightened.
  • Those who oppose student tracking say that it is all for financial gain, and that students are no more safe than they’ve ever been.

Some schools have gone as far as adding RFIDs to student clothing. Parents, administrators and other officials may argue that this is a good solution for smaller children, but for middle and high school students it is crossing an ethical line. Also, the tracking chips do not work off campus, they must be within readable distance, so once a child is no longer on campus, they’re not being tracked. For older kids who care about their privacy, this is good, but it has sparked debate about the validity of using RFIDs. Are they REALLY for safety, or for maintaining funding?

As far back as 2004, schools began using tracking chips. Although the use of RFIDs in schools is still uncommon, it’s not new technology and it may become more popular as school violence becomes more common. Many students are already being tracked academically and behaviorally with smartphone apps. As technology continues to quickly evolve, so will the potential loss of privacy. Do you support tracking chips being added to student ID cards?


How Student IDs Foster Identity Development & Esteem

The adolescent years are key in identity development, and as schools continue finding ways to keep kids safe, such as requiring them to wear IDs and uniforms, are they also inhibiting students’ growth into adulthood? Psychologist Erik Erikson stated that identity “enables one to move with purpose and direction through life.” The life skills that schools are looking to instill in our youth are often compromised by the need protect them from violence. How can administrators allow students to develop as individuals while also protecting their well being at school?

Some schools have gotten creative with student IDs. As long as the ID photo is an accurate depiction of the student’s likeness, there is no reason why kids can’t express themselves. For example, a high school in Farmington Hills, Michigan has adopted a quirky tradition that allows kids to dress up in costumes for their ID pictures. Some students choose Harry Potter characters, while others throw it back to the 90s with iconic “Clueless” references. Regardless of each student’s take on humor, this tradition is both fun and safe! It empowers students to express themselves, to show their likes and hobbies, and also gives them a say in how they want to be identified.


Most schools have award programs for good grades, community service and good attendance. These types of awards can be turned into pins or badges that are attached to the student’s ID card or lanyard. Kids who are succeeding in the classroom, on the court and field, or in their community can be recognized by their teachers and fellow students. This empowers kids to keep working toward their goals and it gives them a strong sense of self each time they put their ID card on.

Schools can create award systems with color codes for A/B honor roll, A honor roll, creativity, sportsmanship, community service and more! These merits can be represented by small pins or stickers that attach to the student’s ID card. To go even further, they can be turned in for cash credits that purchase lunch, books, supplies and more. There are many ways that institutions can get creative and encourage students to wear their ID cards.

Libraries, zoos, art museums and other local establishments can also get on board by offering student discounts. This keeps kids interested in learning and experiencing what their community has to offer. Discovering one’s surroundings and world is also a key part of identity development. When students are encouraged to venture out, they’re given a sense of independence and self-esteem that is vital for transition into adulthood.

Student IDs can also aid in creating relationships with staff and classmates. Healthy social interaction should also be taught in schools, and is a large part of succeeding in the job force. Student IDs help kids to identify one another by name, and can provide an ice breaker for conversation. Creative and funny ID card photos are even better, because they allow each student to feel unique and memorable. Photo IDs can foster healthy social interaction in schools! This goes well beyond providing a bland picture that is only intended to improve safety on campus.

There are many ways to allow students to thrive and grow, while also keeping them safe. Read our recent posts about tracking student success with QR code badges and the 3 main types of ID cards to gain insight into some of the latest trends in student identification.

How Student IDs are Being Used to Improve Learning and Behavior

As school starts back across the nation, parents, teachers and administrators are ready to implement their latest plans and teaching strategies to improve retention, behavior and safety. Safety is of growing concern in today’s schools. Initiatives like requiring clear book bags, student ID cards and strict dress codes are all commonly used to help keep students safe, but what NEW things are being done?

Student ID cards are generally worn in obligation and have somewhat of a negative reputation. However, new app-based programs being implemented across the U.S. are shedding a positive light on student IDs and student tracking. With a simple and easy-to-generate QR code, student IDs can be upgraded for use with smartphone apps that boost student engagement and crack down on bad behavior.

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Student Recognition and Reward Programs

Programs such as PBIS Rewards help teachers, students and parents stay on the same page about student learning and success. These types of school programs use QR codes that connect to profiles on smartphone apps. Students can earn points that can be used toward purchases and other types of rewards. PBIS and similar programs eliminate paper tickets and boost instructional time, while allowing teachers, kids and parents to see a clear representation of what is happening in the classroom. Students are more engaged and accountable in the learning process because they feel empowered to keep earning positive feedback.




Positive Behavior Reinforcement

Schools have also begun using apps to cut down on behavioral issues. Programs like Hero provide a convenient and measurable way to keep track of disciplinary actions, late arrivals, absences and can also aid in safety when a student is unaccounted for. These programs make classroom management easier and keep school offices more organized. They also provide a unified standard for student discipline so that each student feels he or she is treated equally. Hero can connect classes, schools and districts to one unified behavior management standard. This helps with positive reinforcement and with intervention. Administrators and parents can see clear trends in student behavior, both at an individual level and school level, and they can intervene before issues escalate.

Schools using programs like Hero have real data that shows them percentages of suspensions, late arrivals and more and they can watch these numbers decrease over time. Schools in 45 states are using Hero. Many other schools have adopted similar programs.

“Research has proven that when school culture is more positive, discipline-related issues decrease. At the same time, in-class instruction time grows and student performance thrives,” according to Hero. Ten and 15 years ago, students were expected to wear ID cards at school, but were not given an incentive to do so. New programs that work with simple QR codes on IDs are helping to encourage kids and keep them accountable.

Some schools may be hesitant to use programs that track student learning and behavior. Perhaps they are concerned with the ethical implications of tracking a student’s every move, they’re afraid of the cost of IDs and the accuracy of QR codes, or the programs themselves are too costly. Also, schools have had to crack down on cell phones in the classroom, which might inhibit some institutions from using programs like PBIS and Hero, however most classrooms offer instructional tablets. These programs can be used on those devices as well.

Tracking programs may not be the best option for some schools or teachers, but cost and technology shouldn’t be the deterrent. There are free behavioral and learning tracking apps online, such as Class Dojo. Stephanie Jones, a dedicated special needs teacher in Jacksonville, Florida swears by Class Dojo.

“It’s easy to use with their app as well as on the computer. Parents have access to view their points – positive and negative, so they know exactly what’s happening in the classroom. You can also update with “class stories” so parents can see what’s going on in your classroom, on field trips – whatever you want to show them,” says Mrs. Jones.


Moreover, for apps that work with QR codes, these codes can be easily generated online and are easy to print. They are more forgiving than barcodes because if they are damaged, they can still be scanned with a smart phone to connect to a website or app. There are many businesses that create and print ID cards with QR codes. Here at NameTagWizard.com, you can order fully customized photo IDs for students and employees. Reordering is quick and affordable, so updating IDs for a new school year can be done with just a couple of mouse clicks.

At NameTagWizard.com, we are the Identification Experts, and our sole purpose is to connect names with faces. As technology continues to evolve, we will be doing more than that! More recently, name tags and IDs are used to not only connect a person and their name, but also a person and their digital profile. Schools across the world will continue to grow and use tracking apps to keep kids safe and help them succeed. Our product line will also expand to include everything you need to identify students and employees in today’s digital world.

Flash Passes, Proximity Cards & Smart Cards to Improve School Safety

Security on school campuses is always of high importance, but it’s especially vital at the start of a new year. The beginning of the school year is the best time for parents, teachers and administrators to implement new rules and plans, and this is a key time to apply new safety regulations. Schools can aid in the prevention of school violence and school trespassing with the use of photo ID card policies. When students show up for orientation, they should be handed a photo ID and encouraged to wear it any time they are on campus. As school populations grow and technology becomes more advanced, it’s more challenging to keep kids and staff safe. Knowing which types of photo IDs are available and how they work are the first steps to creating and implementing a school photo ID policy.


There are 3 main types of ID cards that are used by colleges, schools and corporations. These are traditional photo ID cards, or flash passes, proximity cards and smart cards. Each card offers a different level of security and potential uses.

1.Traditional Flash Passes – These are traditional photo ID cards that contain the student or teacher’s name, photo and school mascot or logo. They are often called flash passes because they are quickly shown to security officers or patrol guards to gain access to campus or rooms. These types of IDs are beneficial because they help identify who is permitted to be on campus. They rely on human eyes however, and if a person can skip past a security guard, they can gain access to campus with no further measures taken. Although flash passes do not offer extra security, they are still commonly used by schools and can be used to increase safety. Traditional photo ID cards can provide security in the following ways:

  • Color coding: Each level of student and staff can wear a different color plastic card. At a glance this can help security officers and administrators identify between a teacher or other staff member, a student and their grade level (which often coincides with areas on campus the student should be), and a visitor. Be sure to offer visitors a temporary ID card that is a unique color to differentiate them from others on campus. Visitor ID cards can be customized with unique ID numbers or expiration dates. Expiration dates make it harder for these cards to be faked or stolen from campus and re-used.
  • With Lanyards: Have each grade level, administrative staff member and maintenance employee wear a different color lanyard. Color coding of ID cards and lanyards makes it more difficult for the cards to be duplicated with fakes. Each person on campus should be aware of what the colors mean. Color codes can also help identify students on unauthorized areas of campus. (For instance, 12th graders being on 9th grade halls or wings without need.)
  • With Bar codes: Bar codes can be used to confirm attendance at school and at school events. They can also help keep track of where a student was last seen, in case they were to disappear.

Implementing color codes is a simple yet effective way to boost security. Small measures like these make it more difficult to forge IDs, because anything outside of the color codes set up by the school would be easily identified.

2. Proximity Cards – Proximity cards offer another layer of security beyond that of flash passes. Proximity cards use radio frequency to send a special number to door-side card readers. These cards are very difficult to forge, because the card reader will only unlock the door if the scanned number matches an identified number in the school security system. These types of cards can provide security at every access point on campus, from the front entrance to the library and cafeteria (wherever a side-door card reader can be installed). It is difficult to keep security and patrol officers in each of these locations, so proximity cards help to fill that gap.

3. Smart Cards – Many schools and larger corporations are implementing the use of smart cards. Smart cards offer the highest level of security. These cards not only help identify students and staff, they can also be used to purchase lunch, buy drinks or snacks from vending machines and check out library books. These cards contain a chip that communicates with a network, and they allow kids to sign into computers, use printers on campus and more. Parents can also monitor their child’s use of funds, and pre-load the card with lunch money, printer money and more. This eliminates the child’s need to carry cash that can be easily stolen or lost. Schools also benefit from smart cards because they save money on paper, ink and other supplies that are often wasted or overused.

What information should be included on a student ID card?

It is essential for any photo ID to include the most recent photo of the student, which is updated at least once each school year, the student’s name and grade level and the school mascot.

However, some schools also include clubs the student is a member of, sports the child plays and other mentions such as honor roll. These additions can turn a common photo ID into something the student is proud to wear, and can help teachers, coaches and parents locate students after school hours, if needed. Schools can even implement a pin system or star system. Each new accomplishment can come with a new pin on the child’s ID card!

For elementary schools looking to implement a badge policy, the following are important to include on each child’s ID card:

Elementary school name, school mascot or logo, grade level, classroom number, teacher name and parent name. If the student rides a bus, it is also important to include the bus number. All of this information can help keep young students safe on campus, and makes it much easier to guide kids back to their classroom if they are lost.

There are many ways schools can use badges and IDs to keep their kids safe. At NameTagWizard.com we are always open to hearing your ideas. Do you have a unique way you have used school photo IDs on your campus or in your workplace?