The small things can get you noticed!
Melbourne, FL: Students in training to become healthcare professionals at Harris Casel Institute are learning nursing skills. But clinical skills are not the only thing they are learning. They are also learning important career-readiness skills, such as how to act professionally on the job. If you are trying to boost your level of professionalism, try following these simple tips.
1. Always respect your patients
All jobs in the field of nursing, healthcare, or allied health have the same rule: respect your patients! Even if you are having a rough day, remember that the patients are the reason you are there. Have compassion for how others are feeling. Remember that patients may be scared or in pain. As a result, they may not be acting as politely as they normally would. Remember that patients are in a vulnerable position. They need your help and you can be there for them in their time of need.
2. Be a good communicator
Good communication is the key to avoiding misunderstandings. In the field of healthcare, good communication is particularly important. You will need to communicate important patient information, such as vital signs and any health concerns. You also need to communicate with others on your healthcare team so that you can work efficiently without duplicating each other’s efforts or missing any key tasks.
3. Practice your basic manners
It sounds like obvious advice, but in a busy healthcare environment, people often forget their basic manners. Use your please’s and thank you’s as a regular part of your day. It never hurts to hold the door for someone, offer a smile, or pay a compliment. These small touches go a long way in a busy workplace. Use your manners with everyone, whether they are support staff, patients, co-workers, or the head honchos.
4. Mind your appearance
Looking professional is an important part of your career. Most healthcare workers wear scrubs to work. Make sure your scrubs are clean and presentable. You don’t want to show up in scrubs that are wrinkled or dirty. Wear shoes that are in good condition. Keep your hair in a professional style. Be sure your fingernails are kept trimmed and clean. These small touches will help show your professionalism.
5. Don’t gossip, complain, bully, or compete with other nurses
A nursing environment can be stressful, and there can sometimes be disagreements among staff members. If this is the case in your workplace, try to stay above the fray. Don’t gossip about others. If a friend starts to talk about someone else, find a graceful way to change the subject. Try not to offend others, and try not to be offended yourself. Try to be agreeable about doing your assigned tasks. If you feel like too much work is piling up on you, ask for help rather than complaining or being a martyr. If everyone works together toward the common goal of serving your patients, it should be easier to get along.
6. Pull your own weight/Be proactive
People who work on healthcare teams need to be good teammates. If there is just one teammate who isn’t pulling his or her weight, it can impact the entire team. To be proactive, show up to work 10-15 minutes early every day. Showing up late is inconsiderate not only to your co-workers but also to your patients. Make sure you know what your responsibilities are, and carry them out in a thorough manner. When you see a need, see how you can help. If you get finished early, offer one of your teammates a helping hand. And next time, if it’s the other way around, perhaps that teammate will help you too.
7. Maintain the privacy and confidentiality of your patients
Whether you are training to be a nursing assistant, home health aide, or medical billing and coding specialist, you will learn about the rules of patient confidentiality. When you get your first job in the field, your employer will review their policies and practices regarding HIPAA regulations. Be sure you follow these rules. And remember common decency—do not talk about your patients’ private matters to anyone.
8. Keep learning
Healthcare techniques and processes are improving all the time. Stay on top of your career field. Learn from the more experienced co-workers. Take continuing ed classes. Subscribe to a professional journal. The more knowledgeable you are about your career, the prouder you will feel and the more respect you will earn.
9. Turn off the phone
Your workplace will probably have rules about cell phone usage. Make sure you follow them. Staring at your social media feed while you are supposed to be working is a big mistake. A healthcare job demands your full attention, so it’s best to keep your phone off until break time.
We hope these pointers will help you become a more professional healthcare provider. As someone who gives so much to others, you have a lot to be proud of. By going the extra mile and acting in a professional manner, you will be recognized and appreciated for your efforts.
The Harris Casel Institute in Melbourne, FL is a proud provider of career training programs for Home Health Aides, Nursing Assistants, Practical Nurses, and more. Contact us for more information.