Whether you manage a health clinic, aged care facility or community health centre and want to ensure the right professional standards are adhered to, or have just begun working at one of these facilities, you will quickly learn the importance of maintaining a hygienic and work-appropriate appearance. While you may not think that appearances matter in the medical industry, they can actually have a significant effect on the professionalism that medical staff exude and the impression that patients get of your facility.
By maintaining a professional appearance, your medical facility can distinguish itself from other facilities, while your staff are able to provide better care as they are adequately dressed for the job at hand. It is important that your medical clothing is practical yet modern, giving patients the peace of mind that your team is fully-trained and well-versed in recent medical developments. While the stringent requirement for all-whites is no longer expected, medical staff should still pay close attention to their appearance, while managers should maintain standards by not leaving the uniform up to individual interpretation.
Consider allocating different colours to different departments, ensuring patients can easily identify the staff member they require. Different roles within your medical facility may also have different dress requirements – surgeons, for example, will require scrubs that cover their entire bodies, while nurses can wear a simpler uniform but should also have pockets so they can easily store tools that they need frequent access to. By having a well-tailored, clean uniform on that clearly displays your role in the medical facility, patients can be sure they will receive quality care at your clinic or medical facility. In some cases, you may want to consider supplying a seasonal uniform to your staff, such as festive outfits for Christmas.
Some other essential tips for medical professionals and owners of medical facilities include:
1- Set well-defined dress codes and ensure the whole team abides by them
2- Be polished and well-groomed – keep your fingernails trimmed and avoid acrylic or artificial nails
3- Long hair should be tied up, as it looks neater and more professional, plus is more hygienic as it is less likely to make contact with bodily fluids when examining or attending to a patient
4- Try to keep piercings and tattoos to a minimum, or cover them up
Keep your makeup natural and tidy
5- Be mindful of smells and fragrances, as a strong perfume or the smell of smoke can affect a sick patient.
6- Keep mints on hand and try to avoid smoking while in uniform, even if you are on a break, as it is not a professional look
7- Ensure every staff member’s uniform fits them perfectly – there is no point ordering generic sizes in bulk if it means the staff do not look sharp
8- Always keep your clothes clean, in top condition and ironed
9- Ensure your identification badge is visible at all times
10- Wear polished professional shoes that you can comfortably spend the whole day in
11- Keep jewellery to a minimum, as rings can easily become contaminated and necklaces can get tangled up when using medical equipment or attending to a patient
If you work in the medical field but do not require a uniform, perhaps working as an administration assistant or physician, ensure you are still well-groomed and your outfit is immaculate, perhaps with a tailored jacket or blazer.
The way we present ourselves acts as an introduction to others, and is especially important in the medical industry. If you would like to improve the impression that your medical facility gives to patients, or want to ensure your own appearance is up to standard, make sure to follow the above tips. Aside from a uniform, you will also require other items of medical clothing or accessories, such as gloves and gowns, which you should acquire in bulk from a reputable medical equipment supplier.
Finally, the most important reason for wearing the proper medical clothing is to provide quality care to your patients and ensure your own wellbeing. By wearing the right attire made from industry-grade materials, you minimise the risk of infection and transmission of disease while conducting examinations or operations. After all, quality gloves and disposable gowns made from latex, nitrile or vinyl are just as much of a part of the medical professional’s uniform as their scrubs!