When you ponder the qualities needed to be a nurse or work in healthcare what is the first thing that comes to your mind? You are probably thinking critical thinking, clinical competence and even management qualities. Maybe your first thoughts are compassion, empathy, pays attention to details and communication skills. While these are necessary skills that you will build over time as a nurse we often forget about basic professional etiquette. This is not something you learn in college but is vital to building professional relationships in your career. Here are some basics you need to be implementing now!
1. Be on time
We all experience times when we get caught in traffic or we wake up late but it becomes a problem when you make it a habit. Being late constantly is a choice and it is unacceptable, unprofessional and rude. You are basically saying to your coworkers “my time is more valuable than yours”. If you decide to work in healthcare then you need to be prompt. Many times you are relieving the previous shift and they can not leave without their replacement. Chronic tardiness will make your coworkers resent you and look bad with management. Just don’t do it.
2. Be willing to help out your co-workers
You don’t have to be friends with your coworkers, but you should show respect for one another. So when a coworker asks for help you should generally say yes. That is of course as long as it is not hurting your own job. Take it as an opportunity to show your skills and knowledge, help another person or even learn something new! Help that person out if you can because you never know when you might need them in return.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
It is always better to ask questions then make a mistake. You could end up risking your patients life and even your license. Asking questions shows that you are invested in your work and you are willing to learn and grow. By not asking questions you miss opportunities for growth. No matter how small or silly you think your questions is, ASK because we all start somewhere.
4. Keep your emotions at home
It is best to keep your personal emotions and feelings at the door when you get to work. I hate to say it but your coworkers probably do not want to hear your sob stories. They have their own personal problems without having to hear yours. This may sound harsh because it is. Also, this may differ for people. Some people make close friends in the workplace and may be able to share their personal feelings with one another. Just be careful with who you share and what you share. Sometimes that personal information can get into the wrong hands.
5. Put your device down
Many employees allow cell phones while on the job but not in excess. Phones interfere with work productivity. So while you may be allowed to have your phone make sure you are limiting your use on your personal devices. It looks bad and you are suppose to be working.