The importance of etiquette in your healthcare career

The major components of advancing in your healthcare career are competence at your job and a great work ethic, but there are a number of other factors that can also contribute to your continued career success. One of the most important is proper etiquette. Mastering this skill will endear you to your patients, foster confidence in your co-workers and impress your superiors.

Because healthcare jobs are built around a large number and wide variety of personal interactions, there are many chances to demonstrate your etiquette skills. Use these opportunities to practice and perfect your techniques and you may find that the people with whom you work look at you in a more positive light.

“Professional etiquette is not optional for personal or professional success – it is a necessity,” Kathleen Pagana, a registered nurse and professor emeritus at Lycoming College, told NurseZone. “Career advancement depends on etiquette, but often nurses either aren’t aware they need it or they simply don’t know what to do.”

Here are some simple ways to improve your etiquette as you try to advance your healthcare career.

Introduce yourself

It may seem simple, but telling your name to the people you regularly interact with and sharing a little about yourself can go a long way toward improved trust and stronger relationships. This applies not only to your managers, but also to your patients and the other nurses, doctors and administrative staff in the facility.

By sharing a little about yourself, you are building a foundation upon which you can create a stronger, closer, more trust-based relationship. This simple etiquette tip can convince those around you to do the same, which could make your work environment warmer and more vibrant. Moreover, you will likely be more familiar to those around you, and this can be an advantage if your name comes up for a promotion.

Strong written communication

Although the majority of your daily interactions likely occur face-to-face, you will no doubt also have to send emails and memos to your colleagues. It is essential that you maintain a professional tone in these messages. Poorly written or error-laden communications may demonstrate to your co-workers that you don’t take your job seriously or that you are disorganized.

Stay positive

Nothing inspires confidence and warm feelings more quickly than a resolutely positive attitude. Your co-workers are more likely to think highly of you if you cultivate a happy and confident demeanor.