You may be wondering how your new career in the healthcare field will affect your life. But have you thought about how your new work environment can impact your health?CNN reported in the article, “A bad work environment can be bad for your health”, that there was a direct impact on stress level and risk of cardiac disease based on an employee’s work environment. Therefore, what are some health hazards and ways that you can maintain your health while transitioning to your new job?
Not Enough Hours in the Day
It’s all too common to be understaffed and overworked, especially in the healthcare environment. You may feel that you need to forego taking a break, avoid eating lunch, or eat lunch on the run, in order to get everything done. While scarfing down your lunch on the run may seem like a better option than skipping lunch altogether, you may have some health concerns that come from eating on the go. Indigestion, nausea and bloating may have you reaching for a Tums or some Pepto-Bismol, for example. A better option would be to force yourself to sit down and take 30 minutes to an hour to eat lunch. If you finish early, enjoy those few moments of peace, resisting the urge to get more work done during this time.
No Personal Space
Sometimes, the lines can become blurred when it comes to separating your work life from your home life. If you work from home, it can be hard to balance the two while keeping them separate from one another. The mental toll that this takes can leave you drained emotionally as you obsess about work duties while neglecting interests and hobbies that you once enjoyed. Take back your personal life. If you have a home office, keep work in the office space and during office hours only. Make it a priority to spend time doing the things you enjoy or spending time with family and friends.
Intense and/or Repetitive Physical Exertion
Are your daily work tasks leaving you achy and physically exhausted at the end of the day? Back and neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome and migraine headaches are some potential side effects, especially when you are at your desk most of the day, or your job is especially stressful. Learn about ergonomics and body mechanics and incorporate both of these into your daily routine at work. Get out of your chair and stretch at least once every hour that you are at work. If your job has you on your feet all day, sit down, stretch your legs, rotate your feet and ankles, and elevate your feet in the breakroom to improve circulation.
As you consider a new career in the medical field, check out these courses that Avidity Medical Design Academy offers to help you succeed on the job and in your personal life.
In the healthcare industry, maintaining a professional demeanor is critical. Not only do you want to be sure that you’ll be recognized for the time and effort you’ve put into your studies, you want to be sure that patients have a sense of confidence in you. You’re responsible for dealing with sensitive and private information, providing advice and treatment, and reassuring patients. With a calm, professional demeanor, you’ll be better able to control your patient interactions and put yourself in a better position to increase patient confidence.
Step One: Be Positive
No, you don’t need to go skipping down the halls, singing about all the wonderful opportunities that are open to you. Rather, you should maintain a positive attitude whenever you interact with your patients or coworkers. An attitude of doom and gloom or constant complaints–especially complaints relating to your job or coworkers–can quickly destroy patient confidence and convince them that they can’t trust you to adequately handle their case, which can, over time, erode your odds of promotion or even destroy your career. Instead, try to be upbeat. Remember why you chose to do what you do and why you enjoy it. When a coworker, from a nurse to a doctor, asks you to accomplish a task, do it cheerfully and calmly. This simple step inspires a great deal more confidence in your patients than seeing you come in complaining before you’ve even had a chance to get to know them. A dose of positive can go a long way toward improving your professional appearance.
Step Two: Avoid Drama
“You know, we were just back in the nurse’s station talking about Deborah’s husband and…” “I don’t want to cause trouble, but you’ve dealt with Dr. Brown, and I haven’t been impressed with his diagnoses in the past.” Whether you’re talking directly to a patient or chatting at the nurse’s station, one of the fastest ways to decrease patient confidence and drop that professional demeanor is to get involved in drama. Your personal life doesn’t belong at work, especially when you’re dealing with patients. Instead, keep it professional while you’re on the clock! Avoid conflict with coworkers, and try not to get sucked into drama–even if a patient is the one to initiate the complaint.
Step Three: Get Organized
There’s something reassuring about a medical professional who walks into a room and already knows exactly where everything is. Whether it’s a routine exam or an emergency, they don’t have to scramble for the proper materials; rather, they’re able to easily access exactly what they need. In many medical settings, it can be hard to keep up with simple organization tasks, but it’s a step that’s well worth it! Create a system that works for you, whether you’re pushing medical carts down the halls of a hospital or organizing an exam room in an office. Organize your personal supplies so that you know exactly where everything is. This can create a big difference in the way you appear to both patients and colleagues.
Step Four: Listen
One of the most effective ways to create an aura of professionalism is to simply listen to those around you–both other workers and patients. As a doctor, for example, if a nurse tells you something, there’s a good chance that it’s important, whether they’ve observed odd patient behavior or noted a symptom you need to pay attention to. It also pays to listen to patients. Sometimes, they’re babbling just to talk or to calm their nerves, but other times, they may have something to say that genuinely relates to their care. Simply listening to them and giving genuine, considered responses can help increase their confidence in you and put you in a better position to provide high-quality care.
Step Five: Be Honest
It’s often tempting to blur the truth a little in a work environment, especially when you’re dealing with difficult patients. “Of course I remembered to tell the patient X.” “It wasn’t my turn to complete X task.” If you want to create a more professional attitude, however, be honest–both with your colleagues and with your patients. Own up to your mistakes and do what’s necessary to make it right. If things are way behind in the office, don’t tell patients that they’ll be seen in just a few minutes–give them an accurate assessment of what your schedule looks like, then offer them the ability to choose for themselves how they want to handle it. Honesty truly is the best policy–and it creates a more professional demeanor and appearance for your entire office.
Step Six: Check the Small Stuff
As a medical professional, you know that there’s really no “small stuff” when it comes to dealing with patients. Inevitably, it’s the test you forgot to run or the gauge you forgot to check that turns out to be the most important to your patient. If you want to maintain a more professional demeanor, take the time to check the small stuff. Not only does this increase your quality of patient care, it shows your patients that you genuinely care about them and are willing to work hard to get to the bottom of whatever problem they’re having.
Step Seven: Check Your Appearance
As nice as it would be if appearances didn’t matter, your appearance can go a long way toward establishing your professionalism in the eyes of your patients and your colleagues. Do a quick appearance check each day to make sure that you look as professional as possible. Check your scrubs to be sure that they’re clean and unstained. If they’re starting to look too worn, it may be time for a replacement. Keep your hair up and away from your face. For women, makeup should be professional and clean, rather than obvious or overdone. Take a quick look in the mirror: do you look like a medical professional that you’d want to treat you? If not, clean up your appearance for the benefit of everyone around you.
While proper attire is important in any office, professional dress in the medical office is crucial. Maintaining a professional appearance is the key to patient comfort and trust. Below is a 4-step guide to help navigate the pitfalls of dressing for the medical office.
First off, medical office personnel deal with patients at a very personal level. They have contact with the patient physically and they have general access to highly sensitive information such as health history and social security numbers. By presenting themselves professionally, office staff provide an environment that ensures patient confidence. Patients need to feel safe in the office and that their information is being handled respectfully and professionally.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness. It is important to have a clean and well-maintained appearance. Cleanliness is paramount in a medical office. Unclean bodies and hair can be alarming for patients, but even simple things like ripped clothing, wrinkled clothing or improperly fitting clothing can project an environment that fails to take patient health and safety seriously. Meanwhile, meticulous dress and appearance help project the idea that cleanliness, orderliness and professionalism are important and therefore, so are patient health and safety.
Accessories. Understated accessories including hair, nails, make-up and tattoos keep the focus on the patient and not on the staff. Drawing attention with large jewelry or visible tattoos can unintentionally project the idea that the patient is secondary. Also, extreme hair, excessive make-up and long nails can give patients the idea that their health and safety is not the primary focus in the office.
Shoes. While many medical professionals spend hours on their feet, they should exercise care when selecting footwear. Especially for medical professionals in scrubs, shoes can stand out to patients so, it is important to make sure they are not only comfortable, but maintain a professional appearance. Dansko-style clogs are good examples of acceptable shoes, while snow boots, slipper-style shoes, Converse or other athletic shoes, Uggs, cowboy boots, and high heels are examples of shoes that should not be worn in a medical environment.
Clothing. A medical professional should wear clothing that is classic, professional, and well-fitted. It should allow the employee to project confidence and professionalism, which will in turn provide patients with reassurance that their lives are in good hands. Clothing that is revealing, offensive (as in t-shirts with messages on them), or made of any material that either sheds (like sequins or glitter) or is not considered professional (like jeans, leather or spandex)should not be worn.
By dressing in a professional and timeless fashion, the employee allows for the focus to remain where it belongs, on the patient. Employees in the medical office should consistently review their attire to make sure it projects the idea, from the patient’s perspective, that the primary focus in the office is on the safety and comfort of its patients.
A big part of any job is appropriate dress. While some companies will provide uniforms, many office jobs leave it to the employee’s discretion. Sometimes knowing what is appropriate is difficult, especially when you are trying to add some color or style to your daily wardrobe. Avidity Medical Design understands that success comes from both knowledge and appearance, and want to provide you with a clear list of things to avoid when selecting an outfit for the office. Even though they specialize in course creation for the medical field, they also offer advice on maintaining professionalism and other challenges in the workplace. Check out their blog for other great informative pieces!
Your clothes should fit you properly, match, and be clean.
Your outfit says a lot about you, especially when you are at work. If your clothes are don’t fit, have clashing colors, or obvious stains and smells, it lets people know work was probably not a priority for you. So when you’re evaluating clothes, avoid items that your are either hanging out of, swimming in, or are otherwise unflattering. Don’t forget that the sales staff are there to help you select items that fit and match appropriately. Take advantage of this if you are unsure! Likewise, the cleanliness of your clothing is just as important as your own personal hygiene, and even more so in a medical setting. Taking the extra step to clean and maintain your clothes sends a strong message to your employer and your clients.
Avoid clothes designed for working out or relaxing.
You’re work clothes need to be comfortable. Don’t be distracted by ill-fitting or otherwise uncomfortable clothing when youshould be focused on work. However, some items are just a bit too comfortable. Workout clothes are great for working out and everyone should have some comfy sweats for after work or the weekends. But when you dress like this at work, you’re sending a message similar to the previous point; that you don’t want to be there. If you could run a marathon or watch a marathon in what you’re wearing, don’t wear it to work.
Logos or other messages aside from work related
Try and avoid clothing that advertises for bands, beverages, designer companies, or have jokes and slogans written on them. It’s distracting, unprofessional, and sends a bad message to the customer. The exceptions are items that have company logos on them, or are related to office events, such as a company sponsored 5k run or picnic. Even then, such items should be reserved for a casual day, if applicable.
Keep your face friendly and approachable!
Your smiling face is your best attribute, letting patients and clients know that they are safe and welcome. While society’s views are changing on the issue of tattoos, piercings, and dyed/extreme hair and makeup, keep in mind that you’re representing your office and therefore have an image to upkeep. The rule is to cover up anything that might make a customer feel uncomfortable. Professional attire covers the majority of your body, giving you more than enough room for tattoos or piercings. When choosing a hairstyle, try to select one that can be tamed during the workday to look presentable. And makeup can be light and subtle in the office, to keep with the theme of a warm and welcoming office to the public. The best rule to keep in mind is to tone it down or cover it up!
Sheila McCray, the person behind Avidity Medical Design, wants to help turn good students into great professionals. She also works to design and create courses in instructional design for medicine and healthcare, medical course analysis and recommendations, and medical subject matter expertise. If you are interested in these services, contact Avidity Medical Design, and follow them on Twitter!
Online healthcare courses are the norm for today’s budding medical students. Most students dread the boring, two-dimensional, rote learning of “online courses.” Online healthcare courses don’t have to take the inspiration out of learning. At Avidity, our courses are designed to engage and inspire you! What happened to hands-on anatomy, the engaging questions and answers in pathology or epidemiology? None of these topics are cut and dry – and that is what makes the study and practice of medicine so fascinating.
In a field that is constantly evolving and innovation, the way we learn and transfer that learning into the real world should bejust as exciting. Welcome to Avidity Medical Design, where we bring your online healthcare courses to vivid, vibrant life. Our courses are so uniquely engaging, so completely inspired, they smooth out the inevitable transition from book learning to on-the-spot clinical experience.
The world of online healthcare course design is a lot bigger than most people realize. Why shouldn’t we be usingDreamweaver, Captivate, and Sharepoint in addition to introducing the standard medical software? Sheila D. McCray, MS, CCS, CCS-P, principal of Avidity Medical Design, holds certifications in all these applications and more. She brings her vast experience in medical coding and software design to bear in Avidity’s online health courses.
Captivating visuals of anatomy and biological processes brilliantly animated come to life before your eyes. Because Sheila holds a Master’s in Instructional and Performance Technology, the courses she designs for Avidity illuminate medical billing, coding, and statistics like you’ve never seen them before.
An engaged learner is a real-world doer
Because our online courses aim to engage all your senses, and to present information in new, innovative ways, you graduate with an internalized understanding of real-world, clinical applications of all your learning. It is not enough to memorize by rote. Medical offices are anything but predictable, rote, and routine! Avidity’s online healthcare courses transfer your engaged learning directly to your new medical career, doing what you love.
The more engaged you are with the material, the easier it is to transfer your training to the medical office. Contact us to get started with the most exciting online healthcare courses today!