It is common knowledge that traditionally, etiquettes were restricted to primarily social situations but many of the same social graces were carried over into the business world. The interpersonal skills and graces of winning friends and influencing people, founds its way into the professional world in order to reach professional goals. And now in business world, they were termed as business etiquette. With the explosion of work culture at the business realm and the fluidity of technology and global interface, there are new standards to proper business etiquette.
Medicine has also undergone a lot of change and has grown to be an individual professional realm altogether with a variety of service demands in one set up. Also, there is an increase in range of employment opportunities for nurses and there is an immediate need of integrating training and learning of skills of professional etiquettes with the nursing curriculum or on the job training.
Professional etiquette is important to professional success and has become an absolute necessity in today’s times. Career advancements is hugely dependent on etiquette and often nurses simply neglect this aspect or not aware. Nurses are taking on a lot of work in hospitals, apart from plain and simple nursing. They are thrown in managerial roles, grievance redress and catering to a whole lot of service needs. They are increasingly finding themselves in situations which demand use of business etiquettes. One of the most common etiquette mistake the nurse can be seen making is the limp or the vice grip handshake – instead of using a handshake which is comfortably firm. Nurses can certainly perform a lot better in the changing work scenario, if they are equipped with the right skill set. It will also instil in them a sense of comfort and confidence during their career. For instance the wireless communication advent and its wide use necessitate a unique and new set of etiquette challenges. For example, one has to have a professional email for official correspondence and sending resumes- an employer would not appreciate an email from sunnybunny@tommorowland. Also one needs to learn the professional use of fax, phone and email. When sending one mail to several individuals, it is best to “blind copy’ a email. These professional etiquettes come in handy, when interviewing for a position or participating in a conference, attending a business meeting or travelling for business, amongst other situations.
Let us look at the top etiquette tips for nurses:
1. A handshake is a part of creating of first impression – and a nurse can be judged professionally on the quality of her handshake.
2. While presenting a business card in the professional meeting, the business card should be presented with the content face up and made readable to the subject.
3. It is not civic to approach a professional at the business conference and say, “Do you remember me?’. It is a social grace to put out the hand and state the name.
4. Nurses are given name tags, and the name tag should be placed on the right side of the chest –in this way, it would be visible to a new acquaintance easily while shaking hands.
5. It is recommended to dress appropriate to a clinical setting, to ensure a intelligent, professional and a competent image.
6. Also while handling a professional business call – will impact your tone and you will sound more business-like on the phone.
7. An email address should have a signature block.
Following professional etiquettes can impact the career advancement prospects of any nurse.
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