Nursing

Expert spotlight: Image of nursing: Shaping a better public image

Nurse Leader Insider, December 1, 2008

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This week, help staff reflect a positive image of nursing with expert advice from Karen L. Tomajan, MS, RN, BC, CNAA, CRRN, director, nursing quality and special projects at INTEGRIS Baptist Center in Oklahoma City.

Q: Do you have any tips for helping staff display a positive and professional nursing image?

A: Nurses build the public image of nursing through day-to-day interactions with patients, families, and colleagues. The following tips discuss ways your staff can display a positive image.

Present a professional image:

  • Make sure your uniform is clean, pressed, and professional. Think about the patterns on your scrub tops—what do they communicate about you?
  • Identify yourself as a professional nurse. Keep your name tag visible. Introduce yourself by your full name, and tell patients you are an RN or an LPN.
  • Speak with confidence and self-assurance.

Communicate about your work and discuss your accomplishments:

  • Prepare and practice a 30-second "elevator" speech about your role as a professional nurse. Communicate how you have made a difference for patients in your care.
  • Describe your independent actions to prevent complications and save lives. Many patients and families believe that all nurses do is follow doctors' orders. When you intervene to address a problem, let them know how your actions made the difference.

Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? Email your queries to editor Keri Mucci at kmucci@hcpro.com and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.



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