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.
—Karen L. Tomajan, MS, RN, BC, CNAA, CRRN