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Chapter 4. Personal and Professional Qualities of a Health Care Worker. 4:1 Personal Appearance. Appearance communicates level of confidence and positive self-esteem First impressions are based on appearances and form quickly Rules about appearance may vary

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Chapter 4 l.jpg

Chapter 4

Personal and ProfessionalQualities of aHealth Care Worker

4 1 personal appearance l.jpg
4:1 Personal Appearance

  • Appearance communicates level of confidence and positive self-esteem

  • First impressions are based on appearances and form quickly

  • Rules about appearance may vary

  • Certain professional standards apply to most health careers

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Good Health

  • Health care involves promoting health and preventing disease

  • Health care workers serve as role models

  • Diet

  • Rest

  • Exercise

  • Good posture

  • Avoid use of tobacco and drugs

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Uniform Considerations

  • Required in some health occupations

  • Neat, well-fitting, clean, and wrinkle-free

  • Choose undergarments that will not show

  • Avoid extreme styles

  • Follow standards established by place of employment

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Regular Clothing

  • Some occupations allow use of regular clothing in lieu of uniforms

  • Must be clean, neat, and in good repair

  • Style that allows for body movements

  • Should be appropriate for position

  • Washable and less expensive to maintain

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Other Considerations

  • Name badge

  • Shoes

  • Personal hygiene

  • Nails

  • Hair

  • Jewelry

  • Makeup and tattoos

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  • Find out rules or standards established by the agency

  • Abide by the rules

  • Maintain a neat, clean, professional appearance at all times

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4:2 Personal Characteristics

  • Certain personal/professional characteristics and attitudes apply to all health occupations

  • You should make every effort to develop these characteristics and attitudes and incorporate them into your personality

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Desirable Characteristics

  • Empathy

  • Honesty

  • Dependability

  • Willingness to learn

  • Patience

  • Acceptance of criticism

  • Enthusiasm


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Desirable Characteristics(continued)

  • Self-motivation or self-initiative

  • Tact

  • Competence

  • Responsibility

  • Discretion

  • Team player

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4:3 Effective Communications

  • Health care workers must be able to relate to patients, family, coworkers, and others

  • Understanding communication skills assists in this process

  • Communication: exchange of information, thoughts, ideas, and feelings


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Effective Communications(continued)

  • Verbal: spoken words

  • Written

  • Nonverbal: facial expressions, body language, and touch


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Effective Communications(continued)

  • Essential elements

    • Sender

    • Message

    • Receiver

    • Feedback


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Effective Communications(continued)

  • Message must be clear

  • How sender delivers message

  • How receiver hears message

  • How receiver understands message

  • Avoid interruptions and distractions

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  • Essential to communications

  • Attempt to hear what other is really saying

  • Need constant practice

  • Good listening skills techniques

  • Observe speaker closely

  • Reflect statements back to speaker

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Nonverbal Communication

  • Facial expressions, body language, gestures, eye contact, and touch

  • Can conflict with verbal message

  • Be aware of own and other’s nonverbals

  • Don’t always need verbals to communicate effectively

  • When verbal and nonverbal agree, message more likely understood

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Barriers to Communication

  • Something that gets in the way or limitsclear communications

  • Common barriers

    • Physical disabilities

    • Psychological attitudes and prejudice

    • Cultural diversity

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Recording and Reporting

  • Observe and record observations

  • Use all senses in the process

  • Report promptly and accurately

  • Criteria for recording observations on a patient’s health care record

  • HIPAA regulations

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  • Good communication skills allow development of good interpersonal relationships

  • Health care worker also relates more effectively with coworkers and other individuals

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4:4 Teamwork

  • In any health care career, you will be part of an interdisciplinary health care team

  • Team concept was created to provide quality holistic health care for every patient

  • Teamwork consists of many professionals, with different levels of education, ideas, backgrounds, and interests, working together for the good of the patient

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Teamwork Concepts

  • Teamwork improves communication and continuity of care

  • Every person on the team must understand the role of each team member

  • A leader is an important part of any team

  • Good interpersonal relationships essential

  • Legal responsibilities

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Good InterpersonalRelationship Guidelines

  • Poor relationships interfere with quality of care, goals, and work satisfaction

  • Respect differences due to cultural and ethnic backgrounds, gender, age, socioeconomic status, lifestyle preference, beliefs, and levels of education

  • Show sensitivity to the hopes, feelings, and needs of team members


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Good Interpersonal Relationship Guidelines(continued)

  • Golden Rule: treat others as you would want to be treated

  • Have a positive attitude

  • Be willing to laugh at yourself

  • Be friendly and cooperative

  • Assist others

  • Listen carefully


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Good Interpersonal Relationship Guidelines(continued)

  • Respect the opinion of others

  • Be open-minded and willing to compromise

  • Don’t criticize others

  • Practice good communication skills

  • Support and encourage team members

  • Perform your duties to the best of your ability

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Conflict Resolution

  • Deal with conflict in a positive way

  • Meet with people involved to discuss it

  • Listen to each other’s point of view

  • Avoid accusations and hostility

  • Solve problems cooperatively


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Conflict Resolution(continued)

  • Sometimes a mediator may be needed

  • Grievance policies define official process

  • To meet team goals, conflict must be resolved as quickly as possible

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  • Effective teams are the result of hard work, patience, commitment, and practice

  • When each individual participates fully in the team and makes every effort to contribute, the team achieves success

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4:5 Professional Leadership

  • Purpose: encourage people to work together and do their best to achieve common goals

  • Definition of a leader

  • Myths

  • Characteristics of a leader

  • Categories of leaders

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Types of Leaders

  • Democratic

  • Laissez-faire

  • Autocratic

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  • All types of leadership have advantages and disadvantages

  • In some rare situations, an autocratic leader may be beneficial

  • Democratic leader usually presented as most effective for group interactions

  • Respecting the rights and opinions of others is an important guide for a leader

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4:6 Stress

  • Definition of stress

  • Stressors

  • What causes stress

  • Sympathetic nervous system response

  • Parasympathetic nervous system recovery

  • Stress is universal

  • Benefits of stress


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  • Negative effects of stress

  • Learning to control stress

  • Stressors—how to problem solve

  • Managing stress reactions

    • Stop

    • Breathe

    • Reflect

    • Choose

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Stress-Reducing Techniques

  • Live a healthy life

  • Take breaks

  • Relax with a warm bath

  • Listen to quiet, soothing music

  • Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and relax each muscle group

  • Seek support from others


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Stress-Reducing Techniques(continued)

  • Meditate

  • Use imagery

  • Enjoy yourself

  • Renew yourself

  • Think positively

  • Develop outside interests

  • Seek assistance or delegate tasks

  • Avoid too many commitments

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  • Stress is constant and cannot be avoided

  • Be aware of causes

  • Learn how to respond

  • Solve problems effectively

  • Practice techniques to reduce

  • Be mindful of patient’s stress

  • Patients can use same coping techniques

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4:7 Time Management

  • Definition

  • Helps prevent or reduce stress

  • First step is to keep an activity record

  • Start to organize time based on information collected in activity record

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Setting Goals

  • Why set goals?

  • Short- and long-term goals

  • Completion of goals results in satisfaction, sense of accomplishment, and motivation to attempt other goals


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Setting Goals(continued)

  • Take the opportunity when starting high school to set short-term goals for researching careers in health care

  • Talk with a guidance or career counselor

  • Make sure you are taking the courses that are needed

  • Establish your own goals

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Set Effective Goals

  • State in positive manner

  • Define clearly and precisely

  • Prioritize multiple goals

  • Write goals down

  • Make sure at right level—should present challenge, but not be impossible to complete

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After Setting Goals

  • Focus on how to accomplish goals

  • Review necessary skills

  • What information do you need to gather?

  • What resources will be needed?

  • Identify potential problems

  • Prioritize goals

  • Organize steps

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Evaluating Goal Success

  • If goal is achieved, enjoy sense of accomplishment and satisfaction

  • If goal is not achieved, evaluate why failed

    • Was it realistic?

    • Did you lack needed skills/knowledge?

    • Is there another way to achieve the goal?

    • Remember, failure can be a positive learning experience

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Use Time Management to Meet Goals

  • Analyze and prioritize

  • Identify habits and preferences

  • Schedule tasks

  • Make a daily “to do” list

  • Plan your work

  • Avoid distractions

  • Take credit for a job well done

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  • Time management provides for an organized and efficient use of time

  • Won’t always succeed when unexpected events occur

  • If fail, reevaluate goals and revise the plan

  • Patience, practice, and an honest effort are the best guides to a healthier, more content life