Dressing the part

The way you are dressed while on the job can have an important affect on how patients perceive and interact with you.

Wearing a formal uniform, complete with badge and jacket, can make you appear like a law enforcement officer or some other type of authority figure. Patients who are wary of law enforcement may be combative and resistant while you are attempting to assess and treat them. It is important to gain the trust of your patient. Consider not wearing your badge, or implementing a more relaxed uniform, not in dark blue or black colors.

On the other hand, dressing too relaxed or disheveled can have an opposite effect. Patients may not trust that you are indeed a qualified EMT and they may dispute any treatment options you present. Consider staying clean shaven and keeping a professional appearance while on the job.

It is a fine balance between looking too authoritative and too casual. Try discussing the issue of uniforms with your department. Perhaps it’s time for a change.

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