Professionalism can mean many things to many people. For some, the thought of being professional conjures up images of business suits, strong handshakes and important meetings. But for those in the medical field—especially those working in sleep medicine—the idea of professionalism can seem a bit more abstract.
Many medical researchers have sought to identify what exactly professionalism means to those in medicine. According to a 2018 report by the Royal College of Physicians, medical professionalism is not only a means for those in medicine to do good by their patients, it’s a way to support joy and satisfaction in a career. Identifying and making improvements in professionalism in all areas of healthcare not only enhances quality of care for the patient, but the quality of life of the practitioner as well.
First Impressions Matter
Before a patient even starts their sleep study, they’re already forming opinions about the experience—and a big factor is the look and feel of their environment they’re in. According to a study from Princeton University, it takes most people a tenth of a second to form an impression. That means the second they get to the sleep center, they’re taking note of everything from the curtains on the windows to the person sitting at the front desk.
Rui de Sousa, RPSGT, RST, a sleep technologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, said that’s why it’s so important to make the first impression matter. For those managing sleep centers, he said they should be cognizant of what their space says about their business. Are areas organized? Is the space relaxing? Is the equipment well kept?
“A professional look to the physical structure of the sleep lab goes a long way to foster a professional look and feel right from the onset,” he said.
Sleep technologists should not only take pride in the space around them by keeping it tidy, they should make sure to take pride in their appearance as well. For sleep centers looking to stand out, de Sousa recommends branded scrubs and nametags. For sleep technologists, he recommends looking clean and sharp.