Proper Etiquette for Nurses

Nurses should use proper etiquette in the workplace.

Careers in nursing are very care-centric, which means that if you plan on working as a nurse you will need to be particularly careful about using proper etiquette in the workplace. While you may think that a hospital or physician's office is slightly less stringent in terms of etiquette than, say, a large corporation, in reality professional etiquette is extremely important when working in health care. To be sure you are presenting yourself in a professional manner, follow this advice:

Proper handshake
When working as a nurse, you will greet a lot of people, from physicians to patients and their family members. As a result, it's important that you know how to give a proper handshake. When you meet a new patient and his or her family members, make eye contact, introduce yourself and your role, and give a firm handshake. This will demonstrate confidence and competence and help you gain their trust.

Keep conversations on track
While you may be tempted to bring up things like celebrity gossip and politics to ease patients into conversation and make them feel more at ease, this can actually have the opposite effect - you never know when you might accidentally offend someone. Instead, try to keep conversations on track and focused on health-related matters. You are the patient's caretaker, so when you enter the room make an observation, ask questions and reveal something about yourself - just be sure that you don't get too personal.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit

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