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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Dressing Style In A Hospital - Packaging is Key For Us!!!

A shirt, a pair of trouser, a belt, a pair of shoes, a wrist watch, a tie, a clinical coat.... This is what most male clinical students set aside, as our dress style on every working day. The colour, cut or design is usually individual specific except for some College of Medicine, where the dress code is a white shirt and a black pair of trousers. It is a hard order to call, for most beginners.

A lot is required from clinical students in a typical Nigerian university. The motto for us here in our facility is 'Read hard, Eat hard, Sleep hard, Work hard, and Play hard.' The 5-Hards.
This is the summation of the life of a clinical student, although not particularly in that order and of course, of different intensity.
It is hard work for us to keep up to this code. But looking back, as i m in my final clinical year, it was worth it. Dressing has always been about packaging. For some, it is purely about upbringing; for other it is about picking a model but for me it has been about personal choice and strict training to keep up to the dressing code.

I remembered in my 2nd clinical year, i had a peculiar encounter that solidified my resolve to dress right no matter the circumstances. It would during my psychiatric posting. I had to be in the ward earlier than others to get history from a patient. This particular male patient was making so much trouble and his younger ran up to me for assistance. She had referred to me as a doctor. She told me to intervene, that her brother only listens to Doctors. I was shocked on two grounds; I was not a doctor but a clinical student and secondly, 'how can i act in an office that i know i lack competence?'
All the same, i obliged her and eventually the problem was set right. Since that day, i concluded that my dressing must be ad rem especially as it pertains my choosen profession.

Most students still view a strict compliance to corporate dressing as unnecessary. They would rather be on a T-shirts, a pair of jeans, a pair of boot and a face-cap to match. But i understood early in my training, that you are respected and addressed just as you dress.

It is even raised to the status of a crime, to come for lectures dressed as a pop star. It is not about the pop stars but the confidence a patient reposes on a doctor. A patient, who would be saying a lot of his or secret, including past histories of abortion, sexual partners etc, would want a professional attending to him or her. An added sense of confidence and trust is gotten from a doctor who dresses as a professional.

Casual dressing is easy to put on, it is a common form of dressing, it is an informal way to dress. On the other hand, corporate dressing is everything a patient wants in a doctor. I would not be surprised if this dress sense becomes the norm in a larger segment of the medical world as is supposed to be. Package well for yourself and for your patient. Dress Right.