How To Dress For Clinical Rotations: 5 Tips for CNA Students

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What you wear to clinical sites will directly set the pace for your career as a CNA. Although it’s good to express your individuality, especially in a sea of other students and medical workers, you need to be mindful of the work environment. Choosing the right attire and presenting a professional image will help to inspire patient confidence in your ability and even help you to land a job at the facility where you train. Appropriate wear goes right along with a winning smile and attitude, and could help others to recognize you as a competent individual right from the start.

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Remember First Impressions Last
Painted faces, bouncy curls, and excess cleavage have their place; they don’t belong in a medical setting. You may be a competent and skilled nurses’ aide, but no one would know it if you wear inappropriate attire and draw attention to your physical attributes instead of your skills. Bare skin in all the wrong place can create discomfort and put you at risk. Wear the school-assigned uniform, minimal makeup, and clean cut hair. Your uniform and shoes should be presentable and clean if you want to convey a sense of confidence in your ability.

Adhere To The Dress Code
Most schools will turn away an inappropriately dressed student. However, it shouldn’t have to be that way. Review the school’s dress code policy, which will be in line with the requirements of the clinical site. Don’t stretch boundaries by wearing your interpretation of what the school wants. The dress code is in place for a specific reason, so make sure you follow it.

Watch Out For Those Undies
White scrubs is a traditional wear for nursing assistant students and staff. It should be obvious that bold colors would show through and be totally inappropriate in the professional environment. Yet it must be said; bold undergarments, such as neon and pink, and thongs are unprofessional and will not earn you any respect.

Minimize Accessories
Chunky accessories on your fingers, ears, and neck not only get in the way when you’re caring for patients; they’re distracting and take the focus off your skills as a budding caregiver. You want your patients to pay attention to your actions and commands and have confidence in your abilities. Painted nails and jewelry are hazardous and unprofessional. Some schools won’t specify a color; they leave it up to students to choose their attire. Most clinical experiences occur in long-term care settings, so keep your attire appropriate to the population – bright colors and cartoon characters emblazoned on your scrubs are out of the question.

Keep it Clean
Clean scrubs are essential, not just for appearance sake but also for safety. It is vital that you disinfect your scrubs before reporting for your next session. Pre-treat them to remove any stubborn stains, and double wash if necessary. Keep your whites sparkling and replace your colored scrubs if they’re faded. A good practice is to reserve your uniform for the workplace only to avoid contamination and stains, from your food and other sources.

Similar to your scrubs, you should give your shoes the VIP treatment. Clean them daily and replace them if they look worn and dirty.


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