"Professional Appearance"

About: Wonthaggi Hospital

(as the patient),

Whilst waiting for my Breast Screen in the x-ray department waiting room  at Wonthaggi Hospital, I observed a staff member who had been present during my visit to the Emergency Department last year. I do not know what this person's role is in the hospital because their clothing and behaviour provided no indication.

The staff member was dressed, like on my last visit, in baggy tracksuit pants, a scruffy t-shirt and unlaced runners (on my last visit I think they wore thongs). Their hair is long and curly and requires constant attention to remove it from their vision.

I am a chef. I cannot go to work in that condition, for health and safety reasons. 

I am surprised that a hospital legally allows what I believe is such shabby and unhygienic presentation.

The staff member slouched about in the office doorway, tossing their water bottle up and down in the air, and constantly pushing their hair out of their eyes.

When you are ill and come to a hospital, you want the staff to be professional. You need them to look and act like they know what they are doing when you are feeling stressed and vulnerable. You also need to be able to identify the people who are trained to help you, for security reasons.
This staff member may well be a wonderful person and fantastic at their job, but their presentation and confidence indicated what I felt was an ignorant arrogance that there is no room for when dealing with peoples lives. I wish this person no ill will. I wish them all the best in the world. It takes much hard work and dedication to become a doctor. Perhaps a mentoring program would help?

This message is for the management: Please, please, set and maintain a respectable standard of staff presentation, that is easily identifiable by all patients. If MacDonalds can do it, surely all Australian hospitals can too!

P.S.  The Breast Screen staff are fantastic. Thank you.

Responses

Response from Noni Bourke, Chief of Organisational Support & Development, Bass Coast Health

picture of Noni Bourke

Dear F15H

Thank you for your feedback. While it is great to hear that the Breast Screen staff were fantastic I am sorry that your experience was not as positive around staff presentation.

Bass Coast Radiology, while situated in the hospital, is a separate service so I have shared your feedback with their Practice Manager so we can be sure to address any issues with staff from either service.

Bass Coast Health and Bass Coast Radiology both aim for high standards of presentation and manner in our staff and agree that it is extremely important for patients to feel confidence in the staff when they present to hospital or for a procedure. It is disappointing if staff are not living up to this expectation. Both services will address the need for professional appearance and manner at all times and remind staff of why this is important.

If you would like to discuss your concerns further I would be more than happy for you to call me on my mobile 0488 584 080.

Thank you again for taking the time to provide this feedback and reminding us of the importance of ensuring patients feel safe and confident in their health service.

Best wishes

Noni

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