College of Health Sciences: Guide to Professional Conduct

Professionalism relates to the intellectual, ethical, behavioral and attitudinal attributes necessary to perform as a health care provider or manager. As it applies to his or her professional role, the student will be expected to:


  1. Demonstrate awareness of the importance of learning by asking pertinent questions, identifying areas of importance in practice and reporting and recording those areas.
  2. Avoid disruptive behavior in class, laboratory and clinical or practicum rotations, such as talking or other activities that interfere with effective teaching and learning.


  1. Complete assigned work and prepare for class, laboratory, and clinical or practicum objectives prior to attending.
  2. Participate in formal and informal discussions, answer questions, report on experiences, and volunteer for special tasks and research.
  3. Initiate alteration in patient care techniques when appropriate via notification of instructors, staff and physicians.

Dependability and Appearance

  1. Attend and be punctual and reliable in completing assignments with minimal instructor supervision.
  2. Promote a professional demeanor by appropriate hygiene, grooming and attire.


  1. Demonstrate a pleasant and positive attitude when dealing with patients and co-workers by greeting them by name, approaching them in a non-threatening manner, and setting them at ease.
  2. Explain procedures clearly to the patient.
  3. Ask patients how they feel and solicit patient comments regarding the patient's overall condition and response to assessment and/or therapy.
  4. Communicate clearly to staff and physicians regarding the patient status, utilizing appropriate charting, oral communication and the established chain of command.
  5. Demonstrate a pleasant and positive attitude when dealing with co-workers, instructors, faculty, nurses and physicians.


  1. Display recognition of the importance of interpersonal relationships with students, faculty, and other members of the health care team by acting in a cordial and pleasant manner.
  2. Work as a team with fellow students, instructors, nursing staff and the physician in providing patient care.
  3. Organize work assignments effectively.
  4. Collect information from appropriate resources.
  5. Correlate care to overall patient condition.
  6. Adapt care techniques to overcome difficulties.
  7. Devise or suggest new techniques for patient welfare or unit efficiency.


  1. Verify identity of patients before initiating therapeutic action.
  2. Interpret written information and verbal directions correctly.
  3. Observe and report significant changes in patient's condition promptly to appropriate person(s).
  4. Act to prevent accidents and injury to patients, personnel and self.
  5. Transfer previously learned theory and skills to new/different patient situations.
  6. Request help from faculty/staff when unsure.
  7. Comply with hospital and university guidelines for performance.

Examples of critical errors in professional conduct and judgment include:

  1. Failure to place the patient's welfare as first priority.
  2. Failure to maintain physical, mental, and emotional composure.
  3. Consistent ineffective, inefficient use of time.
  4. Failure to be honest with patients, faculty, and colleagues.
  5. Scholastic dishonesty in any form.
  6. Failure to follow the Rush University Medical Center Code of Conduct.