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PANDEMIC-SPECIFIC UPDATES TO PROVIDENCE’S PROFESSIONAL IMAGE POLICY

Providence’s Professional Image Policy has been updated to include new pandemic-specific requirements. Everyone working at Providence - employees, medical staff, researchers, students, volunteers – is asked to familiarize themselves with and follow   the policy as we prepare for a surge of patients with COVID-19. 

What’s new for all direct care staff? 

  • Pandemic specific requirements 
    • Bring uniform to work and change at work  
    • Keep worn uniform in plastic bag until you get home 
    • Wash separately from other laundry in hot water 
  • PPE is never worn outdoors except extended use masks when travelling between sites 
  • If you work in area where mandatory scrubs are required (OR; Cath Lab; MDRD) you only wear those scrubs in work area and not outdoors at any time 
  • When outdoors uniforms are fully covered up – unless pandemic specific requirements in place 
  • Lab coats are never worn outdoors 
  • Hair longer than shoulder length is tied back off face 
  • Nails are kept clean, short and polish free; artificial nails and nail jewellery are never worn 
  • Maintain Bare Below the Elbows at all times when providing direct care: 
    • Sleeves don’t hang below elbow length 
    • Hand and wrist jewellery is removed with exception of one simple plain band ring 
    • Avoid neck ties and lanyards 

What’s new for staff that don’t provide direct care? 

  • Pandemic specific requirements: 
    • Non-medical grade masks are worn at all times when a 2-metre distance cannot be maintained 

 Providence has always had a professional image policy – however, the compliance of these requirements are more important than ever to help keep ourselves, colleagues and  patients safe during a global pandemic.  

Please check out the policy to ensure you meet all the expectations for professional image: 

http://shop.healthcarebc.ca/phc/PHCPolicies/B-00-11-10153.pdf

For more information, please read the Q&A below. If you have additional questions, please contact your manager. 

Why are we adding pandemic-specific updates to the Professional Image Policy? 

A: The updated policy ensures that staff clothing meets the safe standards of Infection Prevention and Control and Work Safe compliance for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to being suitable for the work each person is required to do and appearing professional. 

When does the policy go into effect? 

A: The policy is live and in effect. 

Where can I change into my uniform at work? Where can I store my street clothes? 

A: Please check with your leader for guidance on the availability of change rooms/washroom areas for changing clothes. Street clothes can be stored where you normally keep your coat and personal belongings.  

What is Bare Below the Elbows?  

A: Being Bare Below the Elbows is exactly as it sounds. No rings with stones or ridges, watches, press-on/acrylic nails, or long sleeves (including lab coats and sweaters) when providing direct patient care. Jewelry and gel nails should be removed to ensure that no germs are being harboured even when hand hygiene is complete. Short sleeves are important from simply a practical perspective – it’s hard to wash your hands and wrists effectively when you are trying to keep your sleeves dry! Learn more about Bare Below the Elbows here

 What should we be using instead of lanyards to keep our access cards and IDs handy? 

A: The preferred option is to use a clip to attach your ID to your pocket. If wearing a lanyard, please ensure it is tucked inside your uniform during patient care interactions. 

What are the consequences of being outside or at local businesses while wearing my uniform? 

A: In the event that this occurs, your leader will meet with you to discuss the concerns regarding the breach of this policy. Non-compliance of this policy is subject to discipline.  

This page last updated Oct 15, 2020 6:25pm PDT