Clinical Setting - Procedure

Orders and notes

Orders and notes in a patient’s record and all related documentation must be clearly identified with MS3 or MS4 next to the student’s signature or according to the instructions for the particular rotation.
Hospital greens

Hospital greens are the property of the hospital and can constitute a health hazard when contaminated. Greens must not leave hospital premises under any circumstance. For further information, please refer to the Hospital Coordinator.

Clinical Placement Requirements Record

Every student’s immunization record must be up to date and should comply with the Faculty of Medicine’s requirements, i.e. yearly TB testing and seasonal influenza vaccination. Students with medical exemptions must present the documentation to the Office of Clinical Placement Risk Management. Students will be withdrawn from clinical duties if their immunization record is found to be deficient. Time away from educational activities will have to be made up once the immunization record is found to be compliant with the Faculty regulations.

Appropriate appearance at clinical encounters

These guidelines were developed by students and Faculty Members in conjunction with community members in order to provide recommendations to students, residents and Faculty Members – both male and female – regarding their appearance while encountering patients. In addition to being appropriately dressed, there are other issues concerning appearance as well as health and safety regulations. The precise details will vary with each situation and often depends on the clinical setting -- the key word is appropriate. Please be informed of the specific policies of each institution.

“Dress is the external reflection of your professional attitude toward your patient.” A professional demeanor contributes to patient trust and enhances confidence. It is an important factor to enhance patient compliance with medical recommendations. Remember that being hospitalized is a stressful event for a patient and family and that a health professional’s appearance and demeanor should be comforting and reassuring.


Be well groomed and clean. Body odor should be well controlled. Do not expose your shoulders, midriff, cleavage and upper thighs. Avoid provocative attire and any clothing with obvious commercial logos. Keep jewelry to a minimum, especially when it comes to visible piercing.

Long hair should be tied back during patient examinations. In addition, although pediatric patients may appreciate colored hair, some adults may have a different view.

It is suggested that males wear a shirt with a collar and be prepared to wear a necktie. Women should use their judgment when choosing a skirt so that its length complements their professional image. Baseball caps are not considered suitable head gear in a clinical milieu.

You should be prepared to wear your white coat. You should always wear your identification badge.

When in doubt, use your Preceptor as a guide. Seek advice, accept positive and constructive feedback, and modify your behaviour accordingly. Respect and consideration for the patient should be your concern.

Health and Safety Regulations in the hospital setting currently dictate that:

  • Perfumes and strong scents (from shampoo, hand creams, deodorants, etc.) are not permitted due to the possible sensitivity of patients and coworkers.
  • Shoes – not sandals – must be worn in clinical settings where exposure to body fluids is likely (surgical, obstetrics/gynecology, intensive care and emergency rotations for example). Shoes which are open in the back are acceptable, in most situations. For O.R. duties, check with each institution regarding appropriate footwear.
  • It is important to trim fingernails, as long or artificial nails can cause harm to patients and have been demonstrated to transmit infection.
  • Scrub suits (i.e., “greens”) are not to be worn outside of the hospital.
  • Expectations regarding appearance should be widely distributed to faculty, staff, residents and students. This information should be clearly stated at the onset of any new clinical situation. Hospital policy on this matter needs to be consulted; in case of discrepancies, the latter will prevail.

The onus, however, is on you to ascertain that your appearance is acceptable in any particular setting. In other words, ask ahead of time and/or think about what is “appropriate” -- and professional -- wherever you go, and you can’t go wrong!

Clinical placements within city limits

By choosing the University of Ottawa as your place of studies, please be advised that your clinical placements may be located anywhere throughout the city of Ottawa limits, as long as local public transportation is accessible with a regular schedule.

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