Core Content - Core Orthopaedic Concepts - Communication and Professionalism


Much of the information on what is meant by 'professionalism' can be found on the program themes pages of EEMeC. Below are some links to relevant content.


In the Orthopaedic Module you are expected to:


Be presentable, well-kempt and dressed professionally.
The BMA have some guidelines to help with this and important points are summarised below.

  • Poor Practice
    • Wear false nails
    • Wear hand or wrist jewelry - a plain wedding ring may be acceptable
    • Un-tucked shirt
    • Exposed tattoo
    • Exposed midriff 
  • Good Practice
    • Short-sleeved shirt or blouse
    • Smart trousers, skirt or dress
    • Do not wear a white coat
    • Wear your name badge clearly
    • Have a neat haircut with long hair tied back off the collar
    • Keep your fingernails short and clean

Be punctual and organised.
You are now an adult learner and, as such, are responsible for your own time-management and organisation. This means you should always aim to take the initiative and not rely on others, although you are certainly not discouraged from asking for help when needed.

Students will often struggle with their professionalism assessment due to frequent tardiness or poor-organisation, for example attending at the wrong place for a clinic. Make sure you check in advance when/where a learning event is and if in doubt, ask your consultant or the module organiser


Communicate effectively with your colleagues.
If you do find yourself late or need to miss a learning event then it is very important that you let the relevant person know. You should do this as soon as you can and be truthful with your reasons!

Many aspects of your clinical attachments require close collaboration with other students and it is essential that you can communicate with them effectively. Be courteous and professional.


Be part of the multi-disciplinary team.
There are a huge number of people involved in the hospital team and you will be expected to interact with many of them during your orthopaedic block. Some students can have a poor attitude to colleagues who are not medical, including admin/support staff, and treat them in an unprofessional manner. Reports of this will always find their way back to the module tutors. Unpleasant or unprofessional behavior towards any member of staff will not be tolerated. 

In the clinical environment, you can ingratiate yourself to staff in many ways. Simple things like offering to mop the floor in theatre or change exam couch covers in clinic are a great way to integrate yourself into the team and help the day run smoother. Look for opportunities to show your initiative and staff will give positive feedback to your tutors!


Be noticed for your enthusiasm and knowledge.
The more you put in to the clinical attachments, the more you will gain from them. If you are surly, reluctant and poorly prepared then you will be remembered as such!

You are expected to do a reasonable amount of background reading and preparation before tutorials or clinic sessions. It is very embarrassing for all involved if a student is lacking in even the most basic knowledge, especially if this is evident in front of a patient. You will not be subject to 'learning by fear' or deliberately humiliated but it is expected that you will develop knowledge of the curriculum during the module. If you have concerns about bullying or unfair behaviors from staff then contact the module organiser as early as you can.