Professional Appearance Policy Overview

Our personal taste and conduct must reflect concern and respect for the diverse group of individuals served at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and instill confidence in the professional care provided here. We look forward to playing our part in presenting a unified professional appearance at our hospital. Please review the brief overview below. If you have questions after reviewing the new policy, please speak with your staff supervisor or Jean Reed in Volunteer Services.

As part of our continuing effort to provide excellent customer service and patient-centered care, UI Hospitals & Clinics has a Professional Appearance Policy (Internal access only). Basically, the policy asks staff members, faculty, physicians, students, and volunteers to ensure that their appearance contributes to a positive, respectful, and safe health environment for patients, staff, and the public.

To create a professional appearance, please remember while on duty to:

  • The ID badge and volunteer hangtag must be worn at the breast pocket or lapel level with picture and name forward, immediately visible to patients, families, and others. Nothing should be attached to the badge which obscurse identification. Badges must be clipped on; lanyards are prohibited.
  • Be physically clean and well groomed and take steps to prevent or address problems of offensive body odor.
  • Promote a fragrance-free environment by not wearing perfume or other scents. Fragrances may cause allergic or adverse reactions in others and must be avoided.
  • Ensure that hairstyle, jewelry, scarves or other accessories do not interfere with assigned duties or pose a threat of infection or physical hazard.
  • Tattoos, piercings, and body art with wording, images, or placement (e.g. tongue) that are inappropriate or offensive in a professional work environment must be covered or removed while on duty.
  • Wear clothing that is neat, clean and free from offending odors.
  • Wear uniforms if required and footwear appropriate to job duties.

Please remember that the following is not appropriate while on duty:

  • Shorts, denim clothing of any type, yoga pants or other exercise or workout clothing, t-shirts, sweatshirts, fleece apparel or sweatpants.
  • Beach-type footwear such as thongs or flip-flops, or bedroom slippers. No open-toed shoes in patient care areas, including clinics.
  • Caps or hats, unless worn for medical or religious reasons or for the nature of specific duties, such as food service work.
  • Shirts or other apparel with inappropriate images, wording or logos that may be perceived as offensive to patients, families or others.
  • No clothing that is too tight, too short, form fitting, loose fitting, exposes cleavage, undergarments, mid-section, underwear or buttocks.

Some additional items to remember:

  • Your department may have additional guidelines not covered by this policy due to safety concerns particular to your unit.
  • If you have questions about your specific situation due to medical, religious or ethnic issues, please discuss with your supervisor.
  • Your compliance with these guidelines will prevent a request for you to change into appropriate attire before being able to begin work.

Thank you for your commitment to creating a respectful and safe environment.