For many patients and families, coming to dialysis is stressful. They need to know that the care providers they rely on are focused and professional. Here are some examples of how PCTs can act in a professional way:

  • Say “hello” when a patient comes in
  • Greet a patient by his or her preferred name
  • Explain what you will be doing, and why
  • Be open to questions
  • Be competent at your tasks
  • Do what you say you will do (i.e., passing a question along to the dietitian, or getting ice for the patient)

Here are behaviors patients have said are NOT professional:

  • Call patients by a nickname or first name they do not prefer
  • Yell to someone across the clinic
  • Swear
  • Take personal calls on your cell phone
  • Surf the web
  • Have a conversation with a staff person in a language the patient does not understand
  • Take your bad day out on your patients
  • Tell your patients about your personal life
  • Accept gifts or ask for money

These behaviors diminish the professional identity of all of the staff.

You can show professional behavior by using a calm tone of voice—even if patients get angry or agitated. Your manner should reflect the serious nature of the care being delivered. Be focused and organized. If you seem overwhelmed or if you are not able to deliver the care patients need, you will not look like a professional.

Let’s meet two Patient Care Technicians so we can start to see what it looks like to be a professional in the dialysis setting.