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Medical Office Dress Code Policy

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Dress codes for a job at a hospital, medical office or any other medical institution require conservative styles. The dress code is not simply a matter of professionalism, but also a matter of safety. Employees at a medical institution use expensive, complex medical equipment. Some employees come into contact with patients. They must be prepared for a number of situations, such as excessive bleeding, vomiting, chemical spills and other accidents.

Dress Code Basics

Regardless of whether you are a receptionist, a doctor or a technician, your choice of clothing must be appropriate for the workplace. Each office or medical center will provide the employees with a handbook, which includes a detailed explanation of the official dress code policy. Although some of the rules may differ, most institutions have rules that can apply to any type of medical setting.

Some state regulations require that medical employees must wear identification badges at all times, in a visible place.

Male employees should wear tailored slacks and dress shirts. Women should wear dress pants or skirts with hemlines slightly above the knee or at calf-length. Female employees should wear blouses or conservative dressy tops. For both men and women, the clothing should not be revealing.


Wearing the correct shoes in the workplace is also a matter of safety. While working in a medical office, open-toed shoes are usually not permitted. Do not wear sandals or flip-flops. These types of shoes may be hazardous, especially if the employees are around electronic equipment, where wires can get caught in those shoes, and in case of liquids they may come in contact with, such as blood or urine. Also, some chemical compounds may burn or irritate the skin.

As a matter of comfort, women should wear low-heeled shoes, since employees spend a lot of time walking and standing.

Accessories and Grooming

Employees should wear as few accessories as possible. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other piercings may impede the employee's work or catch on a patient or equipment. If employees wear earrings, they should choose studs or tiny earrings.

Many workplaces discourage uncovered tattoos. If the employee has a tattoo in a visible area, such as the arm or leg, he must cover it by wearing long sleeves or pants or by applying makeup to cover the tattoo. Visible body piercings are also frequently discouraged. Employees in many medical offices cannot have tongue or other facial piercings.

Men and women must be neat at all times. The employees should have short, neatly groomed nails. Long nails may interfere in patient care.

Women should wear neutral colors of makeup and minimize or completely avoid using perfume, as some patients may be allergic.

Medical Uniforms

If the employee is a technician or doctor, he must wear the appropriate medical coat or scrubs. Some institutions may provide the uniform, but the employee may have to purchase his own uniform at a medical supply store. Generally, solid-colored scrubs and jackets are acceptable.

Things to Avoid

Some things are generally unacceptable to wear at a medical office. These include chandelier earrings, T-shirts, stiletto heel shoes, visible undergarments and denim jeans.


Lorraine J. Floyd has been writing since 2009. She is an editorial assistant at Layalina Productions, where she writes about public diplomacy and the Arab media. She is also a correspondent at Southern Pulse and a part-time contract transcriber for National Capitol Contracting in Arlington, Va. Floyd graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs.

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