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The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Allied Health Student Handbook 2020-2021

6.1.2 - Professional Conduct

Anticipation of all situations arising in the academic or clinical setting and in the interaction of students with the professional and/or patient community is impossible.  However, the basic guidelines outlined below in conjunction with specific guidelines established by the departments in the College of Allied Health should provide direction to students in how to conduct themselves in a professional manner.

Self-discipline is required in student relationships with patients, peers, supervisors, and other members of the professional community.  Personal preference and interests must be secondary to patient care.  Failure to observe professional standards of practice is unacceptable and may result in academic sanctions and/or disciplinary action.  Additionally, the student may be subject to legal actions by the patient and/or clinical site.

  • Student actions, comments, and personal appearance must be tailored to project an image of confidence, cooperation, and trust.
  • Students should maintain a pleasant, courteous, and respectful attitude toward others in both the academic and clinical settings.
  • Students must preserve the confidentiality of patients’/clients’ medical and personal history at all times.
  •  Students should reflect at all times a concern for the rights and welfare of patients/clients and their families.
  • Students should consider the behavior of the patient/client, even if overly belligerent or otherwise disagreeable, in the context of the patient’s illness and handle the situation accordingly. 
  • Students should be respectful of and responsive to faculty and staff and should observe the defined line of authority with respect to clinical assignments and activities.
  • Students are expected to abide by established procedures of their particular discipline regarding performance, patient treatment, and departmental duties in the clinical environment.
  • Students should avoid the use of inappropriate language in academic and clinical settings.
  • Students must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs when in the academic or clinical environment.
  • Students should avoid the use of tobacco products.
  • Students should not discuss personal matters with or around patients.
  • Students must avoid personal biases in all circumstances.
  • Students should avoid interruption of patient care to question or dispute orders in the clinical setting. Students may request clarification of any written or verbal order, but only at an appropriate time.  If the student strongly disagrees with orders given by clinical personnel, the course of action should follow one of the following depending on standard rules and procedures of the discipline.
    • Perform their immediate duties, including the ordered treatment, and then consult their clinical coordinator in order to resolve the misunderstanding or disagreement, or
    • Request to be excused from doing the treatment and report immediately to their clinical coordinator to resolve the issue.

Please also see Regents’ Professionalism policy in the OUHSC Faculty Handbook.

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