Professional appearance should reflect policy, whatever the season

Did you know that patients often associate professional attire with honesty, knowledge, and better care? During the summer months, employees tend to opt for lighter clothing or more casual dress overall.

It’s important to remember that our patients and the community still look to you as a representation of our organization and first impressions matter. Here are some reminders about professional dress when you’re at work.

What is considered professional?

If you wear a uniform, this is easy. For those who don’t, just follow the Professional Appearance policy that lists standards of professional appearance for UI Hospitals & Clinics faculty, staff, students, and volunteers on duty.

Following are the standards that apply to everyone while at work in our hospitals and clinics:

  • Wear your ID badge clipped on at the breast pocket or lapel level with picture and name forward, so that it is immediately visible to patients, visitors, and other staff. Lanyards are prohibited.
  • For the protection of those with sensitivities, UI Hospitals & Clinics promotes a fragrance-free environment, so please don’t wear perfume or other scents.
  • If you have tattoos, piercings, or body art with wording, images, or placement (e.g., tongue) that could be inappropriate or offensive in a professional work environment, please cover or remove them during work time.

Is there any type of clothing I cannot wear?

In order to keep a consistent and professional image for our patients, as well as promote safety, do not wear:

  • Denim clothing of any type
  • T-shirts
  • Yoga pants or exercise clothing
  • Fleece apparel
  • Open-toed shoes in clinical areas
  • Clothing that is too tight, too short, too form fitting, too loose fitting, or any clothing that exposes cleavage, undergarments, or the mid-section
  • Holiday or event-themed costumes

Has anything changed during COVID-19?

  • All UI Health Care employees in our facilities must wear face coverings at all times while in our facilities unless they are alone in a private office.

Your departments may have additional guidelines not covered by this policy due to health or safety concerns particular to a unit.

Note: The policy does not apply to faculty and staff wearing a UI Carver College of Medicine identification badge, or to non-clinical personnel in off-site locations.

If you have any questions about this policy, contact your supervisor, manager, department head, or departmental HR representative. Thank you for your dedication to looking professional for our patients.


  1. The amount of doctors i see in patient areas with no face coverings, let alone one is very high. I don’t know if they think they are above it or what, but it needs to be addressed.

  2. Thank you for the feedback. Face coverings are required to be worn at all times while in a UI Health Care facility. For employees who see patients, a face shield and a medical-grade mask are required. If you see individuals who are not wearing the appropriate face coverings, you can offer them a gentle reminder of our safety standards, or reach out to your supervisor to help address this.

  3. I believe in professional appearance/attire and have worn a dress shirt and tie for >40 years. With ties being discouraged/banned during COVID-19 pandemic, I feel under-dressed. Will men’s ties ever be allowed again?

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