Watch your body language!

Any article that has the word “tips” or “list” in the title always seems to grab my attention.  To me those words mean that the article is a quick read with valuable information that I shouldn’t miss. In this month’s OR Nurse 2010, I quickly turned to 7 tips to improve your professional etiquette. In this article, the author advises us on introductions, the importance of a confident handshake, specifics about body language, and more. I especially appreciated the following list of gestures to avoid:

“Some gestures may be misunderstood and considered offensive to people from other cultures. To play it safe, try to avoid these in conversation:
• the "okay" sign
• thumbs up
• the "V" for victory sign, especially with the palm facing inward
• pointing or snapping your fingers
• waving your hand with your arm raised.1

I must admit that I’ve been guilty of using several of these gestures, especially with mechanically ventilated patients or patients who were unable to communicate verbally for other reasons. Do you know of anything else that should be on this list? 

1. Pagana KD. The Nurse's Etiquette Advantage: How Professional Etiquette Can Advance Your Nursing Career. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International; 2008.

Posted: 3/30/2010 2:46:55 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 2 comments
Filed under: communication, gestures, professional etiquette


Comments
Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP
Hi ega,
These gestures are considered offensive or disrespectful in certain parts of the world. For more specifics, try googling 'thumbs up' or 'okay sign'. Several explanations exist.
Lisa
8/6/2015 2:48:41 PM

ega
March 19. 2010 23:58
why thumbs up or the "okay" sign should be avoided? i want to know the reason, thank before
ega Saudi a |Arabi
8/6/2015 2:48:22 PM

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