LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize important personality traits of a healthcare professional.

The following traits apply especially to your hospital duties and are essential for quality performance.


In hospital settings, we deal continually with people, their illnesses, and their personal problems. The information that we have access to falls into the category of “privileged communication.” We, as medical technicians, have no right whatsoever to divulge any medical information, however trivial, to any unauthorized individuals.

Medical information is prime gossip material. The prohibition on the release of medical information is sometimes difficult to remember, but it is essential to the maintenance of professional integrity.

One important commitment that all healthcare personnel have is the obligation never to abuse the controlled substances that we have access to—or to tolerate abuse by others. These substances are on the ward or in the mount-out block for use, under a medical officer’s supervision, for the care of patients. Any other use must not be tolerated.


Excellent personal hygienic habits, including cleanliness, neat hair styles, and spotless, correct uniforms are essential for the healthcare profession. Our appearance can positively or negatively influence the opinion the public has ofthe medical community. Both a professional appearance and attitude enhance the overall reputation of the healthcare profession and reinforce our role as competent healthcare providers.


Naval leadership is based on personal example, good management, and moral responsibility. All of the personal traits previously discussed are also considered leadership traits. You will learn that many examples of effective leadership are those that are set by officers, chief petty officers, and senior petty officers. The success of the Medical Department rests heavily on the petty officer. Good petty officers are the backbone of the Medical Department, whether they are supervising military personnel or conducting specialist duties.