Medical Interpreter Dress Code: Shoes


During this series we’ve been building the foundations of a professional dress code.  We’re at the final basic piece: shoes! Maybe you don’t care what you put on your feet, but you should.  Shoes can make or break you image and your ability to do your job well.  It’s hard to focus on language and communication when your feet are hollering out in pain.  So let’s take a look at shoes and their value to your dress code.     

Comfort is important for an active interpreter.  Shoes should be comfortable for long days on your feet.  But don't sacrifice professional appearance in order to achieve comfort.

Always wear close-toed shoes.  I don't like the thought of bodily fluids getting on my toes.  I'm sure you don't either!  (I once interpreted for a baby delivery.  When the doctor cut the umbilical cord the cord slipped and sprayed everywhere.  It was early in my career and a great learning experience.  Make sure you’re covered at all times.)  Avoid Crocs, sandals, and tennis shoes. Remember, you're at a medical encounter. You're not at a concert or working in your yard.  

You don’t have to sacrifice fashion for comfort.  Please consider these points:

  • Black shoes are best. They are easy to buff up. They are easy to find at any store. They come in a variety of styles. 
  • Snow, ice, rain and the dreaded "Caution Wet Floor" areas can be killers. Non-slip soles can be a rushing interpreter's best friend.
  • No boots that go beyond the lower knee. The eye doesn't need to travel any higher than that.  
  • Be careful with heels. Anything higher than a 3 inch heel might send the wrong message. I love wearing heels, and you might, too. I once had a pair of heels that were extremely comfortable. I’d frequently got asked, “How can you wear those heels?!?” I had no problem.  Unfortunately, I’ve never found another pair like it again.  If you do wear heels, please, please, make sure you're an expert. Do you want people who see you wondering if you'll make it down the hall way?

A final note on shoes:  Spend as much as you can on a pair of shoes that will keep your feet happy all day (and even all night).  One good pair of shoes is better than spending less money on a variety of cheep, albeit cute, shoes.  Angry feet can make your day very, very bad.    

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Posted on April 14, 2015 and filed under Interpreter, Manager.