Altruism In Physical Therapy

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Professionalism by definition, is "the skill, good judgment and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well." The American Physical Therapy Association states that "there are seven core values that comprise professionalism in physical therapy: accountability, compassion, excellence, professional duty, social responsibility, integrity, and altruism." For some, professionalism can simply mean that the individual has a high level of standards, but for others, the term might hold a different meaning. One might infer that there can be several different definitions that apply to this term, which poses the question, what is professionalism in the context of being a student in a doctor of physical therapy degree program?…show more content…
Professionalism goes beyond possessing specific knowledge and skills, it also reflects on the individual 's values, attitude and demeanor, this is why altruism is such an important component of professionalism. Altruism by definition is "the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others." Health care providers must go above and beyond perceived expectations, to do so, it is important that they place the patients ' needs before their own. Altruism is one of the most important values that a student could possess, and in order for one to be altruistic, they must also be compassionate. One way to gain a better understanding of altruism is to learn through personal and professional experiences. Because altruism is a learned value, the more experiences that one gains further instills the core value within the individual. Throughout my final semester of undergraduate studies, I was granted the opportunity to work closely with a rehabilitation staff complete with two physical therapists, an occupational therapist, a physical therapy assistant and an athletic trainer. The greatest part of the experience was the interaction with patients, this opportunity was highly effective in providing a real professional experience in patient care. This observation experience allowed me to gain a greater understanding of altruism and a realization of just how rewarding this profession
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