Professionalism In Health Care

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What does water taste like? Have you ever tried to describe the flavor of water to someone? Professionalism, like the taste of water, is defined differently by each person you ask. Some equate professionalism with appearance, some explain professionalism as having a certain skill set and still others define it as simply being a professional. Most definitions of professionalism are vague and extremely open to interpretation. For instance, Oxford 's learning dictionary defines professionalism as "the high standard that is expected from a person who is well trained in a particular job. Merriam-Webster 's online dictionary defines professionalism as "the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional…show more content…
At the simplest level professionalism with patients comes down to expectations, intentions and perceptions. Patient expectations are preconceived ideas of how they feel they should be treated when in the healthcare setting. When nurses have clear, purposeful intentions that meet those expectations this result in high patient satisfaction. Consequently, the patient leaves the facility perceiving that they have been cared for professionally. When you act professional you communicate that you have assumed the professional helping role, you are clinically skilled, and your focus is on the patient. (Potter, Perry, Stockert, Hall 2015 Pg. ) In addition, you can demonstrate professionalism with patients in the way you carry yourself and how you represent yourself with your appearance and attitude. Speaking in a clear, concise manner, not using slang words or terms of endearment and tailoring your approach to generation and culture are all examples of professionalism with patients. Keeping in mind that a patient 's acceptance of you as a professional often depends on the manner in which you convey a professional and caring image. (Potter, Perry, Stockert, Hall) Therefore, professionalism is paramount to how a patient perceives you and is the basis for a therapeutic…show more content…
Generally people might not think of professionalism as important when dealing with fellow co-workers but simple courtesies such as greeting others with a smile, respecting co-workers privacy by not spreading gossip and giving your undivided attention to someone when they are speaking to you speak loudly to others as signs of being a professional. These days professionalism with co-workers also involves being mindful of what you post on social media. Work related rants or disparaging remarks about fellow co-workers is unquestionably unprofessional. Ordinarily professionalism is a self-motivated skill set, yet it can also involve stepping in and helping a co-worker self-reflect and improve their professionalism for the good of the whole team. Accordingly, "unprofessional behavior in a medical setting is disruptive to the concept of teamwork, and even if it does not pose an immediate threat to a patient, any behavior that results in people not working well together can lead to a dangerous situation." (Hunt, Zonderman 2002

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