The Importance Of Professionalism In Nursing

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The nursing population had been in the public spotlight in the past few years. From recognising the contributions of nurses during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak to surfacing reports of abuse of elderly patients in nursing homes, the profession of nursing has been under scrutiny by society. Shields (2013) mentioned that “nursing has suffered a lack of understanding” by the community who associates nurses with terms such as angels or “handmaidens”. Thus, despite efforts to enhance the professionalization of nursing, there is still debate about whether it is considered a profession or not. Definition of a profession includes the use of clinical reasoning, using a body of knowledge for assessment and to justify decisions, being responsible and accountable as well as having to abide by a code of ethics (Royal College of Nursing, 2003). These are characteristics which the nursing profession incorporates into its practice. In addition, Siriwardena & Gillam (2014) added that professionalism defines one’s promise to excellent practice, giving respect to others, take responsibility for one’s own actions and display moral and ethical attitudes. In Singapore, the Singapore Nursing Board or SNB for short, has the 7 “Standards of Practice for Nurses and Midwives” for maintaining good standards of care (SNB, 2011), some of which will be elaborated on through a case scenario below to demonstrate their application in upholding the professional image of nursing. A
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