The Importance of Professionalism

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Professionalism is a word used to describe how one should behave and dress themselves to exhibit good manners and show good business sense. How a person comes to work and conduct themselves is a huge component related to work ethic (Wynd, 2003). Having a strong work ethic often suggests that a person will produce high quality work and take pride in doing a great job.

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In healthcare professionalism is imperative due to the changing nature of work and care being provided (Akhtar-Danesh, 2013). Therefore, there are multiple definitions for professionalism in nursing. Professionalism is not new to the work force however many professions struggle with encouraging and ensuring employees know what is acceptable in the workplace (Blythe, 2008). Without a standard to be held accountable to many professional businesses would not be sufficient to provide care for the public.

In healthcare, professional etiquette is one of the major influences contributing to a positive career (Blythe, 2008). Personal interactions with a variety of people require the healthcare professional to have respectable relationships with everyone they encounter. Being empathetic and kind is one of the key factors in developing a patient’s confidence and trust. Having bedside manner is also a key component in professionalism as a healthcare professional (Akhtar-Danesh, 2013). Patient safety is the main priority and when there is a breach in professionalism it can leave many patients at risk. However, when these commitments are not met healthcare professionals face malpractice suits, abuse cases, and fraud.

Characteristics of Professionals

The traits of professionalism may vary from one person to the next however honesty is the one of the first traits. No one wants to work with someone who is untrustworthy. Lying about situations that could potentially cause a patient their life is unacceptable in the workplace. Additionally, having respect for others in all situations while also being courteous shows maturity (Jeroen Postma, 2015). As an employee taking advice and criticism without feelings of distain can demonstrate respect. Verbal or physical abuse of any kind is not acceptable in the workplace. Without respect an employee will not have relationships with coworkers or patients. Respect must be shown to every individual in the workplace.

Also, professionals exhibit willingness to take on projects and always has the best interest of the patient at heart. A great attitude will make work more enjoyable while also having good humor and being able to laugh at self no matter the situation at hand (Wynd, 2003). Conduct is a huge component of professionalism due to the high standards healthcare professionals are held. An employee should conduct themselves in a way that reflects their profession. Ethics should always be held and followed while also maintaining confidentiality pertaining to patient’s records. A professional encompasses self-awareness, social skills, and self-confidence.

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