Professionalism Professionalism involves maintaining a set standard of maturity, respectfulness and proficiency in one’s behaviour and attitude. This is especially relevant in the workplace or in any task that demands a certain level of maturity, respectfulness and proficiency. As a result, professionalism is an important part of being a health professional and working in a hospital, as maturity, respectfulness and proficiency are three critical attributes/requirements of a doctor.
Professionalism is evident through the ways we conduct ourselves in our work and through our interactions with others. It draws upon our mannerisms and our appearance (including clothing) and how others perceive this. Professional behaviour when interacting with others can involve: • Actively listening • Maintaining an interested and focused facial expression • Engaging and participating in topics of discussion and putting forth one’s own ideas in a respectful, productive fashion • Behaving in ways that aren’t perceived as rude (eg.
If eating with another person, only starting to eat if the other person has already got their food) • Being aware and respectful of different cultures and their requirements/ideas of what is polite and in-polite • Being dressed appropriately – in most cases this involves wearing clothing that reaches a standard of formality which denotes maturity and respect • Considering the feelings of others and being conscious of others’ perception of yourself In a hospital setting, these signs of professional behaviour are especially important.
It is crucial that these are displayed by a health professional both to their patients, their patient’s families and to fellow colleagues. There are numerous reasons why showing professionalism in a hospital setting is important. In the eyes of patients, appearing professional instils a sense of confidence in the doctor. This is essential for the patient to develop a trusting relationship with the doctor, which ultimately serves to improve the patient’s health.
For example, an obstetrician who runs to an appointment with a pregnant lady late may loose the confidence of that patient, as the patient may fear the obstetrician would also run late to the birth or if an emergency was to occur. Similarly, a doctor who forgets the name of one of their patients may create the impression to the patient that they would forgot other important information of there’s. Or, a doctor who dresses in a casual manner to the patient may create the feeling that they act casually in their job and therefore may not respond with a level of desired seriousness to a patient’s concern.
Professionalism is also important in a hospital setting because serious things occur in a hospital. Acting professional rather then casually presents the doctor as taking these serious things as important. Since the doctor has a position of high responsibility in society – dealing with people’s health and private information – it is also important that they act professionally. Being professional also shows respect to other members you work with. It is a sign of respect to colleagues, mentors and students.
By acting professional, one shows that they take their colleagues seriously and that they take their own work seriously. In a healthcare setting, this creates a positive environment where one’s own work and their colleagues’ work are appreciated. Lastly, professionalism is important for one’s own reputation and for the reputation of others that they represent. By behaving in a respectful, proficient and mature manner, one displays all the key elements of a character that can be trusted and valued in a healthcare setting, and this extends to how they are perceived by their fellow workers and patients.