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Professionalism in the Medical Field

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Professionalism in the Medical Field

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  • August 2011
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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...