As a nurse, how do you display professionalism ... what does 'professionalism' mean to you?
I display professionalism by respecting patients' cultures and backgrounds though they may be diametrically opposed to mine. I don't judge my patients' lifestyles; I treat them for their illnesses and help to educate them on how to create health for their bodies, minds, and spirits.
I would, for instance, suggest to a patient who has COPD and insists on smoking, that the patient might be able to breathe better if he/she didn't smoke. I would suggest that a sugared candy bar might be replaced with a Splenda-flavored candy to the diabetic. A health care professional depends on facts, not personal preference.
I might suggest that the Type A, completely stressed-out, chronic-pain patient learn some biofeedback relaxation techniques or learn to spend some time rejuvenating his/her spirit.
I would not force these changes on the alert, oriented, adult patient, however. That would be unprofessional.
The professional doesn't engage in intimate contact with patients if it could be seen as exploitation of the patient.The professional respects the dignity and is careful to protect, not exploit, the vulnerability of the patient.
For instance, I would have no need to do a gyne exam on a patient who had no adverse gynecological s/s, and was admitted to the hospital for c/o chest pain. To do so would be unnecessarily invasive, and thus, unprofessional in this context.
I would also not take advantage of a patient's illness and dependence on my nursing skills to create an emotional bond with that patient. That could be seen as taking advantage of the patient.
Nor would I date my patients or call them at home to see how they are doing. It could be seen as unprofessional were I to do so.
What specific characteristics are needed in order to be a professional nurse nowadays?
Intelligence, flexibility, attention to detail, strong organizational and multitasking abilities, nonjudgemental attitude, and a love for people, to name a few.
How does a nurse make a difference? Share your thoughts.
Oh, that's easy. We save lives. We help people live better lives. We help people have less pain, we help people adjust to physical facts of life, we help people save money by teaching them how to live healthier lives. Sometimes, we help people let go of life, too.
There's nobody that quite can describe all that a nurse does. Nurses are like mothers. You'll really only notice what we do when we're not there.